DeSantis, Trump, and the Media's Hate Fix

Does the media care what it accuses Governor DeSantis of? Not really

"60 Minutes" is facing backlash for a story it aired Sunday on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — including from the supermarket chain Publix and two prominent Democrats in the state.

After the report aired, the Democratic director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Democratic county mayor of Palm Beach County both publicly responded, saying that partnering with Publix was not suggested by anyone from DeSantis' office.

Do CBS or 60 Minutes care? Obviously not. The only significant thing here is that DeSantis is getting the Trump treatment. That means the media just throwing everything they can at him. If one story doesn't work, they reach for another one with zero concern about the most basic facts.

It's a shotgun smear machine.

Calling it the Trump treatment isn't strictly accurate. Trump was the most recent politician to shotgun smeared, but Sarah Palin was a pretty clear precedent for those same tactics, albeit not quite on that same scale. The DeSantis smears are nowhere near that scale yet.

But one question is why do they even exist?

1. The Democrats hope to flip Florida. It was their big target before Georgia fell into their laps and their Florida candidate misfired. It's not just about winning an election but changing the rules to favor the Democrats (a familiar pattern from the 2020 election.)

2. There's talk of DeSantis as a potential presidential candidate. And the media tends to react like this to Republican populists they're worried about. That's why I mentioned Palin and Trump as the most obvious precedents.

3. The media needs blood. If you want a ghoulish cynical explanation, it's 1984's Two Minutes Hate. Media ratings and subscriptions fell after President Trump left office. Cut off from social media, the media is stuck trying to feed the hate fix of their lefty viewer base and readership. Building up a Republican into the new Emmanuel Goldstein is a deliberate strategy to boost viewership and hook the same hate junkies for another month.


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