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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Tried media ‘hit jobs’ frustrate DeSantis workplace, however supporters name it badge of honor

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Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ fame as a mainstream media bogeyman seems secure in the intervening time after Wednesday’s Related Press story was slammed as a failed hit job.

All through 2021, mainstream and liberal shops have commonly tried to tarnish the potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, solely to see dramatic headlines and assertions fizzle underneath scrutiny.

“Lots of people within the media, for no matter purpose, sadly, actually need to discover one thing on him, however he isn’t corrupt so that they must make issues up or publish innuendo when there’s nothing to it, no smoking gun,” DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw advised Fox Information.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fame as a mainstream media bogeyman seems secure in the intervening time after Wednesday’s Related Press story slammed as a failed hit job. (Photograph by Paul Hennessy / SOPA Photographs/Sipa USA)No Use Germany.
(Sipa USA)

Whereas the Republican governor’s workplace is sick of what it considers partisan assaults from the press, some observers really feel DeSantis ought to put on them like a badge of honor.


The AP was roasted on Wednesday for what many critics labeled one other botched hit piece, and conservative strategist Chris Barron advised Fox Information that DeSantis ought to embrace assaults from the left. 

“The mainstream media assaults DeSantis for a similar causes they attacked Trump — he’s a conservative who’s prepared to combat and that terrifies them,” Barron stated.

The AP’s story headlined, “DeSantis prime donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes,” appeared to indicate he was selling Regeneron’s COVID antibody remedy as a result of a Chicago-based hedge fund that donated to a pro-DeSantis political committee additionally owns shares of the corporate. 

The AP acknowledged within the story that it is “commonplace for hedge funds to have a variety of investments” and admitted that medical consultants agree with DeSantis on the effectiveness of Regeneron, however printed the story with the damaging framework anyway. The article was blasted as “low-cost political innuendo” by his workplace, and conservatives and even some liberals stated the story did not maintain water.

“Yeah, we have been fairly large critics of DeSantis on the Solar Sentinel Editorial Board, however this ‘DeSantis is hawking monoclonal antibodies to make a buck for a donor’ story would not actually add up,” tweeted the Solar Sentinel’s Dan Sweeney. 


Pushaw stated she was notably upset with the piece since she stated the remedy DeSantis is touting may save lives.

“It ought to by no means be politicized, this type of stuff, I imply, that is about public well being. And so it’s extremely disappointing,” she stated.

DeSantis persistently got here underneath fireplace final 12 months for keeping the state’s economy open and shaking off requires prolonged lockdowns. Nonetheless, the Sunshine State’s economic system flourished and the Republican governor has seen his star rise as a possible 2024 contender, particularly if former President Donald Trump decides to not run once more. Nonetheless, he is additionally dealing with political challenges after a current surge in coronavirus {cases} within the state and native college districts defying his ban on masks mandates for college students.

Journalist Drew Holden famous that DeSantis’ “rise in quite a few straw polls has coincided with a ton of media criticism from liberal organizations. 

“It’s clear that they acknowledge that Governor DeSantis is the way forward for the Republican Social gathering, and so they’re laying the muse for his or her speaking factors for when everybody else catches as much as that truth, too,” Holden stated. 

Final 12 months CNN printed a bit, “Placing ‘politics in entrance of lives’: DeSantis faces criticism over Florida’s Covid-19 response,” that ran whereas the community was nonetheless defending Chris Cuomo’s brother and now-outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., at every turn

“Florida was then — and stays right now — beneath the nationwide per capita {cases} of COVID deaths,” Holden stated. 


DeSantis then got here underneath fireplace for Florida’s dealing with of the Tremendous Bowl in Tampa Bay, a feared “super-spreader” occasion that didn’t come to fruition. DeSantis was even criticized by NBC Information for giving senior citizens, reminiscent of Holocaust survivors and veterans, a precedence on COVID vaccines just because they is perhaps Republican voters. 

In February, NBC Information printed a controversial story, “Florida governor accused of enjoying politics with Covid vaccine,” which rapidly got here underneath fireplace. NBC Information senior author Corky Siemaszko wrote DeSantis’ coronavirus vaccine distribution plan had been “marked by chaos” and “critics say he’s been fast to acknowledge the political gold in these valuable doses” as a result of the governor “ignored federal tips and prioritized getting senior residents” vaccinated first. 

“You’ll be able to inform that the 2024 election season is in full swing when the main media attempt to nuke prime GOP candidates. It is nearly a badge of honor when the press piles up hit job after hit job in opposition to you,” Media Analysis vice chairman Dan Gainor advised Fox Information.

“I spent sufficient years in journalism to nonetheless recall when the Related Press meant a stage of professionalism,” Gainor added. “That is now not true. That is the sort of journalism they’re related with. They need to be embarrassed.”

NBC was hardly the one outlet that might be accused of a ham-fisted effort to harm DeSantis politically.  

Weeks later, DeSantis blasted “company media operatives” at CBS Information’ “60 Minutes” over its widely criticized report on Florida’s coronavirus vaccine rollout and referred to as on the present to confess its pay-to-play narrative involving him and Publix was false.


CBS’s newsmagazine alleged DeSantis gave the grocery retailer chain profitable rights to vaccine distribution in response to a $100,000 donation to his PAC. Nonetheless, Publix and DeSantis vigorously disputed the piece’s narrative, and critics famous Publix was a pure match for vaccine partnership given its greater than 800 areas within the state.

“That is a faux narrative,” DeSantis advised CBS Information. “I met with the county mayor, I met with the administrator, I met with all the parents at Palm Seashore County and I stated, ‘Here is a number of the choices: We are able to do extra drive-thru websites, we can provide extra to hospitals, we will do the Publix.’ They usually stated, ‘We expect that might be the simplest factor for our residents.’”

Even Florida Democrats rushed to his protection after the piece aired, with Palm Seashore County Mayor Dave Kerner and State Emergency Administration Director Jared Moskowitz talking out in opposition to the story. Conservative pundits, Floridians and journalism professors alike rapidly joined Democratic state officers calling for CBS Information to retract or right the story, however “60 Minutes” as a substitute doubled down and oddly enlisted an nameless retired newsman to applaud the story. 


The Drudge Report, a former conservative media aggregator that has taken a pointy left flip, has gone after DeSantis, utilizing each the “60 Minutes” piece and a extensively panned Yahoo News story from March as its banner.

The Yahoo story, written by a reporter who once compared Ted Cruz supporters to Nazis, recommended Florida was dramatically undercounting its coronavirus demise toll. The story stemmed from a analysis examine exhibiting that Florida’s “extra deaths” in 2020 did not line up with its reported coronavirus fatalities, however a number of consultants quoted within the story, together with one from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), stated Florida’s numbers weren’t alarming.

Yale epidemiologist Daniel Weinberger stated his evaluation indicated the Florida “hole” between COVID-19 and extra deaths was about common, based on the story.

Moosa Tatar, the lead writer of the examine main the Yahoo piece, advised Fox Information on the time “many of those [excess] deaths are possible due to COVID-19, however we’d like additional analysis to find out particular causes for this.”

CNN, CBS, NPR and different media shops additionally celebrated Rebekah Jones, a former Florida knowledge scientist who was fired for insubordination and arrested on fees she hacked into the state’s well being division pc system. She repeatedly alleged, with out proof, that DeSantis ordered her to govern COVID-19 knowledge to assist in his plans to completely open the state. Her claims made her a hero of the liberal media till her star started to fade. 

The previous media darling surrendered to the Leon County detention facility in January after legislation enforcement officers issued a warrant for her arrest. Jones was charged with one rely of offenses in opposition to customers of computer systems, pc techniques, pc networks, and digital units, the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement (FDLE) said. She additionally has an arrest document for cyber-stalking, prison mischief, and trespassing.

DeSantis was even criticized for occurring tv through the aftermath of the tragic condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, although he was solely on TV to debate the horrific state of affairs. 

“That is partisan company media and I believe at this level these individuals… they’re mainly ambulance chasers with a microphone,” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends” in April. “They don’t seem to be reliable. They lie. We all know they’re mendacity, they know that we all know that they’re mendacity, and but they lie and so they lie and so they lie.”


Fox Information’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

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