The race for Florida governor quickly took a nasty turn after Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis told voters not to "monkey this up" by voting for Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum -- the first Black candidate for governor of Florida.
"Let's build off the success we've had on Governor Scott," DeSantis said after he was elected the Republican nominee for Florida governor on Tuesday. "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state," he added.
The mainstream media, particularly CNN, instantly seized upon the word "monkey" as a racist attack on Gillum because he is Black. The disturbing implication is that the news media equates monkeys with Black people.
DeSantis responded to the controversy by clarifying that his statement was not racist.
His camp pointed out numerous politicians -- including Barack Obama -- who have uttered the word monkey and were not accused of racism.
"Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses," Stephen Lawson, DeSantis' communications director, told CBS News. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd."
DeSantis's supporters pointed out that the Washington Post has a section called "Monkey Cage".
This isn't the first time that CNN and other liberal news organizations created racism where there was none.
Earlier this year, a student at New York University accused several cooks of being racist for serving Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored water to students for Black History Month. It didn't matter that the cooks were Black.
The resulting media frenzy prompted popular urban blog The Root to ask "Is Watermelon Racist?"
The answer is, watermelon is only racist when liberal news media outlets want to rile up Black people to support their Democratic candidates.