The establishment media’s all-out war on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has failed spectacularly largely because, unlike so many others who have been subjected to press bullying, he fights back.
Following a hit piece by Associated Press reporter Brendan Farrington that claimed the Sunshine State Republican was promoting a COVID drug that a top donor had investments in, DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw pushed back at the misleading story, tweeting “Drag Them” and “put you on blast,” leading to a temporary restriction of her Twitter account.
Farrington, who claimed that he was the recipient of threats locked down his own Twitter account and melodramatically tweeted, “Just Please don’t kill me,” yet another example of how the bully runs crying to the teacher after being punched in the nose.
On Friday, AP sought to defend its reporter for the misleading story as well as to play the victim when CEO Daisy Veerasingham wrote a letter to DeSantis accusing him of encouraging “the systemic bullying of journalists,” and demanding that he “eliminate this attack strategy,” shifting the focus away from its own dishonest reporting and onto DeSantis and Pushaw.
The @AssociatedPress is writing @GovRonDeSantis today re: his press secretary, @ChristinaPushaw, and her "direct effort to activate an online mob to attack" a @FLPressCorps reporter. "We call on you to eliminate this attack strategy from your press office," the AP's exec VP asks. pic.twitter.com/ghyK7Lwy2K
— Troy Kinsey (@TroyKinsey) August 20, 2021
Pushaw quickly responded to AP’s suggestion that she was endangering its reporter.
“No one from our office ever threatened him,” she told Fox News. “His story drew harsh criticism because it was false – and discouraged people from seeking life-saving treatment. Instead of owning up to that and retracting their hit piece, AP doubled down and tried to make the story about the backlash the reporter received.”
The story which was entitled “DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes,” suggested that there was corruption due to Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel’s investment in Regeneron which is being promoted by DeSantis as he works to mitigate infections in his state, the fund’s CEO Ken Griffin has donated millions to a pro-DeSantis political committee.
However, Farrington admitted “that it’s not unusual for hedge funds to have a wide range of investments. And BlackRock, which has primarily donated to Democratic candidates, though has also donated substantially to Republicans, has a large holding in the company – more so than Citadel.”
Pushaw tweeted that she spent hours on the phone with Farrington and his boss discussing the story and that they were unable to explain the “basics of hedge funds,” she also said that it was AP’s south news director Ravi Nessman who wanted the misleading headline.
I was on the phone w/ @bsfarrington & his boss Ian for hours tonight. They could not explain: the basics of hedge funds, who holds shares of Regeneron, or who is making money from Gov. DeSantis' promotion of monoclonals (answer: no one). They said @ravinessman wanted the headline https://t.co/9uL8n6cAVF
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) August 18, 2021
The story was widely criticized with even the vaunted “fact-checker” Politifact rejecting its premise although indirectly, rating a post on the highly partisan Democratic Underground’s Instagram account that made the same suggestion of impropriety as “mostly false” for fudging the facts on Citadel.
A firm led by a top donor to Ron DeSantis is not a major investor in Regeneron, which makes a COVID-19 treatment. https://t.co/3DMvA8kmPq
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) August 19, 2021
Even Florida newspapers that are normally hostile to DeSantis had to admit that AP’s story was bogus.
Dan Sweeney of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweeted; “Yeah, we’ve been pretty big critics of DeSantis on the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, but this ‘DeSantis is hawking monoclonal antibodies to make a buck for a donor’ story doesn’t really add up,”
Yeah, we've been pretty big critics of DeSantis on the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, but this "DeSantis is hawking monoclonal antibodies to make a buck for a donor" story doesn't really add up.
That said, I do wish he'd have spent as much time hawking vaccines a few months ago. https://t.co/mG2x5qk9Ja
— Dan Sweeney (@Daniel_Sweeney) August 18, 2021
Veerasingham’s whining letter may have backfired, at least judging by the response on Twitter.
ICYMI: The @AP is so afraid of @ChristinaPushaw that their Dean of Reporters sent a letter to her parents saying she was being mean to their snowflakes because she called out their lies. pic.twitter.com/bnQc63fbBl
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) August 21, 2021
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 20, 2021
DeSantis has been under withering fire from the mainstream media which carries water for the Biden administration for his refusal to bend the knee to Washington on mandatory masking in schools and his opposition to vaccine passports. The attacks will only intensify as Democrats and their operatives look to take out a major competitor for the White House in 2024.
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