Does Media Raving Help DeSantis?

Monday, March 01, 2021

Given what I know at this moment and considering the likely quality of any alternatives, I'd probably vote to re-elect Governor Rick DeSantis were the election held today. I would need much more information before I could say one way or the other about whether I would call myself a supporter, however qualified that support would be.

And therein lies ... major ... difficulty. Left-wing news media (but I repeat myself) are so bent out of shape by Ron DeSantis that they cannot see straight or contain themselves. The following excerpt from the New Republic, serves as a good example. It came up near the top of my search results when I queried one of my concerns, namely, Is DeSantis a Trumpist?

You can't see Nothing coming, but you can see Ron, broadcasting from its nerve center, mask hung ineptly, eyebrows arched like a dog that shit on the rug, face red and puffy like every press conference is a field sobriety test he's bombing in real time. The man is a fading echo of something more substantial. As we wait for the individual pandemic horror that becomes, for each of us, the eponymous one, DeSantis is all we have.
And no, I did not get a satisfactory answer to my question from the article. What I got instead was: plenty of bile, mixed with regurgitated left-wing talking points. And no, this Floridian, who is pro-mask, but anti-mask mandate is relieved that the mandate they say I'm "waiting for" never came.

That field specimen out of the way, my latest look at the news unearthed a good analysis of what I keep seeing nearly every time the governor comes up in the media. Said analysis appears in the Daily Wire, and is notable for indicating today's double standard regarding political reporting, and coming up with a good hypothesis for why DeSantis seems particularly to get under their skins.

First, the double standard:
Image by the State of Florida, via Wikimedia, public domain.
Now, mainstream media outlets have shifted their coverage to focus on a new smear against DeSantis, this time alleging corruption within the state's vaccination rollout process. NBC News last Thursday published an article titled "Florida governor accused of playing politics with Covid vaccine," criticizing DeSantis for prioritizing senior citizens, including Holocaust survivors and veterans. NBC accused DeSantis of mainly prioritizing possible Republican voters, but again, the elderly are the most vulnerable to dying from COVID-19, so it makes sense to prioritize them. As one prominent Republican Twitter user posited, "If DeSantis is only vaccinating seniors because they tend to vote Republican (per the media's newest conspiracy), does that mean that Cuomo was only endangering their lives in nursing homes to maintain larger voting majorities?"
No: I haven't heard that one either, at least in the news. And as for Cuomo's nursing home scandal, which I have known about for months, it only recently began registering as news in more prominent outlets.

And second, the hypothesis:
The media is clearly terrified of DeSantis because, to many Republicans, he appears to be the more presidential version of Trump. DeSantis is tough on the media, sets the record straight to his critics, and governs in a free-market conservative manner, while avoiding the rhetorical pitfalls frequently associated with Trump.

I'm no Republican, but DeSantis comes across as reasonable and competent in interviews. The pandemic revealed those qualities to be in very short supply among our politicians, so I'd be interested in learning more about someone who had those qualities.

But is DeSantis actually the free-market type I was under the impression he is (albeit one who panders to Trump's base), or is he a more organized, polished, and capable version of Trump?

My impression of today's hysterical media is that either would elicit the same feverish attacks and smears, despite the former being far more preferable to the latter. In this way, the media make it hard to make a wise choice. This can be particularly dangerous for the republic, given the high likelihood that either the foolish measures already taken due to the pandemic or the policy positions of the current administration alone could bring disaster and have Americans desperate for an alternative in 2024.

-- CAV

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