New York Times columnist Margaret Sullivan laughably proclaimed on March 10 that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “is just getting started with his rightwing agenda. That should worry us all, yet the media mostly fawns over him.” Sullivan added: “DeSantis enjoys glowing treatment from the mainstream press.”
The claim is ridiculous on its face. At NewsBusters we’ve been documenting all the vicious attacks made against the Governor in the press — most recently their ugly lies about him erasing black history.
Despite Sullivan’s absurd assertion, the media hits keep coming as the leftist hosts and reporters attack DeSantis for his fight against woke-ism. MSNBC host Joy Reid flat-out called him “anti-black.” Her colleague MSNBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss compared him to WWII-era Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Celebrities got into the act too. ABC’s General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn referred to him as “Hitler” for banning pornography in Florida public schools and filmmaker Ken Burns warned of the Florida Governor’s “Nazi” and “Soviet” ways.
Here is a brief montage from NewsBusters Media Editor Bill D’Agostino:
The following are just some of the most recent rants against DeSantis from journalists and celebrities:
“Fascist” DeSantis a “Local Mussolini in Florida”
“[Ron DeSantis] was known as sort of a nondescript political leader, member of Congress. Suddenly he really has tried to turn himself into sort of a local [Benito] Mussolini in Florida. With the book banning and the brutal tactics….This is fascism and authoritarianism that goes even beyond what [Donald] Trump has talked about. That’s what he thinks is gonna work in that party, and in a way, that’s the scariest thing of all.”
— MSNBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss on MSNBC’s Velshi, March 4.
Reid Denounces DeSantis as “Anti-Black”
“Ron DeSantis’s personality is like nails on a chalkboard to me. He just says woke 477 times in a sentence. He just says wokism, woke thing, woke mob, woke mafia, woke, woke, woke, woke, woke, he keeps saying it over and over and over again….This guy just seems like a curmudgeonly anti-black and anti-LGBTQ person, and the reason he won so overwhelmingly in Florida is about 1.3 million people stayed home and didn’t bother to vote. Apathy put him in, not excitement.”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, March 10.
Condemning “Fascist” DeSantis
“It’s like the ultimate gaslighting to basically be steamrolling fascist policies into the state [Florida], and doing so under the banner of freedom and rights. That’s what I don’t get. How is this being made palatable to people who understand what fascism and authoritarianism are? And the fact that it’s a rising dark tide across the globe. And then see that home as it’s being presented under the auspices of, you know, reasserting your individual rights. How, how can they possibly be packaging it as such?”
— Host Alex Wagner to New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg on MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Tonight, March 8.
Teaching Dangers of Communism is “Politicizing”
Clip of Governor Ron DeSantis: “We’re also the first state in the country to establish every November 10, the day in our schools is earmarked to teach our students at all grade levels about the evils of communist regimes throughout history we’re going to tell the truth about Marxism and Leninism.”...
Moderator Chuck Todd: “Being a Floridian, I sort of know what he’s trying to play there and all of that. But I would tell him, I went to Florida public schools, we were taught this. It was called history. It just seems like a weird politicizing — you know he’s going out of his way to politicize something.”
— NBC’s Meet the Press, March 12.
Reid Smears: “If It Ain’t White, It Ain’t Right in DeSantistan”
“Republicans have a supermajority in the [Florida] state legislature and are set to pass a full slate of repressive laws on the Governor’s [Ron DeSantis] wishlist. If you’re a teacher, you can’t talk about gender identity with students from the third grade to the eighth grade. You are not allowed to use any pronoun except the one you were assigned at birth. Do you want to major or minor in gender studies in college? Well, not if Republicans get their way. They’re considering legislation that would put a stop to that, and any discussion of intersectionality at the college level. And it would end any diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. I guess if it ain’t white, it ain’t right in DeSantistan.”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, March 7.
A President DeSantis Would Usher In a “Pre-Civil Rights America”
“If Florida Governor Ron DeSantis becomes President of the United States, which he is clearly aiming for, America will become the land of total government control over women’s bodies, black history, gender identity, how you can teach, learn, read, think, even talk! It would essentially be a more functionally authoritarian version of Trump, a more action, less personality type of President who’s basically offering two options. Pre-civil rights America, or total control of society.”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, February 27.
Well Now the Criticisms Are Getting Downright Silly
Host Joe Scarborough: “This guy played baseball at Yale. He had a softball interview with Brian Kilmeade at Fox. And just look: here’s a clip of them throwing the ball back and forth….Look at this throwing motion. It’s a strange thing from Ron DeSantis here….Do we have that in slo-mo? I want to ISO this, just so your boys will learn how not to throw a ball….Ready? Wheee!...This guy played baseball in college….He’s in a suit, first of all. What a goober for being in a suit….So baseball is a big part of the DeSantis story, right? He played in the Little League World Series.”...
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson: “It’s a weird motion. He doesn’t bring the arm back the way he should. He doesn’t follow through the way he should.”
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe, March 14.
DeSantis Is Like “Soviets” and “Nazis” on Higher Education Bill
“All of these bills that [Ron] DeSantis and others are doing limit our ability to understand who we are and they are not inclusive, they are exclusive. They are narrowing the focus of what is and isn’t American history. It’s terrifying. It feels like a Soviet system or the way the Nazis would build a Potemkin village.”
— Filmmaker Ken Burns on CNN This Morning, March 7.
DeSantis is “Hitler” for Banning Pornographic Books in Schools
“DeSantis is just getting started. The guy is a twisted sadist. If he is free to do as he pleases, he will end up making Hitler seem nice.”
— March 8 tweet by ABC’s General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn in response to video pointing out books that DeSantis wants removed from schools contained pornographic images.