In the 8 am hour of Thursday's Fox & Friends, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed a new election law on live television, an exclusive that other media couldn't attend. Naturally, the liberal media were outraged.
On his MSNBC show this morning, Craig Melvin complained: "You'll notice this video that we are using is from Fox News. That's because it was the only media outlet that was allowed in the room when it was signed. All other media outlets were shut out."
The journalists might be surprised that many people think this event would not be enhanced in importance by someone from 60 Minutes yelling at DeSantis. They surely hated how he brought out a chart of talking points. "Me signing this bill here says, 'Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy,'" DeSantis said.
Axios.com highlighted this supposed outrage in an article titled DeSantis signs restrictive Florida voting law at event exclusive to Fox News. They noted The Washington Post complained that DeSantis spokesman Taryn Fenske "did not answer directly when asked whether the event was an official bill signing or a campaign event."
So it wasn't a campaign event when Barack Obama signed Obamacare, with Joe Biden caught on an open mic saying "Big f--king deal" on live TV? That was one of the media's "favorite Biden moments." The networks celebrated the Democrats selling "BFD" T-shirts. That had a roomful of applauding supporters. The difference is that when you let 23 liberal media outlets in, it's somehow a "news" event, even though no liberals scream questions at Obama and Biden. That would be rude.
Axios also highlighted an angry statement from Emily Bloch, chair of Florida's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:
My statement for @SPJFla: “Signing a law into office isn’t supposed to be an ‘exclusive,’ since the law itself isn’t exclusive. Actions like this openly defy against a free press. We condemn DeSantis’ office barring journalists from doing their job for the sake of good TV.” https://t.co/P4sZTFKopK— Emily Bloch 🐘 (@emdrums) May 6, 2021
Like everyone else in the liberal media, Axios called it a "controversial elections overhaul bill that imposes sweeping new restrictions on voting." How controversial is it? Heritage Action offered a few poll numbers:
-- Florida's law will apply the same voter ID requirements to mail-in voting that the state already has for in-person voting. "Two-thirds (66%) of voters agree applying voter ID requirements to absentee ballots as HB7041 and SB90 do is a good way to safeguard ballot integrity."
-- On ballot collection, Florida's law permits a person to collect ballots from relatives and two unrelated persons. "Polling shows that 62% of voters are against political operatives and paid organizers having direct access to absentee voters as they vote, and then taking unsupervised possession of their ballots."
But the media rain derision on these laws with words like "restrictions" and "hurdles" that "will impair communities of color" from voting. Despite their low ratings in the polls, journalists don't describe their own behavior -- like yelling at governors -- as "controversial."