Two Florida Newspapers Embarrass Themselves and Display How Scared They Are of Ron DeSantis

AP Photo/Phil Sears, File

It is no shocker that in South Florida, a distinctly Indigo-hued segment of a red state, the local press leans left. As an example, after winning a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the graft and incompetence in the Broward Sheriff’s office following the Parkland shooting, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel backed the embattled Scott Israel in his bid to retain his office, because the last thing they would do is support a Republican candidate running for the position. Well, that same paper just turned hysterical regarding Governor Ron DeSantis.

In a piece titled “The Strongman In The Suit Is FL Gov. Ron DeSantis,” with the byline of the Editorial Board, the paper delivers what it believes to be a stinging list of indictments against the Governor. It opens by describing the DeSantis leadership as a “rampage”, and declaring this is all improper based on the fact that he had a narrow victory in his gubernatorial election. How this means he has no right to lead the state is a political enigma. The “Stop governing, you didn’t win by enough!” argument is a fittingly infantile position to take in this embarrassingly inept op-ed.

The paper goes on to list a number of decisions by DeSantis that are supposed to show how tyrannical he is in Tallahassee. You get the sense of all the imbalanced commentary in this passage:

He runs Florida as if he were appointed governor for life and his 21 million-plus subjects are all like-minded supporters of Donald Trump who want to live under an authoritarian regime.”

The man who has been beaten up for months because he has opened up the state and lets the citizens go free, instead of shutting them down, is today called authoritarian.

Their first complaint is:

“He suspended all city and county COVID-19 regulations on Monday until July 1, when they will be wiped away by a new state law he has signed.”

You know how those tyrants can get, taking down government restrictions. Also, that July date basically matches Joe Biden’s target to have the country open, but that darned Desantis is…wrong for doing…the same thing.

Next, we get this melodrama:

By the stroke of a pen, DeSantis decided how and where you can protest, with his recent signing of House Bill 1, miscast as the ‘anti-riot’ bill.”

Impressive how within a lone sentence the paper illustrates it cannot differentiate between protests and riots. As for the “where you can protest” complaint, the bill states motorists cannot be unfairly charged for incidents with protestors who occupy roadways, an action that should bear accountability by the protestors, is patently illegal, and defies the term protest. The Sun-Sentinel opposes DeSantis telling them they cannot protest in the streets and highways of the state like he is a tinpot ruler.

Then we have our Stacey-Abrams-moment brewing.

By signing an unnecessary overhaul of state election laws (SB 90), which he’s expected to do Thursday in Palm Beach County, DeSantis will decide where and how you vote.”

Note the dodge taking place here. Not only is he a tyrant for something he has yet to do, but this is a bill that was written not by DeSantis, but by the representative legislature. The Sun-Sentinel does not like this law, so it was no longer deriving from the duly elected legislature but becomes an authoritarian document scribed by their villain in the Capital.

Then the paper displays all abandonment of journalistic skills. One of the state representatives in D.C. recently passed away, longtime Florida fixture Alcee Hastings. DeSantis just announced the date for his runoff election to fill his seat for November, what the paper describes as “another DeSantis decree.” Their complaint is he is doing this as a way to ensure the people are not represented in Washington, and tightening the already slim majority in the House. Except this was not a venal move by DeSantis — he was following the advice of Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Joe Scott. Scott, it needs to be noted for the benefit of the Sun-Sentinel, is a Democrat.

The paper goes on to complain about other bills which, again, it needs to be pointed out, were crafted in the legislature, thereby eradicating the hysterical charge of tyrannical activity. This nonsensical screed takes on an even more comical tone when you see the original headline. After receiving its share of ridicule, the brave puffery in the text is undermined by the fact that the paper backed away from the first release, calling DeSantis a “Dictator“.

In light of this wildly embarrassing piece of journalistic conjecture, the only saving grace for the Sun-Sentinel is that they were not the only ridiculous press response to the governor this day. At The Miami Herald they also must have received the marching orders email from the state Democrat party to hit DeSantis. In this piece, they describe DeSantis as an “autocrat,” and they too list many of the same political gripes – in such a fashion that you could almost accuse the paper of plagiarism. But that is not the main reason to toss this op-ed into your DELETE bin.

The piece was written by Nikki Fried, the state Agriculture Commissioner. Fried is poised to be the choice of the Democrats to run against DeSantis in the upcoming gubernatorial election. It was nice of the Herald to provide her with this in-kind donation. Corrupt of them to do so, to be sure, but also nice on their part.