Journalists working for America’s corporate-owned media blamed Donald Trump for turning the public against them, yet another example of how clueless they really are. Trump isn’t a deep thinker, and he wasn’t responsible for polls conclusively showing the public’s widespread disdain and distrust of the U.S. media. Trump operated on instinct. He correctly perceived the media’s unpopularity and successfully tapped into it.
The fact is Trump gave the corporate media more legitimacy, particularly the New York Times. While he often dismissed the Times as “failing,” he repeatedly gave the publication interviews, including then White House reporter Maggie Haberman, whose rise to media stardom was predicated on her Trump takedowns. While Trump was always trashing the media for publishing “fake news,” the only stories he took issue with were those portraying him in a negative light. Many of those stories were true, and any thinking person knew that Trump declaring “fake news” was just his way of saying he didn’t like a story.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis I learned this week is a deep thinker, someone who possesses considerably more intellect than those working in corporate media. As Florida ranks high on my list of states I’d least like to live or visit, I’ve paid scant attention to DeSantis, except to notice a litany of stories suggesting the corporate media was out to get him because of his refusal to lock down The Sunshine State during the pandemic. When Florida’s covid cases were surging, the media aggressively reported the state’s dire numbers. When Florida’s covid numbers were among the best in the U.S., it no longer mattered.
What caught my attention about DeSantis this week were media allegations that he was a promoter of Jew hatred and linking him to a neo-Nazi rally in Orlando. Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary, was pummeled in the corporate media for initially questioning whether those attending the rally were in fact Nazis.
The story struck me as odd, as I knew enough about DeSantis that he’s a supporter of Israel. In fact, he first gained national attention questioning President Obama’s support for the country. While promoting Jew hatred can get one elected in Michigan and Minnesota, it’s a practice that won’t get a politician very far in Florida, a state with the third largest Jewish population and growing.
I don’t watch television news, and it’s rare for me to even watch video clips, as I prefer reading. But I watched a clip of DeSantis’ news conference discussing the Jew hatred allegations, and I was impressed. DeSantis displayed raw anger, and he let it rip. It’s hard to imagine that someone could listen to his remarks and not be convinced of the absurdity of the accusations that DeSantis supports Jew hatred. I’ve posted the clip, so you can judge for yourself.
I also watched clips of the Nazi “rally,” which wasn’t a rally but rather about a half dozen or so nut jobs with Nazi signs spewing out Jew hatred of the sort that Representatives Ilan Omar and Rashida Tlaib routinely spout, albeit more delicately. The corporate media doesn’t much care about the Jew spouting hatred of elected officials unless they are Republicans. A video of the Orlando Nazi rally is embedded in this Breitbart story.
As for Pushaw initially questioning whether the Nazi supporters were possibly Democratic party plants, that wasn’t an unfounded concern. Back in October the corporate media jumped on a story about five supposed white supremacists dressed in white shirts and khakis holding tiki torches standing in front of the campaign bus of Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin shouting, “We’re all in for Glenn.” Turns out, the white supremacists were Democratic staffers planted by the disgraced Lincoln Project.
The media’s attacks on Pushaw exposed their double standard. When the recent story broke there was a hostage taking at a Texas synagogue, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel went on MSNBC and surmised that a white supremacist was responsible. The media gave Nessel a pass on her unfounded and reckless speculation.
The corporate media has repeatedly sullied itself trying to discredit DeSantis. Back in April, 60 Minutes featured an “expose” claiming to show that Florida was giving vaccination priority to seniors because they were most likely to be wealthy and white and more inclined to vote for DeSantis. For good measure, the program slammed Publix for having gotten a state contract to distribute vaccines because it had given DeSantis a routine political contribution a year earlier.
The story was widely slammed, even by Democrat Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Director. Publix’s campaign contribution amounted to a rounding error on DeSantis’ total political contributions. Publix admirably was able to get Florida’s most vulnerable jabbed, an example of why the supermarket chain enjoys unusual popularity in the state. DeSantis slammed 60 Minutes so hard CBS didn’t even know what hit them. You can watch DeSantis’ “Facts vs. Smears” presentation eviscerating the news program here and a video of him delivering it here. If you do, you might never again believe anything you watch on 60 Minutes.
Watching DeSantis’ news conference slamming allegations that he’s a Jew hater prompted me to look up his background. I was taken aback by his credentials. From his official bio:
A native Floridian with blue-collar roots, Ron DeSantis worked his way through Yale University, where he graduated with honors and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he earned a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer. During his active-duty service, he supported operations at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi and the rest of Al Anbar province. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
After active-duty service, Ron DeSantis served as a federal prosecutor, where he targeted and convicted child predators. He still serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was first elected to Congress in 2012, as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s Sixth District, where he fought for term limits, the No Budget/No Pay Act, and to cut taxes. While serving in Congress, he refused his Congressional pension and health insurance plan because he is against special deals for politicians. He also sponsored legislation to make it easier for the military to prosecute sexual assault and authored the bill to end the secret taxpayer-funded slush fund for members of Congress to make hush payoffs for sexual harassment.
Learning about DeSantis’ background gave me hope. I’m troubled by the growing number of elected officials of no accomplishment and limited educational backgrounds. My fear is that quality and integrous people will avoid running for public office because accumulating followers on Twitter has somehow become the most important criteria for garnering media attention. Only 20 percent of Americans are on Twitter and some 10 percent of tweeters are responsible for 90 percent of the sewer’s “conversation.”
People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tended bar for a few years after receiving an undergraduate degree in economics from Boston University. The Twitter sage has 12.8 million Twitter followers. By comparison, Ron DeSantis has 1.5 million Twitter followers. DeSantis owes his modest Twitter fame to the corporate media’s and Democrats’ continuous but misguided attempts to smear him, including Ocasio-Cortez.
Last week I stumbled on another inspiring public official with impressive credentials. Her name is Maura Healey and she’s the attorney general of Massachusetts. Unlike Michigan’s Nessel, who allowed a major and once very prestigious hospital called Beaumont Health to implode, Healey has moved to block Mass General Brigham from expanding its footprint because it will result in higher healthcare costs for Massachusetts residents. Nessel just rubber-stamped Spectrum Health’s takeover of Beaumont, which will create far-and-away the biggest hospital network in Michigan, as well as the state’s biggest employer. Nessel didn’t even call for any public examination or study of the deal.
Healey has the broad-based experience one should expect from a major state’s top law enforcement official. Like DeSantis, Healey also comes from a modest background. Healey was a former captain of Harvard’s women’s basketball team, played professional basketball in Europe, and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Healey has 103,000 Twitter followers.
The corporate media is responsible for amplifying the voices of public officials least worth hearing. With their approval rating already at a dismal low, it won’t take much to deliver a knock-out punch. DeSantis is capable of landing the deadly blow, and I’m not alone hoping he delivers it.