Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) didn’t do a single interview with a liberal news outlet during his campaign last year for governor — and he won in a landslide.
Now, with DeSantis being mentioned often as a frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, outlets like The New York Times have got their undies in a wad over the diss.
“Although he courted right-wing podcasters and conservative Fox News hosts, Mr. DeSantis did not grant an extensive interview to a national nonpartisan news organization during his 2022 re-election bid — and he coasted to victory, with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire now promoting him as a 2024 contender,” the paper wrote on Tuesday.
In a piece headlined “Can Ron DeSantis Avoid Meeting the Press?” — spoiler alert: the answer is yes — the whiny author told an anecdote about how DeSantis operates.
“Assigned to cover the re-election campaign of Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Miles Cohen, a young ABC News reporter, found himself stymied. The governor would not grant him an interview. Aides barred him from some campaign events and interrupted his conversations with supporters,” author Michael M. Grynbaum wrote.
“When Mr. Cohen was finally able to ask a question about the governor’s handling of Hurricane Ian, Mr. DeSantis shouted him down — ‘Stop, stop, stop’ — and scolded the media for ‘trying to cast aspersions.’ The DeSantis campaign then taunted Mr. Cohen on Twitter, prompting a torrent of online vitriol.”
But, of course, it’s clear that the Times would never give DeSantis a fair shake, so why should he bother to sit with them for an interview? While avid newshounds have known for decades that America’s “paper of record” is widely liberal, former President Donald Trump exposed the Times once and for all for the hard-left rag that it is.
DeSantis has avoided other heavily biased outlets and shows. When a producer for “The View” emailed an invite for him to chat with hardcore liberals Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, he simply said, “nuh uh.”
Instead, he sat for an interview with Will Witt, the 26-year-old founder of the Florida Standard, a conservative website that launched only a few days before.
Witt, who garnered a strong following as a young conservative pundit with the nonprofit video producer PragerU, praised DeSantis. “It’s so nice when you have someone who recognizes what you’re doing and really appreciates it,” he told Semafor.
DeSantis hasn’t gone as far as former President Trump, who often called the media the “enemy of the people.” But he also hasn’t gone easy on them, either.
After a massive hurricane hit Fort Myers, Florida, last year, he accused the press of rooting for it to strike Tampa.
”Quite frankly, you have national regime media that they wanted to see Tampa, because they thought that that’d be worse for Florida. That’s how these people think,” DeSantis said during the interview with Florida Voice, another conservative outlet.
“They don’t care about the people of this state. They don’t care about this community. They want to use storms and destruction from storms as a way to advance their agenda,” he said. “If they can use it to pursue their political agenda, they will do it.”
Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis, confirmed the governor’s beliefs in an email to The Hill.
“Governor DeSantis is absolutely correct in his assertion: many people in the media have shamefully capitalized on the tragedy of Hurricane Ian to push their political agenda,” Griffin said.
There’s an awful lot of time before the 2024 elections, and liberal outlets will be more demanding. But DeSantis should stick to his guns — and he should certainly skip any debate held by a liberal network.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.