‘Drive-by smear’: Ron DeSantis can’t let #FloridaMorons go
Gov. DeSantis decries draconian orders.

Governor lauded local media.

Gov. Ron DeSantis couldn’t carry Duval County in 2018. But in 2020, he can’t stop lauding locals.

After Duval County opened beaches for limited purposes, the #FloridaMorons hashtag trended on Twitter. DeSantis has since gone out of his way to defend Duval against the slings and arrows of a press he has seen as sensationalistic throughout the coronacrisis.

Monday evening saw the Governor, minutes after a press conference where he hit many of the same themes, drop a tweet slamming “out of state media” for having a “spasm” and leaving a “drive-by smear.”

“In mid-April, out-of-state media had a spasm because Duval County opened its beaches for recreational use. Now 17 days later, have the fears of this drive-by smear against Floridians been realized?”

Prior to that, press conference props from the Governor came Monday in Tallahassee, where the now-infamous hashtag figured in a graphic on the telecast of the press conference.

DeSantis called on the national media to convey “apologies” to the city of Jacksonville, “attention: Mayor Curry,” as well as to the Mayor of the beaches.

However, the Governor knows the score with the national press.

“I won’t hold my breath on that happening,” he quipped.

In contrast to those outlets, the Governor lauded (not for the first time) the levelheaded local media against the “hullaballoo.”

“Local media in Northeast Florida did a great job,” DeSantis said, before suggesting that they then said “the chance of you getting it [at the beach] is lower than at Costco.”

It is unclear which, if any, of the local outlets made the Costco claim.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the first lady of the state worked for two of the three local television news operations during her extended career on local airwaves.

For the Governor, this continues a tradition of using Jacksonville as a totem in his now-routine disparagements of the national press.

He did not on Monday repeat his now-famous quote.

“For those who would say you’re morons,” DeSantis said last month, “I’d take you any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

However, with a statewide and national media taking their shots at the Governor, the more laid back scene of Northeast Florida appears to be an oasis of sorts for DeSantis.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    May 4, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    While the national media is at it they need to apologize for photoshopping the crowd at Ron’s boss’ inauguration. Clearly there were millions more people watching at home who would’ve been there in person if they gave a shit. I don’t care what they say about you Ronnie Dobbs I like ya….sniff sniff that’s my guvernor.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 5, 2020 at 6:25 am

    Stfu whining. Start praising Floridians. The opening was and is still scary as fuck! Take your ego and shove it. I am was a doubter. I will continue to be. NOBODY has the answers! The covid19 question is not IF but WHEN. Cover mouth and noses !!! Every move you make you leave a “trail “. Whether spit sweat or breathing! Cover your mouth

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