Ron DeSantis continues blasting AP coverage during appearance on ‘Hannity’

Ron DeSantis
DeSantis denounced the so-called 'political hit piece.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his full-bore attack on The Associated Press Monday evening during Fox News’ Hannity.

On Fox News for the first time since last week, DeSantis was given a wide berth to blast the wire service, the latest in a series of corporate media attacks.

DeSantis said the article in question was “clearly a partisan hit piece,” a “bizarre theory to boost Regeneron’s stock price,” and an example of the wire service “trying to create a false narrative.”

“The AP knew what they were doing. They wanted to do a political hit on me,” DeSantis said. “They had the temerity to act like they were the victim when they got called out on their hit piece.”

“The days of corporate media being able to smear people with impunity and conservatives do nothing; those days are over. In Florida, we’re fighting back with the truth, and we’re going to hold you accountable when you’re peddling false partisan narratives,” DeSantis told host Sean Hannity.

The cable hit follows a letter to the wire service DeSantis sent earlier in the day.

“You succeeded in publishing a misleading, clickbait headline about one of your political opponents, but at the expense of deterring individuals infected with COVID from seeking lifesaving treatment, which will cost lives,” said the letter to the AP, which first went to national conservative outlets, then to the press at large. “Was it worth it?”

“This is what happens when you decide on the headline and narrative before you begin reporting,” DeSantis said. “The corporate media’s ‘clicks-first-facts-later’ approach to journalism is harming our country.”

DeSantis wrote the letter after the news wire reported his press secretary, Christina Pushaw, was suspended from Twitter for “abusive behavior,” which (it says) led to threats against reporter Brendan Farrington. Twitter locked her account for 12 hours beginning Friday night, but specific details have proved elusive.

The suspension came after Pushaw encouraged her nearly 22,000 followers to make their feelings known to Farrington, who wrote a story Tuesday about a top DeSantis donor’s link to a hedge fund invested in COVID-19 treatment Regeneron.

The fund’s investment in Regeneron is incidental in the scope of its holdings, and DeSantis has noted that the company’s monoclonal antibodies treatment being used has already been paid for by the federal government, and the use of the treatment does not benefit his donor.

Pushaw responded to the story with a flood of tweets aimed at Farrington, his editor, and the AP over the few days following its publication. In a since-deleted tweet, she told her followers: “Drag them.” Farrington, the morning after the story went live, tweeted that he had received death threats.

Despite the pushback, the AP stands by the story. Incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham sent a letter Friday to DeSantis protesting Pushaw’s tweets.

DeSantis should “assure the people of Florida that there is no place” for such behavior in their government, Veerasingham, AP’s vice president and chief operating officer, wrote. She will become AP’s CEO in January.

“While we can disagree about stories,” Veerasingham wrote, “it is unacceptable and dangerous for a public official to encourage the systemic bullying of journalists.”

While it is unusual for the official side to push back on a campaign finance story — much less one that led to social media suspensions — the move is bolstering Pushaw and DeSantis in the eyes of conservative media and commentators.

Once again, it demonstrates significant gaps in expectations between the largely centrist Tallahassee media and national right-wing press outlets.

Though the Governor’s Office and DeSantis deemed this particular fundraising story out of bounds, his aggressive fundraising for his Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee is a matter of record. The account had roughly $48 million on hand at the end of July, a month it raised over $4.2 million.

___

Florida Politics’ Capitol reporter Renzo Downey contributed to this post.

A.G. Gancarski

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


13 comments

  • Tom

    August 23, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    America’s Governor, shows through example that he’s the leader. Ignorant A P, lied attempting to suggest profit. Regeneron all
    Bought and paid for. No profit to be made you lying liberals. So pathetic, AP is an embarrassment. Typical example of media shilling for Dums. So bad.
    Alex you liar.

  • Valerie Wilson

    August 24, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Have DeSantis and the Emporer figured out that by the time they run for election many of thie republican voters will be dead. They are practicing medicine without a license?

    Two of the most disgusting sociopath murderer in history..

  • Peterh

    August 24, 2021 at 2:36 am

    THE GRIFT IS ON IN FLORIDA
    Turns out, Ron DeSantis’ whole “my freedoms” was a con. Of course it was. The whole reason he’s been so anti-mask and vaccine mandates?
    DeSantis has gotten over $10m in campaign funds from the biggest investor in Regeneron, a COVID treatment.
    DeSantis knows he’s got to win his primary next year to have any shot at running for President. So he’s going full MAGA and getting people sick.
    When people get sick, Regeneron makes more money.
    When Regeneron makes more money, Ron DeSantis raises more campaign money.
    Rinse and repeat.

    LINCOLN PROJECT ….join real conservatives to put an end to Republican incompetence and grafting. We deserve better than trash like DeSantis, Rubio and Scott.

    • Ruby

      August 24, 2021 at 5:38 am

      Right On!

    • Pat

      August 24, 2021 at 6:15 am

      Always follow the money.
      DeSantis is a Trump wannabe.

    • Tom

      August 24, 2021 at 6:38 am

      Ignorant and liar Peter H., you child. How much can you deceive.
      There is no profit made in Regeneron. The U.S govt. bought it all in January. It is made free, At no charge to all Americans. You once again owe a public apology. It is a medicine to try to help those suffering.

      You make some irresponsible suggestion that the Governor has a primary. He is the nominee. You have such a ugly, evil view of the world. No wonder Lincoln project is so irresponsible.

      The investor in Renegeron, which is a small percentage is allowed to invest, contribute and participate in society. He has a company called Citadel. He is a major investor with top Republicans. No law has been violated. Peter H is openly misleading and owes apology.

      What is your offer. No Regeneron? No hope for recovery. Any support from Griffin has been spanned over a 3 or 4 year period. You are just trying to perpetuate the smear from AP. It’s been denounced by third parties.
      Shameful but not new for you. You have called Covid deaths “fun facts” in past posts. Sick and irresponsible.

  • ScienceBLVR

    August 24, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Going on FOX, better known as DeSantis’s 2024 political action committee, to denigrate legitimate news sources is the height of hypocrisy. As he allows Floridians to die from misinformation he spreads, and the lack of any real plan for the state to fight the spread of COVID, this governor should be recalled. Here’s hoping the Pinellas County School Board votes to defy his moronic anti-mask mandate policy today and allows teachers, school personnel and students to educate and learn in a non-toxic environment.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 24, 2021 at 7:42 am

      MSNBC

      Yet you say nothing about Fried using this network, that nobody watches to promote her politics.

  • Ocean Joe

    August 24, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I offer a solution to all of this back and forth:
    1) Desantis should resign and spend 100% of his time running for president, instead of 98%.
    2) We will have our first female, Cuban-American governor.
    3) Desantis will have 4 years to raise money, pontificate about the border, brawl with those crazy liberals, and position himself to squash Hawley and Cotton and Nikki Haley, and will not have to dirty his hands fending off Crist or Fried.
    Life is short, and if you can, you should do what you want to do. It is painfully clear Ron does not really want to be governor. Kind of like those things Marco (who is just as tall as Ron) used to say about the senate when he was running for president.
    Tom, don’t get worked up, you would still have a REPUBLICAN governor to rubber stamp your REPUBLICAN legislature and appoint REPUBLICAN judges, since party is all you care about.

    • Tom

      August 24, 2021 at 9:47 am

      Idiocy runs amok.
      All you Manchurians are raged with hate.
      America’s Governor will not resign.
      He will win re-election easily.
      He may or may not run for POTUS.
      I’d prefer him over 45 but that’s a different topic. Regardless, he’s a wonderful Governor and at the same time is dealing with a 100 yr pandemic. As the youngest chief executive in country he is demonstrating great leadership. Of course, he continues to grow and will face challenges.

      This hysteria that Florida media has created is a tremendous disfavor To citizens.. The constant liberal scream and smears is a mistake. The Dems have a shellacking coming. It will be severe and America’s Gov, Marco and a net 3 new House seats is certain.
      New congressional majorities.

      As for the statement that this is party partisan, Hardly. The filth from Alex, Franke, PeterH, Sonja, Hoffmann, Whiskey, and many others is overwhelming. But it fails.

      DeSantis is the best, Dems are extremely scared. The WH created a hero and he’s just beginning. Miles to go! Your cheap spots are legendary.

  • martin

    August 24, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Just like with Trump and DeSantis, look for who the Democrats and media attack the most out of fear and that’s your candidate. The left and media have always feared those they can’t control and are not beholden to anyone, and proof of that is their love affair with the likes of Cheney and Kinzinger. Thanks to them, we will always know who to vote for.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 24, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Red Storm Rising. It’s coming.

    • Pat

      August 24, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Haha
      Red storm anything like red tide?

Comments are closed.


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