If Governor Ron DeSantis was expecting an apology, hopefully he wasn’t holding his breath.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the botched “60 Minutes” hit piece that served as a seminal moment in the current contentious relationship between a large swath of America’s left-wing media and conservative politicians.
In the “60 Minutes” segment from April 2021, they presented a “bombshell” report accusing Governor DeSantis of showing favoritism toward Publix for COVID distribution in exchange for their political support. The problem with the segment was that it used deceptive edited video footage to help orchestrate CBS’s false narrative attacking the governor.
The report turned out to be so egregious that everyone from Publix to multiple Florida Democrats came to the defense of Governor DeSantis. What CBS discovered, as many before and after have as well, is that Governor DeSantis won’t sit on the sidelines as the media dishonestly smears him.
Despite being publicly exposed and shamed by Governor DeSantis for pushing propaganda to influence the American people, there has been zero evidence of remorse or introspection on the part of America’s media cabal.
Instead, corporate media has spent the past year continuing the charade of being “objective” while doubling down on peddling misinformation to attack Republicans and advance their preferred political agenda.
Perhaps nothing captures this as well as the “Don’t Say Gay” label that was conjured by the media to describe legislation in Florida.
The phrase doesn’t appear anywhere in the bill, which restricts teachers from indoctrinating children in grades K-3 with sex education. Rather, that characterization was a creation by the media to misrepresent a piece of legislation they disagreed with from a governor they despise.
In the midst of “Don’t Say Gay” becoming nationally prominent – with all the usual suspects from Hollywood to Capitol Hill parroting the phrase as though they were competing in a virtue signaling Olympics – something funny happened. Those who read the bill, across virtually every group, expressed support for the legislation in a major way.
A poll from Public Opinion Strategies revealed a majority of Democratic voters, Biden voters, Independents, parents, and suburban voters all supported the bill. Among people who “know someone LGBTQ,” support was over 60%.
Without missing a beat, Governor DeSantis called out those in the media who were attempting to dishonestly use “Don’t Say Gay” for political gain. He slapped down a reporter attempting to use the phrase, demanding the reporter answer whether the phrase appeared in the language of the bill and why the reporter was pushing a false narrative.
Just this week, the Miami Herald released what they thought was the ultimate “gotcha” piece, accusing Governor DeSantis of using fake news – the very thing he so commonly rebukes – to raise money. The problem for the Miami Herald is that the fake news they cite in their story is none other than the conservative satirical website The Babylon Bee.
Each “bombshell” report meant to bring down a Republican politician only serves as another opportunity for the left-wing media to get egg on their face.
The media’s badgering of Governor DeSantis makes sense when you understand that today’s left-wing media sees themselves as morally unimpeachable heroes who know what’s best for the rest of us. The media sees their job not as one simply to present unbiased facts, but to shape the narrative by any means necessary.
That belief explains their relentless effort to attack Republican politicians, even if it requires distorting the truth. Republicans standing for traditional American values is directly at odds with the media’s vision for a woke, liberal America.
Even after the embarrassment of the “60 Minutes” debacle, the media hasn’t learned their lesson. They continue peppering the airwaves and newspaper columns with half-truths, omissions, and propaganda and Governor DeSantis continues illuminating and disproving their lies.
In all cases, sunlight is the best disinfectant, and what the media never counted on was having Republican politicians shining sunlight on their journalistic malfeasance.
Florida is called the Sunshine State for good reason, and with Governor DeSantis allowing the Florida sun to expose the media’s bias and dishonesty over the past year, it is empowering others to do the same.
Evan Berryhill is a lawyer and political communications strategist who has previously worked for Gov. Ron DeSantis, GOPAC, and Rep. David McKinley. Follow him on Twitter @EvBerryhill.