On Sunday, I wrote up a piece on how good Kari Lake is at dealing with the press, not just because she fights, but because she’s knowledgable and never takes the bait. We can’t forget the godfather of competent lib-owning, though, and it didn’t take long for Gov. Ron DeSantis to give another masterclass.
While Florida is currently recovering from Hurricane Ian, the mainstream press are busily attempting to create a “DeSantis’ Katrina” narrative. Of course, this specific “Katrina” is the kind that leads to blaming a governor and not the president as was done to George W. Bush. How convenient, right?
Regardless, the controversy is centering on Lee County, FL, where an evacuation order came within the last 48 hours before the storm hit. As we’ll get to, there was a very good reason for that, but here’s a taste of the rhetoric coming from the press.
A delayed evacuation, and a massive death toll > https://t.co/SQFXc7yEjl
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 2, 2022
Objectively, 35 deaths from a Category 4 storm is not “massive.” I don’t say that to downplay any loss of life, but I do say that to point out that the press is obviously looking to push a narrative instead of delivering a full accounting of the facts. Enter CNN, which had Nadia Romero interview DeSantis during Jim Acosta’s dumpster of a cable news show.
Romero misleadingly asked, “Do you stand behind Lee County’s decision to not have that mandatory evacuation until the day before the storm?” DeSantis was ready.
DeSantis just wrecked a CNN "reporter" pic.twitter.com/t7Hm8xitsV
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) October 3, 2022
DeSantis: Well, did you, where was your industry stationed when the storm hit? Where you guys in Lee County? No, you were in Tampa. So they were following the weather track and they had to make decisions based on that. But you know, 72 hours, they weren’t even in the cone, 48 hours they were on the periphery, so you gotta make the decisions as best you can.
He keeps going from there, talking about how Lee County had shelters open and ready to go but how some people simply didn’t want to leave their homes given the prior projections, projections that were spread far and wide by outlets like CNN, I might add.
Regardless, the wider context makes this “late evacuation order” narrative even dumber. The storm was supposed to hit Tampa, well north of Lee County, and curve upward into central Florida. Those areas had millions of people that needed to be evacuated. Road space is finite. You can’t just tell an entire state to leave, especially when you are dealing with a peninsula.
When the storm wasn’t projected to hit Lee County, it made no sense to try to evacuate that area because there was nowhere for them to really go. Going north would have made no sense given the cone of uncertainty, and Lee County was already south of the projected landfall.
The CNN reporter tried again to push her misleading narrative, stating “some of their neighboring counties, though, did have mandatory evacuations before Tuesday.”
Well, yes. That’s because those “neighboring counties,” such as Sarasota County, were further north of Lee County and much closer to Tampa, where the storm was projected to go (again, by outlets like CNN). Counties do not exist on top of each other. One county doing something does not naturally dictate another county following suit, otherwise, the entire state would have been evacuated, which is impossible to do.
DeSantis launched off again, dispelling the misinformation with the facts on the ground and suggesting that second-guessing over a hurricane abruptly turning is ridiculous. He’s right, of course. Until that Tuesday, the storm was supposed to hit 100 to 150 miles further north. Weather is unpredictable, and there can be no perfect response outside of blind luck. In the main, Florida did an excellent job evacuating people, and it has done an excellent job since then getting power back and helping people in need.
The media’s obsession with trying to harm DeSantis only makes him look more sane and competent, and perhaps one day, reporters will learn that they aren’t going to catch him off guard. He knows his stuff, and he’s always ready. That’s precisely why they fear him so much.