Two CNN reporters faced backlash online Wednesday afternoon for shots they took at Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis as he manages his state’s response to Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the state.
Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon after more than 2 million Floridians were given evacuation orders. With 150 mph winds, Hurricane Ian is tied for the 4th strongest hurricane that Florida has ever faced.
Two CNN reporters used the storm as an opportunity to attack DeSantis, who is widely seen by many as the future of the Republican Party.
CNN reporter Steve Contorno tweeted, “As DeSantis prepares Floridians for Ian, he is urging residents to heed advice from the same local leaders he suggested they ignore during COVID and praising a federal agency he previously alleged withheld aid to the state bc Biden was playing politics.”
CNN senior reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere responded to Contorno’s tweet by writing: “Hurricanes & politics tend to run into each other in Florida, but this time it’s with a governor who has put himself at odds with many local government officials and who has been looking for fights with a president he may end up running against… 6 weeks before Election Day.”
Hurricanes & politics tend to run into each other in Florida, but this time it’s with a governor who has put himself at odds with many local government officials and who has been looking for fights with a president he may end up running against… 6 weeks before Election Day: https://t.co/mbpcciOyQT
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) September 28, 2022
The tweets from the two CNN reporters garnered criticism online, including from DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw, who responded: “Not everything is about politics. If you see a Cat 4+ hurricane approaching the coast of the United States and your first instinct is baseless partisan speculation, perhaps you should stop calling yourself a journalist.”
“Floridians’ lives are in danger, so of course CNN is rooting for the hurricane,” she added.
DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin responded: “There’s no story here, but @CNN is @CNN. Of course there’s a difference between heeding local evacuation orders in an emergency and COVID lockdown overreach. The governor has been clear: this storm must be taken seriously and this is no time for politics or pettiness.”
Washington Free Beacon reporter Joe Gabriel Simonson observed: “None of this is in the actual piece which likely means even his editor thought it was too stupid.”
Judge Alex Ferrer responded: “Ahhh. Brian Stelter was fired so someone had to be the new George Costanza at CNN.”
Attorney and columnist Kurt Schlichter responded: “Your network is going bankrupt because you suck.”
“CNN apparently hasn’t upgraded the IQ of their newsrooms,” radiologist Pradheep Shanker tweeted.
Political commentator Varad Mehta tweeted: “Alexander Nazaryan has competition for dumbest and most disingenuous anti-DeSantis hack.”
Radio host Erick Erickson responded: “COVID is not like a hurricane. This is dumb and discrediting analysis.”
Other notable responses included:
Of course this CNN journo is using a deadly hurricane to try and own Ronaldus Neximus https://t.co/tWDIXPBP7l
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 28, 2022
CNN just having a banner day. https://t.co/K173a1vWQp
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) September 28, 2022
It's like you want Floridians to distrust the local leaders and possibly perish in the storm. What a tool you are https://t.co/1aC3xA6QDs
— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) September 28, 2022
In the running for worst tweet of the day: https://t.co/ad9jIJLSWG
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 28, 2022
All things are the same all the time. Why don't people trust CNN, so weird. https://t.co/lnHyiYzoCr
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) September 28, 2022
A lot of you are very mad about this sociopathic tweet from a CNN journo but in fairness to him he's just doing his job. https://t.co/60ujMZ7wgX
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) September 28, 2022
CNN is such trash. Can someone yank this garbage off the air and Internet? https://t.co/1Ggcc0PmyE
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) September 28, 2022