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Ten media narratives waged in opposition to Ron DeSantis from ‘Do not Say Homosexual’ to pudding

The political temperature continues to rise as Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis inches nearer in the direction of a widely-expected presidential run. 

Whereas DeSantis has been bombarded with assaults in latest days from former President Trump even earlier than he formally enters the 2024 race, DeSantis has already been clashing with a formidable foe: the press. 

The animosity the legacy media had in the direction of Trump throughout his presidency reached historic heights, however as quickly as DeSantis started producing White Home buzz, a number of shops have already declared that having him within the Oval Workplace can be “worse” than Trump

Over the previous few years, the media waged epic battles in opposition to the favored governor, a lot of them involving peddling falsehoods. Listed below are the ten most memorable clashes:

The fawning over Rebekah Jones 

Rebekah Jones turned a media darling within the early months of the coronavirus pandemic over her explosive declare that she was pressured by the DeSantis administration to change the state’s knowledge as a way to push for reopenings.

The claims made by Jones, who was ousted from her place as a Florida well being official, was taken at face worth by the media, particularly CNN.

From Could 2020 to December 2020, Jones made not less than 9 separate on-air appearances on applications like “New Day” and “Out Entrance with Erin Burnett” and obtained protection on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” However no CNN program booked Jones greater than “Cuomo Prime Time.”

Rebekah Jones was a regular guest on CNN’s since-canceled "Cuomo Prime Time."

Rebekah Jones was a daily visitor on CNN’s since-canceled “Cuomo Prime Time.” (CNN Screenshot)

Earlier than his personal firing in late 2021, Chris Cuomo landed CNN’s first “unique” interview with Jones, who he spoke with on not less than 5 separate events, most not too long ago in December 2020 when the community pushed the narrative that she was the sufferer of a police “raid” in retaliation of the DeSantis administration when in actuality she’s been accused of accessing and stealing authorities knowledge. 

Nonetheless, reporting from Nationwide Overview’s Charles C. W. Cooke in Could 2021 dismantled Jones’ conspiracy principle

Even after her declare was debunked, The Miami Herald editorial board hailed Jones for receiving “whistleblower” standing from the IG’s workplace investigating the case. A 12 months later, the IG report decided that knowledge manipulation didn’t happen. Jones later ran for Congress in Florida’s first district and was crushed by GOP incumbent Rep. Matt Gaetz. 

‘60 Minutes’ ranges unsubstantiated pay-for-play scheme

CBS Information’ “60 Minutes” ran a shocking report alleging that DeSantis took half in a pay-for-play scheme involving giving native grocery retailer chain preferable therapy to supply the COVID vaccine based mostly on its donations to his PAC.

“60 Minutes” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi painted DeSantis as a villain who prioritized senior residents over academics throughout the report that was peppered with jabs on the Republican governor. 


At a press convention, Alfonsi confronted DeSantis a few $100,000 contribution to his marketing campaign from Publix. Nonetheless, critics accused CBS Information of deceptively enhancing their alternate, leaving out the governor’s rationalization that CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens already had the vaccine as a part of the state’s efforts to vaccinate long-term care residents and that Publix was the “first one to boost their hand” when in search of which retailers had been able to distribute the vaccine. 

Publix referred to as the notion that it obtained particular entry “completely false and offensive.”

Following intense backlash, “60 Minutes” tried to defend its report by studying viewer mail on air echoing reward whereas additionally acknowledging criticism. 

Miami Herald alleges historic Florida COVID spike in August 2021

In late August 2021, because the worst of the pandemic was behind the U.S., The Miami Herald instructed in any other case working the jarring headline, “Florida COVID replace: 901 added deaths, largest single-day enhance in pandemic historical past.”

Whereas the headline signifies that the 901 COVID deaths mark the state’s “largest single-day enhance” in CDC knowledge, the truth is that these 901 deaths didn’t happen in a single day. 

“Florida on Thursday reported 21,765 extra COVID-19 circumstances and 901 deaths to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, in keeping with Miami Herald calculations of CDC knowledge,” the report started. “All however two of the newly reported deaths occurred after July 25, with about 78% of these folks dying previously two weeks, in keeping with Herald calculations of information revealed by the CDC. Nearly all of deaths occurred throughout Florida’s newest surge in COVID-19 circumstances, fueled by the delta variant.”

The Miami Herald falsely suggested in a headline that Florida suffered its highest number of COVID deaths in a single day in August 2021.

The Miami Herald falsely instructed in a headline that Florida suffered its highest variety of COVID deaths in a single day in August 2021. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

However that did not cease the Herald’s headline from being extensively shared amongst DeSantis’ critics, together with a military of MSNBC stars and staffers. 

“My god,” primetime host Chris Hayes reacted. 

“Pardon me, however holy s—,” MSNBC producer Adam Weinstein equally tweeted.

Liberal MSNBC contributor Fernand Amandi hyped the “BREAKING” information, tweeting “Now we have had extra deaths in Florida from COVID-19 within the first 26 days of August than the US has had amongst uniformed navy service members in Afghanistan since October 2001.”

Amongst others who circulated the Herald report embrace CNN contributor Frida Ghitis, Florida Politics writer Peter Schorsch, and Rick Wilson of the disgraced Lincoln Mission. 

When requested if the paper stood by its headline, Miami Herald govt editor Monica Richardson instructed Fox Information Digital, “Our story was correct.”

Scaremongering about DeSantis’ ‘authoritarian’ civilian navy pressure

In December 2021, DeSantis confronted an avalanche of unfavourable headlines for a proposal for a civiliannavy pressure in his state. 

DeSantis launched a plan to re-establish what’s referred to as the Florida State Guard that may rapidly support the response to hurricanes and different emergencies. A number of different states throughout the nation together with New York and California have comparable civilian forces. 

Nonetheless, regardless of how frequent it’s for states to create their very own civilian navy pressure, information shops instructed DeSantis is tapping into authoritarian impulses. 

CNN ran the headline “DeSantis proposes new civilian navy pressure,” one thing the liberal outlet burdened, “he would management.”

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis needs to reestablish a World Struggle II-era civilian navy pressure that he, not the Pentagon, would management,” the CNN article started. “However in a nod to the rising stress between Republican states and the Biden administration over the Nationwide Guard, DeSantis additionally mentioned this unit, referred to as the Florida State Guard, can be ‘not encumbered by the federal authorities.’ He mentioned this pressure would give him ‘the pliability and the power wanted to answer occasions in our state in the simplest manner doable.’”

It wasn’t till the fourth paragraph that CNN acknowledged that Florida can be the twenty third state to determine such a pressure. 

CNN’s story rapidly went viral and was shared by MSNBC’s Pleasure Reid, who tweeted “So… y’all know that is fascisty bananas, proper…?” Her colleague Amandi equally wrote “What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do.” 

MSNBC's Joy Reid overreacted to DeSantis' civilian military force, calling it "fascisty bananas" despite nearly half of states including New York and California having them.

MSNBC’s Pleasure Reid overreacted to DeSantis’ civilian navy pressure, calling it “fascisty bananas” regardless of almost half of states together with New York and California having them. (MSNBC)

Different shops ran tales much like CNN like Axios’ “DeSantis proposes Florida civilian navy pressure that he’d management,” The Hill’s “DeSantis proposes civilian Florida State Guard navy pressure he would management” and The Guardian’s “Ron DeSantis plans Florida paramilitary pressure exterior federal management.” 

MSNBC’s “The ReidOut Weblog” went even additional attacking the GOP governor with a chunk titled, “DeSantis needs Florida to determine its personal navy pressure. He cannot be trusted.”

‘Don’t Say Homosexual’

Final 12 months, GOP-backed laws in Florida garnered nationwide consideration for being derided by progressives as being anti-LGBTQ with accusations that the invoice forbids any dialogue pertaining to being homosexual in faculties. 

The invoice, formally named Parental Rights in Training, states partly, “Classroom instruction by faculty personnel or third events on sexual orientation or gender identification might not happen in kindergarten via grade 3 or in a way that isn’t age-appropriate or developmentally acceptable for college kids in accordance with state requirements.”

Left-wing critics derided the laws because the “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice though such language is absent from the invoice itself. 

However media shops broadly embraced the liberal speaking level.

The Related Press ran the headline “‘Don’t Say Homosexual’ invoice passes in Florida, goes to governor” with AP reporter Zeke Miller tweeting, “The Florida legislature has handed the ‘Don’t Say Homosexual’ invoice, which Gov. Ron DeSantis is anticipated to signal into regulation.” 

The Associate Press ran a headline calling the DeSantis-backed legislation the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The Affiliate Press ran a headline calling the DeSantis-backed laws the “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice. (AP Newsroom)

The three broadcast networks had been in sync with the framing of their tales with ABC Information working, “‘Do not Say Homosexual’ invoice passes Florida Senate,” CBS Information working, “Florida Senate passes controversial ‘Do not Say Homosexual’ invoice regardless of protests” and NBC Information working “‘Don’t Say Homosexual’ invoice: Florida Senate passes controversial LGBTQ faculty measure.”

Two of Florida’s largest papers The Miami Herald and The Orlando Sentinel, printed “Scholar voices are loud, however Florida Republicans are clear. ‘Don’t say homosexual’ invoice passes” and “Florida lawmakers approve ‘Don’t Say Homosexual’ invoice, DeSantis anticipated to signal it” respectively. 

DeSantis ‘requiring’ college students and professors to register political beliefs

In July 2022, the uber-left web site went viral for a year-old article that had already been debunked.

Salon beforehand revealed a narrative in June 2021 with the headline, “DeSantis indicators invoice requiring Florida college students, professors to register political beliefs with state.”

On the time, PolitiFact declared the declare as “false,” explaining that the HB 233 regulation that was handed would require public faculties and universities to conduct a survey exploring the “mental freedom and viewpoint range” on their campuses and that particular person participation is voluntary. The survey, which hadn’t been drafted but, would ask whether or not people “really feel they’ll specific their political viewpoints and opinions of their school school rooms.’”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been bombarded with false narratives against him by the media.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been bombarded with false narratives in opposition to him by the media. (Scott Olson/Getty Pictures)

Nonetheless, the Salon article resurfaced on Twitter as if the regulation had simply handed. The Lincoln Mission and its co-founder Rick Wilson promoted the false article together with MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill, former Obama marketing campaign staffer Jon Cooper, OccupyDemocrats govt editor Grant Stern and leftist activist group MeidasTouch. Even journalists like USA Right this moment correspondent Josh Meyer and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch additionally parroted the pretend narrative.

Salon govt editor Andrew O’Hehir admitted the headline “conveyed a deceptive impression of what the Florida regulation truly mentioned, and didn’t dwell as much as our editorial requirements.” 

The headline was modified to “DeSantis indicators invoice requiring survey of Florida college students, professors on their political beliefs.”

A disclaimer was added to the article, telling readers, “The headline for this text has been revised since its authentic publication to extra precisely replicate the language of the invoice in query.” It stopped wanting calling it a correction. 

DeSantis’ white boots ‘steal the present’ after Hurricane Ian

In a second harking back to President Obama’s tan swimsuit that was mocked by the proper, the left seized on the boots DeSantis wore whereas surveying the harm from Hurricane Ian.

Hayes of MSNBC mocked the governor’s “go-go boots,” saying they “stole the present” and hyped the “bonanza” it created on social media. 

The Lincoln Mission tweeted out a picture of him alongside the hight boot-wearing Inexperienced M&M character, asking “Who wore it finest?”

Headlines piled on the governor like Orlando Weekly’s “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will get clowned for white boots photograph op after Hurricane Ian” and Worldwide Enterprise Occasions’ “Ron DeSantis’ White Boots At Hurricane Ian Catastrophe Zone Mocked For ‘Style Felony.'”

Late night time hosts additionally had enjoyable at DeSantis’ expense.

“Governor DeSantis has been touring broken areas to let residents know they’re not forgotten — and one factor that few will ever neglect is the white knee-high boots he was sporting,” Stephen Colbert of “The Late Present” instructed his viewers. “Seems to be rather less ‘governor on the go’ and extra ‘governor of the Go-Gos.”

“You are not allowed to move a ‘Do not Say Homosexual’ invoice then present up in public dressed like Nancy Sinatra,” late-night Jimmy Kimmel quipped. 

Florida’s newspapers endorse Crist in hopes of ousting ‘bully’ governor

Whereas DeSantis went into the 2022 election cycle because the heavy favourite in Florida’s gubernatorial race, probably the most outstanding newspapers within the Sunshine State all endorsed his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, signaling the media is out of step with Florida voters.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Florida is a spot of meanness. It’s a spot the place dissent is muzzled, the place private rights overcome the better good, the place profitable is extra essential than unity — particularly if that victory strikes him nearer to a White Home run. That’s not the Florida we had 4 years in the past. And it’s not a Florida that voters ought to tolerate for the following 4 years. There’s a much better alternative within the Nov. 8 election: Democrat Charlie Crist,” the Miami Herald editorial board wrote in October. 

After itemizing a number of grievances, the Herald admitted “we are able to’t deny that DeSantis is a extremely well-liked governor throughout the state and past,” calling him a “Trump-like determine with out the buffoonery” who can “deftly play each side in opposition to the center.”

The most prominent Florida newspapers all endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in hopes of ousting DeSantis. 

Essentially the most outstanding Florida newspapers all endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in hopes of ousting DeSantis.  (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures)


The Tampa Bay Occasions posed the query “A good man or a bully?” within the headline of its endorsement of Crist, saying DeSantis “doubled-down on the tribalism that plagues an excessive amount of of at this time’s politics.”

The Palm Seashore Publish equally threw their help behind Crist, writing, “Not like the present occupant, Crist used the levers of state authorities to carry folks collectively to handle challenges, to not bluster, consolidate energy and marketing campaign for larger workplace.”

South Florida’s Solar Sentinel supplied its help for Crist again in July forward of the state’s primaries, writing “The very best precedence for Florida Democrats in 2022 should be to finish the political profession of Ron DeSantis, and Charlie Crist can do it.”

DeSantis ended up defeating Crist by a whopping 19-point margin, even flipping deep blue Miami-Dade County within the course of.

‘Erasing’ Black historical past

In January, Florida’s Division of Training (DoE) rejected an Superior Placement (AP) African Research course, which DeSantis alleged had a “political agenda” because it included the Vital Race Idea ideology and included “Black queer research.”

The DoE’s web site states that research of the historical past of African People should embrace “the historical past of African peoples earlier than the political conflicts that led to the event of slavery,” “the enslavement expertise,” “abolition” and “the historical past and contributions of People of the African diaspora to society.” Laws signed into regulation by DeSantis in 2020 requires the instructing of historic occasions together with African American historical past. 

Nonetheless, due to his opposition to the AP course, DeSantis was accused by the media of desirous to “erase” Black historical past. 

The New York Occasions ran a visitor essay titled “Ron DeSantis Desires to Erase Black Historical past. Why?” Teen Vogue said as a matter of reality “Ron DeSantis Is Erasing Black Historical past From Florida Faculties.”

NBC Information’ Andrea Mitchell perpetuated the falsehood throughout an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris asking her, “What does Governor Ron DeSantis not learn about Black historical past and the Black expertise when he says that slavery and the aftermath of slavery shouldn’t be taught to Florida schoolchildren?” 

“The View” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin equally mentioned “You are actually speaking about erasing historical past” throughout an on-air dialogue in regards to the dustup. 

Following backlash from DeSantis’ workplace, each Mitchell and Farah Griffin tried to stroll again their claims. Whereas “The View” host acknowledged her error and apologized on Twitter, Mitchell instructed viewers days later alleging she was merely “imprecise” along with her query whereas failing to appropriate the file. 

Three-fingered pudding

Maybe probably the most weird media narrative pushed in opposition to DeSantis was the way in which he allegedly ate pudding.

The Every day Beast reported in March that in a 2019 airplane experience, the governor “loved a chocolate pudding dessert—by consuming it with three of his fingers, in keeping with two sources accustomed to the incident.”

Triggering comparisons to the 2020 marketing campaign story about Sen. Amy Klobuchar consuming a salad with a comb, the media obtained a sugar excessive.


“This most likely is not the final we’ll hear of the #PuddingIncident,” CNBC host Carl Quintanilla reacted. 


The web site Defector puzzled “Which Three Fingers Did Ron DeSantis Use To Slurp Down Chocolate Pudding Like A Rattling Raccoon?” 

New York Journal even declared the alleged pudding incident “will finish his 2024 bid.”

In a latest interview with Fox Nation’s Piers Morgan, DeSantis laughed off the pudding uproar, saying he would not “keep in mind” doing that. 

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