The New York Times Seethes Over Reports of Ron DeSantis Texting Tom Brady

AP Photo/Gary McCullough

We’re two weeks away from Election Day, but instead of fully focusing on actual newsworthy events and things that matter to the average voter before they go to cast their votes, the New York Times decided to pounce and seize on recent comments made by Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels regarding a visit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made to his state in September.


According to the “report,” Michels met with a conservative group last Thursday (which the Times obtained audio of) and during the speech he gave, he mentioned how he took DeSantis to a Green Bay Packers game during his trip. At one point, DeSantis was writing a text message and allegedly asked Michels how to spell “Lambeau.” Not long after that, Michels says he learned that DeSantis was texting with Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady:

Mr. DeSantis, who on the day of the Packers game had appeared at a rally for Mr. Michels and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, “had never been to Lambeau Field before and he wanted to go,” Mr. Michels said. “We’re sitting there, you know, we’re watching the game and all of a sudden, I look over and he’s texting and he says, ‘How do you spell Lambeau?’”

Mr. Michels continued: “I say, ‘Who are you texting with?’ He says, ‘I’m texting with Tom Brady.’ The governor of Florida gets to text with Tom Brady.”

No harm, no foul, right? I mean politicians of all political stripes text or converse over the phone with prominent public figures from time to time, so in an ideal world, this would not remotely be considered worthy of a write-up in a major American newspaper.

But for the Times, the supposed communication between Brady and DeSantis represented a concerning moment, especially considering Brady’s previously stated support of Donald Trump during his successful 2016 presidential run.


After noting that Michels quipped to the crowd at his event that he hoped one day as governor he’d be texting with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Times alerted readers that they could not nail down exactly what was discussed between DeSantis and Brady:

What Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Brady were discussing by text, beyond the governor’s location at that moment, remains a mystery. Representatives for Mr. Brady did not respond to requests for comment. A DeSantis spokeswoman declined to comment.

Later, the paper took a cheap shot at DeSantis, insinuating that they were shocked that a man of DeSantis’ education would need help spelling the name of “the most storied stadium in the National Football League — and a hallowed place for many voters in a critical presidential battleground state”:

Then there’s the idea that Mr. DeSantis, a Harvard- and Yale-educated former college athlete who has privately teased a 2024 presidential run, needed help spelling the name of the most storied stadium in the National Football League — and a hallowed place for many voters in a critical presidential battleground state. At least Mr. DeSantis didn’t need help pronouncing Lambeau, a name that has tripped up past presidential aspirants.


Reid Epstein, the reporter who wrote the Times piece, also threw a few jabs at Michels, notably over his seeming political courtship of Rodgers, who Epstein described without evidence as “a source of misinformation about the [coronavirus] vaccines,” as well as Michels allegedly wearing the wrong green to a Packers game:

Mr. Michels, who is locked in a tight battle with Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, was with Mr. Johnson outside Lambeau Field, though he was conspicuous in his lack of Packers gear. A local Democrat pointed out that Mr. Michels, a Wisconsin native who spent more than a decade living in Connecticut and Manhattan before moving back home to run for governor, was wearing a green vest that was the shade worn by the visiting Jets, not the hometown Packers.

Perhaps Epstein’s snarkiness was inspired in part by the fact that he wasn’t allowed in to cover the Michels event where the remarks about DeSantis and Brady texting were supposedly made:


I don’t know much about Michels, but props to him on that decision at least. Probably thought the Times wouldn’t give the gathering fair coverage (it didn’t) and would focus on irrelevant things (it did), which considering what was written in the aftermath was actually pretty prescient, definitely a point in Michels’ favor.

For the latest polling on the Michels/Gov. Tony Evers gubernatorial race, click here. It’s very close.

Related: CBS News Goes for Broke Against Ron Johnson as Mandela Barnes’ Campaign Falters


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