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OPINION

Tara Palmeri DeSantis Hit Unravels as Video of Her ‘Interrogation’ Is Revealed

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Advance word has it that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is about to officially make his announcement that he will make his bid for the White House. This has sent the already imbalanced press corps into overdrive. A number of "reports" (hit pieces, in actuality) have been released ahead of this expected announcement, and the approach by most has been comically off-target. 

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The announcement from Disney that it was spiking a plan to build a new employee campus for thousands of jobs was declared to be a move in retaliation to the governor. This was reported absent any analysis, as it was not to be located in the contested Reedy Creek district, but also the company is cutting costs and going through this year's third round of layoffs this week, so killing a new $1.6 billion project is in line with these moves. 

Adding to the recent distemper in the press, we saw TIME Magazine come out with a comically arch cover image of the governor. In the piece, it was explained why the press is scared of him: "The Florida governor is more informed, tactical and calculated, which makes him way more dangerous. Imagine Donald Trump, but with brains and savvy. Imagine Trump, but with a stalwart dedication toward legislation that moves the country." 

The Huffington Post followed suit, delivering a "scathing" biography by describing DeSantis as Darth Vader because he actually legislates and leads his party and his state. Then NBC News arrived with a novel hit piece; after numerous false complaints that black studies are being removed from schools, the latest education criticism was because DeSantis proposed a new law mandating Asian-American history be taught in grades K-12. Make sense of that, if possible. 

Now from the outlet Puck News arrives Tara Palmeri, and this is remarkably inept. To set the stage, Tara was the one who, back in March, had the dire report that DeSantis has been…wait for this exclusive…losing weight:

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The talk of Tallahassee has been that Ron DeSantis is losing weight, and fast. Juxtaposing photos from his inauguration, two months ago, to pictures from his State of the State speech, last week, suggests a dramatic difference. Not as dramatic as, say, Mike Pompeo, but his boxy suits are looking even baggier. 

Tara, absent using anything skill-wise approaching journalism, even speculated whether the governor was taking the drug Ozempic for his weight.

Now, Palmeri arrives with a new hit on DeSantis and makes the bold claim that the popular leader is really just a paper tiger. Her claim is supposedly backed up by her personal interactions with the governor – or, more accurately, his refusal to interact with her.

There are structural problems not only in her report but just in that tweet. How exactly is he "running away" from her, but it is a slow-motion chase? How is he running away while, at the same time, she is "peaceably following" him? If this sounds as if she has contrived this scenario, just you wait; it gets so much better. 

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There has been ongoing resentment in the media toward DeSantis and his press team for their willingness to display on social media when journalists operate in bad faith, report falsehoods, or operate in ways that defy journalism ethics. Over the years, his press secretaries have shown when reporters ignored supplied facts, approached them with pre-written hit pieces, and other acts of outward bias. A few news outlets have lashed out over this practice of exposing the slanted tactics. 

Recently, Steve Peoples of the Associated Press was shown to be wildly (intentionally?) inaccurate on the campaign trail when he reported that DeSantis made appearances in Iowa but did not interact with anyone. When it was shown by many that photos and video existed of DeSantis mixing with the public, Steve was forced to alter his impressions. 

Now, in an identical fashion, Palmeri has been exposed. As she hoped that her dramatic reading of her exchange with DeSantis would be made canon, a video was captured of this interlude. Not only do we not see the governor running away from her in fear, but her interrogation was, to be charitable, sub-par. 

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Just…remarkable. This is a reporter attempting to cast the character of Ron DeSantis into a harsh realm based on his refusal to address Palmeri asking infantile questions about animated characters. The press behaving in this fashion only displays the dysfunction in their industry. It also delivers the opposite effect by making DeSantis look even better by comparison. 

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