Analysis: Media Attacks on Ron DeSantis Over Vaccines and Regeneron Are About One Thing Only

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

When one looks back over the last year and a half of the mainstream media’s relentless attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his handling of the coronavirus crisis in his state, it’s hard to pinpoint what was the worst part about them.

Was it in how blatantly obvious they were in what they were trying to do? Was it how thinly sourced the attacks turned out to be? Was it how pathetically desperate the Miami Herald and CNN both came off in repeatedly using thoroughly discredited former Florida DOH IT employee Rebekah Jones to bolster their already flimsy cases against DeSantis? Or was it in how they used their supposed “evidence” in trying to convince Floridians that DeSantis was more concerned with being “Trump II” and appealing to the Republican base than he was the health of his state’s residents, especially in minority communities?

While opinions vary on what part of the attacks were the worst, what I think is inarguable is that all of them have, to date, failed. Whether it was the bizarre 60 Minutes/Florida media attacks earlier this year on how DeSantis prioritized senior citizens – among the most vulnerable during the pandemic – early on after the coronavirus vaccine became available, the “blockbuster” stories about how DeSantis was allegedly having Florida’s coronavirus case and death numbers massaged in a way that made his plans for reopening the state last year stronger – and was willing to fire a supposedly valuable team member like fraudster Rebekah Jones in order to make it happen, or the most recent failed attack on DeSantis touting the Regeneron COVID antibody treatment.

What I also think is not disputable at this point – although no doubt many will – is that the hit pieces regarding his alleged mismanagement of the outbreak were never really about the media’s supposed concern over the public health or corruption, as they wanted people to think. Rather, what these attacks have been about are weakening DeSantis’ chances at reelection in the 2022 gubernatorial race and, should he decide to run, his chances at winning the nomination and beating President Biden (or Harris) in 2024.

As evidence, I present to you a portion of a thread from a former AP reporter who had a meltdown on the Twitter machine over how DeSantis and his administration handled the AP’s flawed piece on his supposed deep ties to Regeneron. Here was her thread endorsing an attack from another reporter on DeSantis over the controversy. Note how at one point she says this is not up for discussion and that voters need to seriously consider whether to reelect him next year, and should also think twice before supporting him in 2024 should he run:

It’s always fascinating – and rewarding, in a strange way – when reporters, whether still in the business or not, inadvertently prove your points, isn’t it?

Related: Editor Accidentally Confirms Big Problem With ‘Journalists’ After Ron DeSantis Story Backfires