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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/4/20-Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a statement on the 2020 general election Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. DeSantis did not take questions from the media. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Coronavirus in Florida

Ron DeSantis says ‘corporate American media’ slants coverage of Florida’s COVID-19 efforts

Florida crossed the million case threshold this week. Is media the problem?

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday hit Fox News to take a virus victory lap, even as Florida logged its millionth COVID-19 diagnosis this week.

The Governor, appearing on the Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, said that coverage bashing Florida’s approach to the coronavirus was “all political” and “agenda driven” by the “corporate media.”

DeSantis was responding to a question from host Carlson about “gleeful reporting” from mainstream media about the Sunshine State’s struggles with COVID-19.

The Governor said the coverage was “all political.”

“Obviously, they have an agenda,” DeSantis related. “Very partisan. It was an election year, and I think the fact that Florida was considered a key swing state had a lot to do with it.”

“But at the end of the day,” DeSantis added, “even when we had the Sunbelt Surge, our hospitals worked, we worked with what we had to do. They were trying to say the hospitals were overcrowded. It wasn’t factually true.”

“A lot of it’s agenda driven,” the Governor groused. “You look at some of these states that have way more per capita cases, hospitalizations, mortality, and you would never know it if all you followed was the corporate American media.”

Even as cases surge in Florida, the Governor feels confident enough to frame the narrative, a play he has made throughout the coronavirus cycle. In the spring, he stood with Vice President Mike Pence and slammed in-state media for its coverage of the administration’s efforts, using language tinged with a tragic irony after cases surged soon thereafter.

“You got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida is going to be just like New York,” DeSantis said, wagging a finger at reporters. “Wait two weeks. Florida is going to be next. Just like Italy. Wait two weeks. Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened.”

With cases on the uptick again, driven by Thanksgiving travel and such, it remains to be seen if future negative coverage will be so easily dismissed as a product of the “corporate American media.” But the Governor, in a friendly forum, workshopped the talking point.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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