Ron DeSantis says defiant school boards just want CNN ‘fanfare’
Image via Scott Powers.

Ron DeSantis
The Governor lashed out in Lakeland.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to mock pro-mask mandate school boards, saying they prefer the limelight of CNN to the rule of law.

“I mean, look. There’s no doubt about it. If you follow the law in Florida as a school board, you aren’t getting invited on CNN,” DeSantis said Saturday. “We know that, OK. If you break the law, you’re going to get on CNN. You’re going to be able to get some fanfare from certain quarters. So we understand that.”

The CNN/school board blast is not a new one, but is an interesting gambit from someone who owes his political rise and current position in no small part to Fox News primetime shows and the “fanfare” they provide.

At an appearance days before, DeSantis blasted critics, saying “If you make it about me, you get on CNN.” Clearly, he intended to make that line stick with a Saturday morning reprise.

Those quarters include the Joe Biden White House, which has vowed to support school boards who buck Tallahassee and impose mask rules at local discretion.

“You have politicians who are doing this, obviously they’re aligned with certain political interests, they’re violating state law,” DeSantis said, before defending the mask mandate ban in the context of the Parent’s Bill of Rights passed in 2021, legislation which in part allows for opt outs from school district health measures.

“I just think that the parent really needs to be the one that is making the decision. And I think that is the better way to do it, ” DeSantis said. “Fortunately, most places in Florida are following the law. Others aren’t. Some people have their different things.”

“And notice. No one’s saying that parents who want the kids (SIC) should be banned. You can make that decision for yourself. And I think that’s the better way to do it,” DeSantis added. “When you start forcing, though, um, and you’re not following the law, that’s where we end up having I think a lot of the, uh, uh, a lot of the division and stuff.”

“So I would just say trust the parents. Let them make the decision. And ultimately, that will be the right thing going forward.”

The Governor, in Lakeland to open a monoclonal antibody treatment site, was responding to a reporter’s question about school boards flouting bans of school mask requirements from his administration.

He hit a number of points throughout an extended answer, including a number that had been previously roadtested.

DeSantis harangued then-Vice President Biden for not pushing for masks during the H1N1 epidemic, recycling a motif rehearsed previously in Fort Walton Beach.

Lines about masks, “lockdowns,” “15 days to slow the spread,” and a philosophical desire to “lift people up, not knock them down” likewise were familiar to those who track the Governor’s media appearances.

The drama comes as the state has threatened to stop paying school board members in Broward and Alachua.

The Florida Department of Education plans to withhold “compensation of the school board members who voted to impose the unlawful mask mandates until each district demonstrates compliance,” a statement said.

Biden, meanwhile, has said the members could be paid with American Rescue Fund dollars.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Alex

    August 21, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    This freakshow is walking the narrow path between outright lying and not pissing off his far right trumpian idiot base by telling the truth.

    The result is he’s endangering health and lives, and especially kids health and lives for his flaming far right hate and willful ignorance based political purposes.

    • Jimmy Carter

      August 21, 2021 at 12:21 pm

      Speaking of idiots. Any of you knuckleheads still flying those Joe Biden flags. What an embarrassment. Jimmy Carter 2.0. Can’t wait for 2022 and Nancy going up the gavel.

      • Alex

        August 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm

        That was completely moronic.


    • Liz

      August 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Face masks do NOTHING except inhibit breathing! All you brainwashed parents need to get a grip and allow your kids to grow up and be healthy, not be treated like Nazi prisoners in their own homes and schools.

      • Alex

        August 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

        Oh look, a far right trumpian idiot can type.

        • Liz

          August 21, 2021 at 12:40 pm

          Bet you are happy you support Herr Biden, who seems to take pleasure in saying Americans are safe in Afghanistan.

          • Alex

            August 21, 2021 at 12:53 pm

            I remember who got us into that shitshow in the first place, and cost thousands of innocent lives, killed thousands of our troops, and cost us upwards of $4 Trillion…

            For nothing.

            Not to mention torturing people, spying on Americans without a warrant, and then presiding over the second worst economic disaster in our history

          • Jeffrey Abbott

            August 21, 2021 at 1:00 pm

            Actually when you analyze totalitarian regimes’ “cookbooks”, populism, media discrediting, propaganda (this is just marketing with a political goal using tax dollars) and controlling voting access has been some of the more ardent vehicles used to get there (Germany, Spain, Argentina). Not to say populism is bad, but it’s kind of like of communism – the implementation tend to suck many times.

            And Super Pacs could be comparable to what the Nazi’s did with the production tax they implemented when Hitler was just Chancellor and they still had a President to fund their coffers.

            But if we are comparing Executive mess-ups, let’s talk about how Trump’s handling of the pandemic from the beginning without a cohesive message, plan, or follow through until the shit hit the fan and he had to do something. Instead he was running around culture waring to reverse anything with a Democrat stamp on it (good and bad). And while not him alone, the PPP prop-up by turn out to be one of the biggest business fleeces in tax history. The one major good thing was operation Warp Speed’s vaccines. That “Operation” might not have been needed had there been a plan for a pandemic (like the one from the previous administration that was tossed).

            So let’s compare that to Biden’s poor implementation of trying to fix a 20 year old, “kick the can do the road” war?

            That’s a “look over here” redirection.

          • Dee

            August 21, 2021 at 1:07 pm

            You do know that Trump is the one who negotiated the settlement with the Taliban that Biden is implementing. Trump did not even include our Afghan allies in those negotiations – just the Trump administration and the Taliban. Trump’s date for a complete pull out was even earlier -May 1.

          • Andrew Finn

            August 22, 2021 at 4:38 pm

            Better than supporting Herr DeSantis – aka “The Florida Fuhrer” !!!!!!!!

    • Lorraine

      August 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Your comments are right on target

  • TJC

    August 21, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    DeSantis is just get his diapers in a twist because he’s made a bad decision and can’t weasel his way out of it without upsetting his Fox friends. Pity.

    • Lizw

      August 21, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      DiSantis has been right all along. It was, and IS, Fauci who is lying. He has been lying from day one. Every day he changes his story. For the 500K a year, he will say anything.

      • Alex

        August 21, 2021 at 12:58 pm


        What did Fauci lie about sweetie?

        Can you prove it?

        No, you can’t because he didn’t.

        You should learn to keep your mouth shut instead of proving you’re a moron.

      • joey

        August 22, 2021 at 3:44 pm

        Fauci is a Doctor Disaster is a moron Trump puppet . So I belive the Doctor. You guys belive Ron Disaster but when get sick with covid run the the Doctors.

  • Pat Whaley

    August 21, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Palm Beach County also defied him.
    And Trump’s son Barron is abt to start Oxford in PB….and they require masks. DeSantis has painted himself into a corner and his ignorance and arrogance will keep him there.

    • Jimmy Carter

      August 21, 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Palm Beach and Broward Counties are our little slice of California. Like Austin TX. Knucklheads flee California and the North East and come to Florida and continue to vote the stupidity that caused them to leave in the first place.

      • Alex

        August 21, 2021 at 12:42 pm

        Thank god for them then.

        Our non thinking, non learning, willfully ignorant majority needs educated and thoughtful folks to balance in sanity.

        • Pat Whaley

          August 21, 2021 at 12:46 pm

          Uneducated…. just the way Trump and DeSantis like ’em.

  • Liz

    August 21, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    STOP PAYING SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS WITH HUGE SALARIES AND BENEFITS! They should VOLUNTEER their time for their 1-2 meetings a MONTH. They should be there for the STUDENTS and NOT for the hefty pay they get. NJ school boards are not paid. Neither should Florida’s

    • Lorraine

      August 21, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      NYS school districts have Board Members that are voted in every year at Budget time / I never heard of a school District Board Member ever getting paid
      Most , if not all have other jobs

  • Pat Whaley

    August 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Well your do called knuckleheads in Sarasota and Hillsborough Counties also defied Ronnie. The little slice of California just got bigger.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 21, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Alex you aren’t the moderator. You have nothing but personal attacks. Your parties reckoning is coming in 2022. With the Southern Border and now the Kabul debacle and add 40% increase in fuel prices, your arrogance is unwarranted. Looking forward to the rout in 2022. Thank you Joe. I hear you have been nominated as Republican recruiter of the month.

    • Pat Whaley

      August 21, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Keep dreaming.
      DeSantis is killing off all his voters with the virus.
      Just like Trump, DeSantis will lose to CV19.

    • Ocean Joe

      August 21, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      Republican gains in 2022 will result from gerrymandering in general and voter suppression laws in particular. Our last 3 presidents wanted us out of Afghanistan but Biden is getting the job done. Fuel prices will fluctuate (if you are lucky they will be high at election time since you put party over country), The real problem with GOP control of congress will be a blockade of any environmental protections and an abandonment of any effort to deal with climate change.
      When you are owned by Big Oil, that’s who you serve. You have already destroyed American faith in our electoral process, in government, in science, in health care, in public education, so all that’s left for you to destroy is the planet.

    • Alex

      August 21, 2021 at 1:05 pm

      So you can see the future now too?


      You just keep getting dumber.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 21, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians and our children . Duffus Desantis is a damn drug dealer! Taking the money to hustle a drug ..,,and ignoring the prevention ! Those actions are of a criminally negligent asshole ! Serve and protect Duffus Desantis! Lock him up! Get out Desantis!

  • PeterH

    August 21, 2021 at 3:27 pm

     A remarkable indicator of true and competent leadership occurs when a decision maker realizes that the course they’ve set is the wrong one and they immediately reverse direction and admit that a huge mistake has been made.
    Governor Ron DeSantis won’t admit to himself or others that the thickheaded course that he has set for the State of Florida is not in the best interest for the life and safety of the residents, tourist and cruisers.

    The DeSantis policies didn’t erupt overnight. They’ve been nurtured for two years in coordination with Donald Trump’s failed leadership policies.

    For the past eight weeks DeSantis has marketed Florida as a maskless Covid free safe haven. This has attracted his national band of unvaccinated maskless followers to use our State as an experimental tourist Covid petri dish. The outcome was swift and predictable to anyone who believes in science.

    Rightly so, Florida is now the epicenter for National and International media speculation on Covid mismanagement by elected officials. Tourist have never shown an interest in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas or other central plain states that are also showing of a Covid surge….. but tourist do care about Florida….. so we are in the spotlight.

    DeSantis’s intent is to do for the USA what he has done to Florida! He’s irrationally branded this death wish experiment as a march to freedom! He must be stopped! Like Trump, DeSantis can never be allowed in the Oval Office.

    The battle lines for and against stupid and incompetence have been drawn and will play out in the coming weeks in courts because the citizens of Florida can’t think of a better way to invest their hard earned tax dollars!

    Stay tuned! The Republican Party has a long way down before it hits bottom.

    • Harold Finch

      August 22, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      Amen Brother!! Very salient and insightful!!!

  • ScienceBLVR

    August 21, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Peter, Ocean, Jeffrey, you are my heroes today. Cogent and clarifying well thought out and well expressed arguments. Awwww a breath of fresh air and analytical debate. Thanks

  • Ken

    August 22, 2021 at 10:42 am


  • Tom Palmer

    August 22, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Getting back to the subject of the article, you might consider the school officials are responding to t heir constituents. They’re elected officials, too.


    August 22, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I’m disabled bcz of LYME DISEASE.
    My education Neurologist brain diesese.
    I’m obligated to provide required information to our county.
    The information bout SARS DELTA VARIENT is all incorrect from
    County and city LEADERS
    Telling the public
    SARS found on DUCKS
    Ducks Chickens Goose
    Eggs are the CURE
    Sulfate Sulfur Sulfuric acid Bromanine Zinc Iodine salt SUGAR.
    Vaccination made from EGGS.
    SARS found and grows from
    Rodents POSUMS Bats Vultures Sloughs
    Homassasa Springs VULTURES POSUMS rodents
    Pls consider to UP US HELP OTHERS
    $$$$ MONEY $$$$
    Medical Mismanagement Malfeasance can be made by CITY and COUNTY Leaders bcz of incorrect information.
    ( Theft personal and professional property. Real estate Auto ) cigarettes tobacco
    Linked to TALIBAN
    Download Physicians Teleoffice visit IPHONE App
    Prescription refills NO NARCOTICS

  • Andrew Finn

    August 22, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    Emperor DeSantis keeps adding to his standing as the “Jackass of Florida” and unfortunately it is the children of Florida who will suffer. Thankfully, President Biden and the Federal Government are going to stand in and make sure these school people are compensated for their concern for the children in their care. Emperor DeSantis and his partner in crime Vice-Emperor Corcoran should have their salaries withheld until they do their jobs, or better yet are gone from their positions. Wait until the courts get finished with them this coming week !!!!

  • Harold Finch

    August 22, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    And all that DeSantis, the Jackass, wants is FOX New fanfare!! Even though I am a Republican, I will be strongly be supporting Charlie Christ!!!

    • Tom Palmer

      August 22, 2021 at 9:24 pm

      Yeah, but he’s Amerika’s Governor. What more could you want?

      • Tom

        August 22, 2021 at 10:48 pm

        Your right he is. The best.
        Unlike Cuomo, fondler.
        Newsom the recaller.
        Whitmer the anti gardener/anti boater.
        Northam the Black face.

        • Tom Palmer

          August 23, 2021 at 6:25 pm

          I thought you guys wanted to kidnap and assassiinate Whitmer. What class.

        • Pat

          August 23, 2021 at 6:39 pm

          But there all governors and your claim is responding to someone’s comment. Makes you look like the loser.

  • Poppy

    August 23, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Since I started with my online business,JHG I earn $25 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
    Learn more about it here…

  • Steve Miller

    August 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Desanisize Florida! What a damn IDIOT he is!👍

Comments are closed.


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