No One Messes with My Governor

Ron DeSantis 1, Mainstream Media 0

The corporate news media is running scared.

60 Minutes, a half-century-old dinosaur of a network news program, bizarrely tried to manufacture a false “scandal” to bring down the increasingly popular and effective conservative Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) – and failed miserably. Our esteemed journalists (who, as I mentioned in a previous article are really left-wing activists disguised as such) have without a doubt stooped to a new low with its bad faith allegation that my governor somehow engaged in corruption – an allegation even his political opponents are denying outright. It’s possible that by going after DeSantis, 60 Minutes was attempting to recreate the relevance it once enjoyed when “Watergate” was just a hotel and color TV was a newfangled thing.

However, it’s more likely that the elitist multimillionaire executives at CBS viewed the fearless pro-liberty governor as having an enormous target on his back. After all, DeSantis is seen by many fellow conservatives, especially in the Sunshine State, as the de facto leader of the movement and even the Republican Party in the early post-Trump era. The media decided to pounce and air a 13-minute segment with scant “evidence” and an entirely fabricated storyline completely out of fear and desperation. Their laughable effort cartoonishly backfired and CBS, which has smugly not apologized to DeSantis, his family, or any of the other public servants supposedly implicated in the fake “scandal” and continues to vigorously defend their “reporting,” is left licking its wounds. Although it’s been on my entire life, I’ve only mustered enough boredom on Sunday nights to watch 60 Minutes a few times (mostly for sports-related stories, or while waiting for The Amazing Race to come on), and the only distinctive feature I remember about it is the famous ticking sound effect it plays in transitions to commercial break. Following their swing and miss attempt to bring down DeSantis this might signify more than an antiquated clock noise. As supposedly “unbiased journalism” veers more into blatantly partisan hatchet jobs, could this be the beginning of the end for 60 Minutes and other network news mainstays? I guess time will tell, but right now, it’s not looking good for them.

The “corruption” allegations CBS tried and spectacularly failed to drum up go as follows: Publix, a beloved Florida-based grocery store and pharmacy with over 800 locations in the state donated $100,000 to the campaign of DeSantis, who is up for re-election next year. The Governor in return supposedly awarded the chain with “exclusive rights” to distribute the COVID vaccine in Palm Beach County (which has a population of around one-and-a-half million). 60 Minutes as a result wants its viewers to think that the interaction between Governor DeSantis and Publix was a surefire, no questions asked “pay-to-play” quid pro quo “scandal.” The smear campaign disguised as journalism went on to suggest that the decision to use Publix somehow had racist overtones, citing only, you guessed it, some Democratic politicians who naturally would like to see DeSantis out of office next year. Except, the reality is this is all a blatant lie, and “the deal,” as the broadcast ominously calls it, never happened.

The really pathetic part of CBS’s futile attack job was that DeSantis himself directly refuted their entire narrative point-for-point during his confrontation with the segment’s lead reporter Sharyn Alfonsi. While Alfonsi biasedly and aggressively harped on about the supposed “scandal,” the Governor calmly and professionally laid out the facts on how he, while extensively working alongside public health officials and politicians from across party lines, came to the collectively-made decision that the “Publix approach” was the best possible solution to the vaccine distribution question in Florida’s third-most populous county. If 60 Minutes had any semblance of honest journalistic integrity, they would have presented their audience with DeSantis’s side of the story and let them come to a conclusion themselves. Of course, the vast majority of people, save for the most rabid partisan Democrats, would have figured out that there was no scandal, and the mainstream media was making much ado about nothing to try to hurt the presidential aspirations of a Republican. However, the show instead decided to roll with the segment and deceptively hide DeSantis’s entire explanation from its viewers. CBS cut out or played Alfonsi’s voice over the vast majority of DeSantis’s answer. The only parts it kept were him saying that the story was “wrong” and “fake.” To the uninformed it looked like he was dismissing the allegations without giving any evidence, thus painting him in a falsely guilty light. This editing was therefore blatantly and deliberately misleading, and one can make the case that it was to some degree defamatory (DeSantis may be a public figure but it seems fairly clear that CBS acted with some degree of malice).

It’s clear that 60 Minutes is in big trouble because even Democrats are attacking its DeSantis hit piece. Dave Kerner (D), the mayor of Palm Beach County who worked hand-in-hand with the Governor to develop the local vaccine strategy, dismissed the segment as “intentionally false.” Kerner slammed the CBS show adding that they censored the truth as it “kneecaps their narrative” and that their deceptive report was doubly insensitive given that we are still in a pandemic. “Americans are tired. And the media is making it worse,” he stated. “They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks.” Another Democratic politician who came to DeSantis’s defense was Jared Moskowitz (D), the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, who was also instrumental in the decision to use Publix. Moskowitz, who previously served in the Florida State House, used one of President Biden’s favorite words, calling the alleged “scandal,” “absolute malarkey.” Moskowitz also confirmed that it was the non-partisan bureaucratic agency he heads and the very same public health “experts” Democrats love to listen to who recommended that Publix distribute the vaccine – DeSantis may have signed off on it but it wasn’t originally his idea. It is more than clear that 60 Minutes has royally screwed up as even their own political side can’t defend them.

And if borderline-defaming my Governor wasn’t bad enough, another thing that angers me as a newly minted Floridian is the mere thought that Publix would ever participate in a corrupt political deal. To me and tens of millions of other residents of the Sunshine State (and six other southern states to boot), it is more than just a supermarket, it’s a cherished institution. For my job, I drive hundreds of miles a day across the sprawling Jacksonville metropolitan area. I easily pass a dozen Publix storefronts daily. The signature green lowercase “p” is as omnipresent here as gators, palm trees, and anole lizards. Simply put, Publix is the place “where shopping is a pleasure.” It was more than irresponsible for a major news network to go after a universally loved and trusted grocery chain that did nothing wrong. In my opinion, there is only one possible explanation as to why Publix was thrown into the fake scandal. The media hates DeSantis so much, they would stop at nothing to damage the reputation of a completely innocent company who would help him craft policy, let alone, God forbid, donate to his re-election campaign.

The best reaction to the brazenly false 60 Minutes reporting came from none other than DeSantis himself. “All they were looking to do was a hit job on me to try to smear me just because I’m in the other party than them. That’s the only reason,” he said.  However, what he said next was even more telling. After pointing out that CBS happens to be based in New York (the failing state I fled in favor of sunny Florida), Governor DeSantis posed the following simple question. “What do they do with the Governor of New York who’s in their party? They do puff pieces.” The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is currently staring down an impeachment probe from his party, accused of various degrees of sexual assault and harassment by 30 women and he’s also lied about and covered up the fact that his administration’s COVID policies led to the death of 13,000 elderly New Yorkers in nursing homes. What a classy guy. If 60 Minutes was concerned with reporting the news and not just shilling for their political team, they’d be calling out their own state’s governor for actual criminal activities, and straight-up disgusting and immoral behavior, instead of trying to sink a Republican governor with an outright lie. As conservative social media influencer Breanna Morello tweeted, “60 Minutes attempted to do a hit piece on Governor DeSantis. The problem is everything they accused him of, Governor Cuomo ACTUALLY DID.” The media just wants people to share the wrong and twisted worldview that there’s no way a Democrat can do anything wrong in office – and there’s no way a Republican can do anything right.

However, we freedom-loving patriotic Americans know the truth. As Florida remains a bastion for individual rights, free speech, and free association, in direct contrast to the extremely authoritarian and statist federal government, DeSantis’s approval ratings are on the rise. Florida residents, and conservatives across the nation, thankfully see through the leftist media narrative. As of now, DeSantis is the clear frontrunner to win the Republican nomination in 2024 if former President Trump does not run (which is looking more and more likely to be the case). The Governor’s clear pro-reopening, anti-lockdown stance toward the pandemic has proven successful in a state with one of the oldest and most vulnerable populations in the country. Florida has considerably better COVID death statistics than Democratic-run states that locked down harshly such as New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, and is faring almost the same as California which has a much younger and therefore less susceptible population.

60 Minutes and the entire liberal establishment is of course terrified by effective conservative leadership. It completely destroys their narrative. They know full well that a possible DeSantis candidacy might spell an earlier than expected end to the supposedly “transformational” mandate Biden’s narrow election was supposed to signal after a “blue wave” was all but assured by our “expert” pollsters. So, to them, they had no other choice but to conjure up a false story and try to shoot down the Florida Governor’s presidential bid before it began. However, they didn’t misfire, they backfired. DeSantis is now looking like an even more formidable candidate than before. Even Chris Cillizza over at CNN agrees that the 60 Minutes blunder gave DeSantis “a massive gift.” The corporate media thought that DeSantis would submit to fear but to quote George W. Bush, they “misunderestimated” him. There isn’t one lie, even one disguised as an honest “news report,” that can bring down “Teflon Ron.”

It’s clearer than ever. No one messes with my Governor.