And on Cue, the Media Smears Launch Against DeSantis

Plenty of people have their concerns about Donald Trump’s electability given his scary high negatives among voters—and aside from legitimate election integrity concerns. And while Trump presents a target-rich environment for the unscrupulous Democratic media establishment, the reality has always been that any Republican will face similar treatment. 

As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched his presidential bid this week, the media hit jobs also launched in earnest. The observable reality is that the amount of attacks on DeSantis dwarf the rest of the field combined—minus, of course, Trump. If measured by malignity, there are only two Republicans the Left establishment does not want. And possibly one considerably more than the other.

The most egregious DeSantis attack so far was the Politico smear job on, of all people, his wife, Casey DeSantis. She is an accomplished TV news reporter and anchor, mother of three young children, effective promoter of serious needs in Florida and a recent breast cancer survivor. Should be a home-run heroine.

Enter the Politico hack machine. In an article entitled “The Casey DeSantis Problem: His Greatest Asset and His Greatest Liability,” the propagandists quoted anonymous former and current DeSantis staffers and Democratic strategists who claim to have dirt on the couple and who describe Casey as a “blindly ambitious” person who is paranoid and “sees ghosts in every corner.” The article describes her as “Lady Macbeth,” the Shakespearean character who conspires to have her husband kill the king so he can be king and she can be queen. The story was misogynistic, sexist stereotyping that would never—never—be done on Jill Biden or Michelle Obama, whose fawning treatment by the media is just nauseating.

The Florida media attacked DeSantis for four years, but it had no effect on his reelection as voters judged his results as governor over false media narratives. Whether that can hold true with the national media in a presidential primary or general election remains to be seen.

Less blatant than the attack on Casey DeSantis is the reporting across the media board on Disney’s recent decision to cancel its plans to move its Imaginarium division from California to Orlando’s booming Lake Nona office region in Orlando. That plan of ousted CEO Bob Chapek was never favored by current CEO Bob Iger and nothing had happened in the two years following the announcement. Moving the division would have forced all the Imagineers and their families to move across the country, which was deeply unpopular with them and many would quit rather than move. The truth is, the $1.5 billion project was never going to happen because Disney is looking to cut $5.5 billion in costs, not add new ones.

Nonetheless, facts are meaningless in the media attack industry, and the announcement was spun as expected to be due to DeSantis’ war with Disney.

The Twitter Spaces technical problems the evening of DeSantis’ launch provided easy fodder for media attacks. The New Yorker went with “It was more than a #DeSaster” with that hashtag trending along with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz’ (R-Fla.) #DeSedative. When the social media platform was finally working well enough, DeSantis spent about an hour on substantive policies and principles and about 3.5 million people tuned in. Total views could eventually reach 10 million as the Spaces was recorded. But the damage was done and the media, to use one of their favorite invectives against Republicans, pounced.

The Spaces rollout was just a golden opportunity for negative publicity. However, absent such a gift, the media was on a tear before the Twitter Spaces problem. In the 48 hours leading to DeSantis’ announcement, here is just a smattering of the broadsides fired from multiple directions: 

  • Bari Weiss’ The Free Press had Joe Nocera write a hit piece on DeSantis that was straight from the DNC presses. The subhed was: In a fit of pique, Florida’s governor decided to go after one of America’s most beloved companies—which reflected the broad ignorance throughout the piece.The comments section was on fire, going after every element. But misguided the article was not. It fits with the ongoing pattern of fear and loathing of DeSantis in so much of the media, and not just old corporate media.
  • The day of DeSantis’ Twitter Spaces announcement with Elon Musk, Politico published a hit against DeSantis arguing that Twitter is not where the people are, and questioning why he is using that platform with the “polarizing” Musk (as opposed to the unifying media.)
  • A group of Democrats and “moderate” Republicans have formed DeSantis Watch and launched attack ads the day before his announcement. Their claims are vacuous and internally contradictory, complaining that the governor they hate and oppose won’t be around to govern.
  • Politico again reports that DeSantis’ real problem is being from Florida. Yup. Florida Man. Pretty substantive stuff there from elite media.
  • Recently, the NAACP issued what it calls a “formal travel advisory” to warn black people of the immediate dangers of visiting Florida. It’s just like going to North Korea or Iran! “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the group hilariously said, as literally thousands of black Americans continue to move to Florida. The statement is such a farce; NAACP Chairman Leon Russell actually lives in Tampa.
  • In a pretty obviously coordinated hit, the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, also dispatched a “historic warning” against Latinos traveling to Florida for, well, all the same fictional hysteria as the NAACP. Both zeroed in on DeSantis, because that is really the point. 

Of course both groups are long out of touch and irrelevant—except to the media, which regurgitates the nonsense as though it is legitimate news.

With all of these attacks from the media, Democrats and some Republicans including Trump supporters, you know who is not being attacked? Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Larry Elder, Asa Hutchinson, or Tim Scott. In fact, quite the opposite. Politico Playbook just wrote a paean to the candidacy of Scott: 

Scott’s campaign makes a four-fold case: (1) Scott is the best messenger in the race; (2) he’s the most consistently conservative in the still-forming field; (3) he has the resources and infrastructure to win; and (4) he’s broadly appealing across GOP factions, giving him a clear path to victory.

Every one of those is wrong, but 2 and 4 are hilariously wrong. Still, note how Politico and the media just hammer Trump and DeSantis, but lovingly stroke Tim Scott, and Nikki Haley before Scott. That should tell conservatives and Republicans everything they need to know.

It’s a safe bet that the Republicans the media savage are the ones they most fear, the ones most effective and most awake to the threats the nation faces within, and without. The Republicans they laud or go soft on are more like George H.W. Bush Republicans, or Mitt Romney and John McCain Republicans. Not just moderates, but politically spineless moderates who only want to genuflect to the D.C. establishment.

Republican primary voters should pay most attention to who the media attacks rather than the most often vacuous merits of the attacks. There’s a reason it is DeSantis and Trump; they are the only threats to the statist class.

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About Rod Thomson

Rod Thomson is a former daily newspaper reporter and columnist, former Salem radio host and ABC TV commentator, and current Founder of The Thomson Group, a Florida-based political consulting firm. He has eight children and seven grandchildren and a rapacious hunger to fight for America for them. Follow him on Twitter at @Rod_Thomson or Truth Social at @rodthomson. Email him at rod@thomsonpr.com.

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