Never forget that the story is never the initiating event, but instead the Republican reaction to it. CBS News and 60 Minutes aired a hit piece on Ron DeSantis so egregious that two leading Florida Democrats slammed CBS for its “intentionally false” report on the state’s vaccination partnership with Publix. “60 Minutes should be ashamed,” the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County declared yesterday.
So what’s the story here? According to Axios, it’s that DeSantis is pouncing — excuse me, “seizing” — on the story to promote himself. Their headline? I kid you not …
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally with his eyes on the White House, is dialing up a dispute with “60 Minutes” — seizing on a juicy chance to ingratiate himself with the GOP base by bashing the media.
Why it matters: It’s a political gift akin to all the Fox fodder that Sen. Tom Cotton gobbled up after the N.Y. Times revolt over his op-ed. …
On Fox News last night, Tucker Carlson said as he welcomed the governor: “I was just thinking the other day, all these people moving to Florida, they’re probably going to try to take out DeSantis soon. Didn’t take them long, did it?”
‘They don’t believe in facts,” DeSantis said. “It was done with malicious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth.”
Wow — DeSantis responded to a hatchet job that tried to smear him as corrupt by “seizing” it, and then “milks” it to, er … defend himself against a yellow-journalism political hit piece. That’s what the guild calls “circling the wagons,” no? Not even the testimony of Democrat officeholders in Florida can distract Axios and the rest of the media from making DeSantis account for CBS’ smear rather than CBS itself.
Here’s the segment Axios’ Zachary Basu and Mike Allen describe as “seizing” and “milk[ing]”. You might think this is just DeSantis attempting to defend himself against CBS’ effluvium, but don’t get confused. Republicans always seize, pounce, or milk, rather than put the onus where it belongs. And journalists wonder why Americans hold them in lower regard than ever.
Update: Man, that Republican pouncing gets around today …
Hey look, more Republican pouncing! Do they have a full course on this in J-school, or is it a summer-term elective? https://t.co/0jz4NQU1zj
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) April 6, 2021