Though relationships between the press and politicians are supposed to be adversarial by nature, it’s no big secret that Ron DeSantis and the mainstream media’s exchanges are more combative than most.
There are two big reasons for that. He’s the popular Republican governor of a red state and one who chose a vastly different (and what appears to be a far more successful) approach to handling the coronavirus outbreak than the more draconian ones preferred by the MSM in blue states with Democratic governors like New York and Michigan.
Not only that, but DeSantis was a staunch ally of President Trump during his four years in office, and because of that, even had the pandemic never happened, the highly contentious nature of the interactions between DeSantis and the national and local press corps would have remained real. Very real.
In yet another example of how hatred of the former president drives their reporting on DeSantis, the Miami Herald thought they had a big gotcha moment earlier today during the signing ceremony for a bill DeSantis says will crack down on Big Tech censorship of conservatives.
The signing took place at Florida International University in Miami, and attendees included various state legislative leaders, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and other supporters of the new law as well as members of the media who were there covering the event.
After DeSantis signed the bill into law, he took some run of the mill questions from reporters on various issues including his opposition to Critical Race Theory being taught in Florida schools, but the last one came from a Miami Herald reporter who point-blank asked DeSantis if the anti-Big Tech censorship bill was “for Trump,” a current resident of Florida who was de-platformed from Twitter and Facebook after the Capitol riots back in January.
“You’re a loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump [who is] for all purposes now, a resident in Florida,” she stated “… and he was de-platformed. Is this bill for him?”
“The bill is for everyday Floridians,” DeSantis smoothly countered as the crowd groaned loudly in frustration over the question. “It’s what we said. And it would allow any Floridian to be able to provide what they’re doing.”
As to the Trump part of the question, DeSantis used it to his advantage and suggested it proved his point. “But I do think that’s another issue that has been brought to bear. When you de-platform the President of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong.”
Many ceremony attendees gave a standing ovation to DeSantis’ answer, and in the video below you see him crack a smile as though he knew he had won the day with his response – just before he thanked the crowd and walked away from the podium, doing all but a literal mic drop on the reporter.
DeSantis’ overall point was one that conservatives had been arguing long before Trump was even elected, much less de-platformed. For years, many Republicans including members of the House and Senate have tried to make the case that Twitter has routinely applied the rules differently to conservatives than they do to liberals, with conservatives receiving the heavy-handed treatment far more often than liberals.
As to what Florida’s SB 7072 does, make sure to read the full text of the law here.