The Associated Press crafted an entire article around a mayor’s attacks against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) over his alleged inaction against the Omicron variant — without mentioning the article’s subject is married to a woman who considered running against DeSantis for governor earlier this year.
“The mayor of one of Florida’s largest counties on Tuesday blasted Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying he has been missing in action during the latest wave of COVID-19, as some counties brought back mask mandates,” begins the story from the AP, one of the world’s largest and most influential news organizations.
“Our residents, all Florida residents, should be outraged and they should ask the question, ‘Where is our state? Where is our governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now?’ When is the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing on COVID-19?” the article quotes Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Only in the sixth paragraph does the Associated Press identify Mayor Demings as a Democrat. At no point in the article does the AP note that Mayor Demings’ wife, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), had been heavily invested in toppling DeSantis.
Rep. Demings openly mulled the possibility of driving DeSantis, who is widely considered a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, out of the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee. “Many have asked me to run for governor,” she told a Florida TV station in May. “Many have asked me to run for the Senate. I’m still in the process of making the decision.”
“Fun fact: AP stands for American Pravda,” tweeted Governor DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw. She retweeted a message from Jim Stinson, a transportation industry reporter, who observed the AP’s Omicron omission. “AP bases article about FL Gov. Ron DeSantis being missing in action on omicron spread on remarks from Jerry Demings, the husband of Congresswoman Val Demings (D), who is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022. (Doesn’t disclose this.),” he wrote. “AP has fallen far.”
Fun fact: AP stands for American Pravda. https://t.co/ASQKks6aSi
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) December 29, 2021
Ultimately, Rep. Demings opted to run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Senator Marco Rubio (R).
The Rubio campaign declined to comment on this story.
The AP story also bolsters the severity of the Omicron variant by noting the number of cases statewide — a metric even the governor’s most die-hard critics have come to dismiss. “As we recognize that covid-19 is not a deadly or even severe disease for the vast majority of responsible Americans, we can stop agonizing over ‘cases’ and focus on those who are hospitalized or at risk of dying,” wrote Jennifer Rubin, a columnist for The Washington Post. Rubin previously called DeSantis the leader of “a sort of death cult that elevates ‘owning the libs’ over the prevention of needless death.”
Florida’s infection rate per 100,000 people remains lower than states that imposed — or continue to impose — stringent lockdowns, such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
In November, Governor DeSantis signed legislation barring employers, government entities, and educational institutions from imposing vaccine mandates. The governor signed the bill, which also bans school mask mandates and lets parents sue offending schools, in the city of Brandon — an apparent rebuke to President Joe Biden.
The AP’s editorial leadership has indicated earlier this week that the wire service will take a hard line against Republicans who question whether the 2020 election featured any electoral improprieties. Julie Pace, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, did not dismiss requests from CNN’s Brian Stelter to “call out GOP extremism” as part of its traditional news stories. “You’re going to see us really focus on” the “January 6th insurrection” — not only in “the event itself, but I think what it also symbolized about threats to democracy and what is happening in the United States,” said Pace on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources.”
“Can you be full-throated about the reality? Can you call out GOP extremism for what it is?” requested Stelter.
“I think we have been extremely clear,” Pace replied.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.