It has gotten to the point that seeing the DeSantis name in a headline leads to ‘What did they get wrong THIS time?!’
It is not surprising in the least that the press keeps hurling hit jobs at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, like so much undercooked spaghetti at a wall, hoping something will stick. What is amazing is that given the track record of so many failed hits on the man this year that, at some point, you would expect them to have due diligence applied and actually get a story right.
Instead, this week delivered more of the same impotent hits on the Republican governor — both nationally and locally. One of the odder attacks on him has been the video snippet of him recently encouraging residents of the state to go get vaccinated. There has been a new bloom of cases in Florida, and that has in fact led to new spikes in the numbers of new vaccinations. The press took the position that DeSantis had shifted his stance on vaccines, “he was not in favor of vaccines,” they claimed.
Most of the prior attempts on slamming DeSantis have centered on his vaccine efforts. Recall “60 Minutes” making the attempt at hitting him over his deal to have Publix grocery dispensing the vaccine? The CBS News show did a faceplant, as they demonized his effort to make the FREE vaccine widely available, and quickly. He also came under fire for supposedly favoring GOP voters with the vaccine, when it was in fact revealed the state came into extra doses and he was funneling them into communities with concentrations of elderly residents. He also was scorched for bucking the CDC and instead moving the elderly to the front of the line for vaccines…the man whom they allege is anti-vax, today.
That leads into Politico making a daft claim this week, saying that the DeSantis position on vaccines led to, Anti-vax conservatives come for DeSantis, with them describing him as a “Sellout.” Right out of the gate, you see the problem. How is the man who has been pushing the vaccine since it became available suddenly controversial in the minds of anti-vaxxers? If so, they would have been angry with him back in February, when he began encouraging residents. Now, about those complaints.
He is facing a backlash from the anti-vaccination wing of his political base. It’s the same group that praised him and helped thrust him onto the national stage for his hands-off approach to the virus.
Note the use of “group” here. Politico cites Michael Flynn’s comment on a podcast about not letting political correctness rule your vaccine decisions. Then, the publication notes a conservative radio host, Stew Peters, was the one to call DeSantis a “sellout” over his recent encouragement. And…that was it. Two conservative voices, and not highly prominent ones, are what they came up with to back up the blaring headline. But technically, we can say they were correct… to use the plural.
Meanwhile, in South Florida, local paper the Sun-Sentinel responded to a press conference DeSantis gave where he was addressing the use of masks in schools, set to reopen in the coming weeks. He announced that he will be issuing a ban on compulsory mask-wearing in the districts, but the detail is this does not prevent kids from having the choice to wear a mask if they and/or their parents choose to do so.
Forcing kids to wear masks is bad policy. Parents are best equipped to decide whether they want their kids to wear a mask in school. Neither bureaucrats in Washington nor local authorities should be able to override the decision of the parents. pic.twitter.com/1TyFByAaWf
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 28, 2021
The local paper sold this in another fashion, and DeSantis’ press secretary Christine Pushaw called them out on the matter.
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) July 30, 2021
That tag at the bottom says it all. The paper took down this initial posting and sent out a revised version. This is, at least, a bit more accurate, even though it is still framed in a particular fashion.
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) July 30, 2021
That it required them to be called out for being misleading, in order to get a more correct version of the report out there, explains both the problems seen in the press and the tendency of so many outlets to approach stories from a single perspective. And when it comes to Ron DeSantis, the press is eager to claim he is incorrect, with far less energy being applied to getting the story correct.