Despite all the bleating in the press and the claims of opposition, Ron DeSantis is surging.
What was supposed to be a resounding defeat of a policy from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become an entirely different result. The demonizing of a bill, the slandering of the state, and the attacks on the governor’s character have not had the impact the members of the press anticipated. Not only has no leadership been impacted, but we can now see it as a political victory statistically, and the Democrats and the press are further behind as a result of their own actions.
As a Florida resident and someone who professionally follows the press, it has been amazing over the past few years to behold the dichotomy of media coverage of the Governor and the state of Florida, and then to look at the actual facts on various issues. It has not only been a regular feature that a so-called damaging story on the Governor gets proven incorrect, but as these media efforts grow more desperate, he becomes more bulletproof.
The biggest item from the past couple of months has been the Parental Rights in Education Bill, and the concerted, media effort should be looked at as possibly the most embarrassing effort yet undertaken. Once this legislation was wrongfully dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill,’ the press collectively joined forces to completely mischaracterize the language and intent. It was blatant coordination taking place, as both local and national news outlets and reporters all used this wildly inaccurate label in tandem.
And it has failed, spectacularly. All this narrative collusion failed to halt the bill’s passage and did nothing to dissuade DeSantis from signing it into law this week. But now we also see the months of effort opposing the bill and DeSantis has resulted in a windfall – for the Republicans in Florida.
For years, the state party has been pushing voter registration efforts, and it has been paying off. Last November, the edge tilted to the GOP. and in his speech at the recent CPAC convention, DeSantis made mention of the surge in GOP registered voters. Now, this week came the announcement that for the first time – in state history – the Republicans boast more than 100,000 more voters than the Democrats.
This reality becomes starker when you analyze things further. Over the past years, Florida has seen an influx of arrivals, with daily averages currently showing between 900 and 1,000 people relocating to the Sunshine State. Yet, this is not just the GOP gaining voters, as we also see that since 2020 the Democrats are losing voters; from that year to now Democrats have dropped nearly 300,000 registered voters. The anti-DeSantis narratives have been a success story for both the Governor and his party.
Even in this defeat, the press has continued in its effort to squelch this law in any way possible. As CNN reported on DeSantis signing the law, you got the impression that the entire country opposed this renegade governor. In their coverage, writers Devan Cole and Tina Burnside dutifully detail how this law was opposed by LGBTQ+ advocates, Florida Democrats, President Biden, The Disney Corporation, The Trevor Project, Equality Florida, and the many students who have staged walkouts. It certainly looks as if nobody approved of it!
Except, of course, for the voters. National polls and statewide surveys have shown that people back the legislation. In a shock to many in the press, even Democrat voters favor the law. And even in another, conducted by Democrats in the deeply blue (but fading) Miami/Dade County, DeSantis is heavily favored for reelection.
Time Magazine was equally myopic in its approach to the law being passed. The outlet, on cue, had to report diligently on all of the voices of opposition, as if those were the prevailing opinion, but then resorted to reactionary reporting. One of the complaints they presented was that the law would open the doors for parents to go to the courts if they perceived a problem arising. As a result, Time told the story of two parents of school-aged children who are taking the government to court over the law.
(…and here come the migraine)
As Time puts it, one of the concerns of the new law is that it could lead to parents suing the government.
So in reaction they report…that parents are now suing the government over the law. https://t.co/o1m9iVE9ui pic.twitter.com/X15N6VnjPI
— Brad Slager 🍸🥃🍺🎙 – Most Certainly A Biologist! (@MartiniShark) March 31, 2022
This is the level of imbalanced coverage we have seen on a regular basis from the press. Avoid the facts, go with ad hoc attacks, insist that DeSantis is running amok, and declare that Florida is turning into a social hellscape – all while new residents flood in, as they approve of the actions being taken. The Florida GOP could not have come up with a better promotional campaign.
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