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Ron DeSantis Battles Nature and the Mainstream Media As Ian Slams Florida

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

On Wednesday afternoon, as Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Ron DeSantis was finalizing Florida's preparations for the massive storm and readying his state's response. But as the hurricane's eye churned from the Gulf of Mexico onto land, it happened as the mainstream media's collective eye watched for any misstep — real or perceived — they could amplify as a partisan political hit against the man considered to be a 2024 frontrunner should he decide to launch a bid for president. 

And while a massive hurricane can't be expected to show some decency, the mainstream outlets and writers should be able to separate their clear anti-DeSantis sentiment from the catastrophe tearing across Florida that will hurt the state's residents. But no, mainstream media outlets have failed to conceal their excitement that DeSantis is about to face a test of his leadership — one that he's so far passed with flying colors, as seen in his administration's quick deployment of needed goods and resources while keeping the public apprised. 

Here's how the mainstream media vultures have set up their holding patterns over Florida as Ian scours its way across Florida. 

"DeSantis faces the true test of any Florida governor," wrote Politico. 

"How DeSantis Handles Hurricane Ian Will Shape His Political Future," said Time Magazine. 

"DeSantis faces leadership test as Hurricane Ian comes bearing down on Florida," CNN reported. 

They just can't hide how giddy they are that Ian could be a new means to attack DeSantis, regardless of whether their smears are false, as they've often proven to be in the past. 

Already, in the headlines enumerated above, mainstream outlets have set the stage to blame DeSantis for any issues stemming from his administration's response to the current act of God pummeling the Sunshine State.

CNN pointed to what they call DeSantis' "abrasive political style" as a reason why he won't be able to effectively lead Florida's recovery. They also ran to the former Democratic mayor of St. Petersburg to get a negative quote from someone who's never been kind to DeSantis: "You have to hope that it doesn't negatively impact the quality of the response," Rick Kriseman told CNN. It's all stage dressing for what CNN evidently hopes to be an after-action takedown of DeSantis. 

Time Magazine was almost twitching in anticipation with its lede, declaring, "Ron DeSantis is about to face the most consequential 72 hours of his political career," before they, too, tried to set DeSantis up for a fall. "The Florida governor is going to endure what his predecessors have navigated with varying competencies: a natural disaster with huge potential to make or break the public perception of a tenure, and which could become a defining piece of an expected White House run," Time's reporter writes — again showing a lack of concern for the pain their fellow Americans may face in dealing with a major hurricane in order to make any carnage all about hurting Ron DeSantis politically. "Floridians often ignore the political posturing coming out of Tallahassee," Time continues, adding, "that's less possible when the power is out, state services are fractured, and the voice from the top is projecting anything but empathy." Ironically, it's Time that is displaying anything but empathy. 

Politico's voice in the mainstream media chorus performance of "Hope for the Worst in Florida so We Can Attack a Popular, Successful Republican" echoes the Time and CNN reports but with an extra helping of fake news. Politico claims in their report that "DeSantis still hasn't faced one of the toughest challenges a Florida leader can encounter: a major hurricane." But that's…just not true. Earlier in DeSantis' tenure, Category 2 Hurricane Sally swept across Florida in September 2020. Before that, DeSantis conducted what amounted to a drill as Category 5 Hurricane Dorian barreled toward Florida's Atlantic coast in 2019 but turned north while over the Bahamas to spare Florida from landfall. In both cases, DeSantis prepared for and successfully weathered severe tropical weather. 

As Christina Pushaw — DeSantis' former press secretary-turned gubernatorial campaign rapid response director — noted on Wednesday in response to the mainstream media claims that the hurricane is a "test" for DeSantis to fail: "No - it's a natural disaster; the governor is focused on saving lives. Stop politicizing!"

"If you are genuinely curious about how Gov. DeSantis responds to emergencies, see Surfside 2021," Pushaw added. "We are in good hands."

The media outlets hoping to weaponize a natural disaster to attack DeSantis should know better by now that their feeble hit pieces turn out to be exercises in futility. They tried to make DeSantis out to be the Grim Reaper when he allowed Florida residents to make their own decisions when it came to COVID precautions. They lied through their teeth about the parental rights bill backed by DeSantis, who signed it into law. They cried authoritarianism when DeSantis went after Disney for its partisan nonsense based on the aforementioned lies about Florida's parental rights law. And they hit fever pitch when DeSantis offered illegal immigrants a flight to Martha's Vineyard, labeling his administration a "Nazi" regime. 

Clearly, Floridians agree more with Pushaw's evaluation than they do with the mainstream media's biased attacks claiming that DeSantis is some radical agent of death. 

Much to the chagrin of the apoplectic mainstream media, DeSantis has remained popular in Florida and is leading his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist, by several points ahead of November's general election. While the media has said Joe Biden is America's great uniter, repeated his lies about a supposedly booming economy, and covered for his ever-growing list of embarrassing gaffes, Joe Biden's job approval remains underwater. But Ron DeSantis, who's smeared by the same media as a radical extremist, Grim Reaper, authoritarian Nazi, has majority approval. 


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