Here’s the thing about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He’s every bit as ambitious, corrupt, selfish, destructive, narcissistic, vengeful, and sociopathic as Donald Trump. The difference is that DeSantis lacks even Trump’s one dimensional level of political cunning. In other words, DeSantis is an idiot who’s in over his head.
This was on full display yesterday when DeSantis was set to sign an ugly and unconstitutional voter suppression bill, and he decided to only allow Fox News into the room to cover it. It’s easy to see what DeSantis thought he was doing. The voter suppression bill was going to play well with the Fox audience, but poorly with every other news outlet, so he tried to keep all the other outlets from covering it. But wow was this a stupid and self defeating move.
For one thing, the Sunshine Law says you can’t do this with bill signings. So the other media outlets can now go to court and get a judge to force Ron DeSantis to let them cover future similar events. But that’s not the worst part of it for him. Because DeSantis refused to let the reporters from the other major media outlets into the room to do their jobs, they all ended up covering the story in far bigger fashion than they otherwise would have. So much for DeSantis thinking that banning them would keep them from covering it.
It gets worse. As a statement of fact, the field of political journalism is littered with vindictive people who don’t take kindly to anything that they perceive as being a threat to their ability to succeed in their career, and they tend to start writing really negative stories about anyone who falls into that category.
Ron DeSantis just made sworn enemies out of all the journalists who were supposed to enter that room and cover that bill signing, but were blocked from doing so. Some of them are going to retaliate by spending the next year hitting him with every negative headline they can come up with. Trust us, we’ve seen the media do it to people before.
One of the fundamental rules of political leverage is that you don’t pick a fight with the media unless 1) you’re also the media, 2) you’re more popular than the media, or 3) you’re savvy enough to make the media look bad in the process. DeSantis doesn’t come close to qualifying for any of the above.
Ron DeSantis only get elected by 0.4 points last time. Now he has worsening scandals hanging around his neck, and millions of Democrats across the nation hate him enough to flood his Florida 2022 Democratic opponent with donations. So DeSantis is more vulnerable this time, and if he only won by a hair last time, then he’s clearly in danger of losing this time. Now he’s picked a fight with a bunch of journalists in Florida, and he’s going to lose that fight. This guy is becoming more beatable all the time. You can stop DeSantis by donating to the Democratic Party of Florida through ActBlue.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report