The Press Is Really Angry At DeSantis, And The Reason Is Perfect

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Leaking stories to the press has been a political and business tactic since there was a press. From the days of “Yellow Journalism” or slanted news in the 1920s to the current trend of liberal media and internet conservative news, the practice has solid roots. the media is used to operating that way, and any other behavior from politicians is not the norm.

For years, outlets like CNN and The New York Times have relied on access to politicians they despise and constantly smear. And for years, Republicans have played along, believing they need the publicity in order to communicate with the American public. In the days before internet news, this was crucial.

Even Donald Trump, famously adversarial with the press, has continued to give interviews to people like Maggie Haberman and Bob Woodward. Trump speaks to the liberal press, but also posts updates on social media as to his thoughts on their take as to what he said to them and if they reported accurately or twisted his words.

DeSantis has chosen another path, not even bothering to give his political enemies, which the press obviously are, the free material. That’s led to consternation, and the press isn’t having any success taking the backdoor either.

According to a new report, journalists are growing frustrated with the Florida governor and possible 2024 presidential candidate. Ron DeSantis because those around him don’t leak damaging information to them. DeSantis’ strategy of ignoring the press has them flummoxed, Red State notes.

One commentary piece explained how in the lead up to the 2024 election, prominent media outlets have been competing to find journalists familiar with the DeSantis administration to report on it, as the governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate’s team is “inherently distrustful of the press.” Another political reporter said that DeSantis’s guardedness with the press has been ‘a little bit of a culture shock.”

Vanity Fair staff writer Charlotte Klein wrote Friday, “It can be particularly challenging to report inside DeSantis’s orbit, which makes the jockeying by news organizations all the more competitive. For one, it’s hard to source up inside an operation that appears inherently distrustful of journalists.” She wrote, “Despite the fact that Trump has bashed the media for years, he—and others in his orbit—seemed to have reporters on speed dial during his chaotic presidency.

Klein quoted one anonymous journalist, who claimed that DeSantis’ team seemed like it’s “running a straight-up opposition campaign against the media.” The author noted that though former President Donald Trump had an adversarial relationship with media, he allowed journalists more access than DeSantis has.

DeSantis has not yet declared himself a contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, but the media includes him in polls alongside trump and Nikki Haley. who have declared their candidacy. The cagey Florida politician is busy making strides and waves in his own state, including making sure Disney operates with the same tax structure as other businesses, that adult entertainment stays in adult venues, that illegal aliens are dealt with accordingly, and his latest efforts to stop cryptocurrency from affecting banking in Florida as it has nationally and internationally.

Red State further comments on DeSantis’ strategy:

So according to the press, DeSantis is bad because his team is too disciplined and competent, choosing not to leak information that could undermine the job they are trying to do. Talk about a sense of entitlement, and one that was earned over years of Republican politicians being surrounded by people who give reporters whatever they want.

Now, it’s a “culture shock” that a governor and possible presidential candidate actually has control of the narrative. That’s how it should be, though. Nothing was more damaging to Trump’s administration than the constant deluge of leaks from those around him. Every single day, a new anonymously sourced story would kneecap what he was trying to do and distract from the wins. DeSantis obviously saw that and decided he wasn’t going to allow the same mistakes to be made, and he’s followed through to the point that press members are now leaking how mad they are.

As the article notes, the governor’s circle is extremely tight and loyal. It’s also a very senior team of people who have been with him for a long time. That kind of comradery builds trust and buy-in, and when you have those two things, leaks don’t happen. Further, things get done. That’s part of the trend of competence around DeSantis that has been so refreshing. None of his people are chasing clout or cable news hits. They are focused on delivering on policy, and I’d hope Republicans value that.

The only downside, I suppose, is that the lack of leaks means little to no drama, and a lack of drama can appear boring. But I’ll take boring and effective over chaotic and fumbling any day of the week.


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