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Monday, February 6, 2023
Post-Election, MRC Continued To Serve As DeSantis' PR Agent
Topic: Media Research Center

After Republican Ron DeSantis won re-election as Florida governor -- a campaign for which his fanboys at the Media Research Center served effectively as a campaign press agent -- the MRC continued for weeks afterward to lash out at any perceived criticism of him in the media:

The MRC got some cheerleading in as well, such as in a Nov. 29 post by Catherine Salgado gushing over how DeSantis "slammed Apple for kowtowing to the Chinese communist government while simultaneously trying to squash free speech in America by potentially banning Twitter from the App Store." She didn't explain what such foreign policy pronounceents had to do with him governing Florida. Meanwhile, Tim Graham complained about all the criticism in his Dec. 2 column:

It’s a fair point for Trump diehards to suggest that DeSantis is going to face an all-out national-media assault. But that’s true of any candidate who leads a Republican primary poll. In 2011, the national media ripped into every Republican who seemed like the front-runner, from Michele Bachmann to Rick Perry to Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, and then Romney.

Republican presidential contenders should never expect national reporters to be friendly to their campaigns, and neither should Republican voters expect that national reporters are interested in any other goal than keeping a Democrat in the White House.

This being the MRC, some of its defenses of DeSantis veered from reality. Kevin Tober complained in a Nov. 13 post:

On Sunday night’s American Voices on MSNBC, host Alicia Menendez and his panel of left wing radicals attempted to smear Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis as a “white Christian nationalist” whose religious beliefs “see[p] into his governance” of the state of Florida. 

“Here's the thing with DeSantis. It's not just rhetorical. Right? It actually–this idea seeps into his governance,” Menendez cried. 

Turning to MSNBC columnist and author Anthea Butler, Menendez wanted her to talk through the ridiculous argument she just made. 

“it seeps into his governance because the way he thinks about the world is that God has put him in that place to rule over Florida. And so when you see this, when he’s against trans kids, and the don't say gay bill, and all of this, this is part and parcel of what he sees his Christian nationalism to be,” Butler falsely claimed.

Continuing to smear DeSantis and proving what an anti-Christian bigot she is, Butler huffed that DeSantis “thinks that he has dominion over this Earth and God has given it to him.”

But Tober censored any mention of the evidence that backs this up: an ad tweeted out by DeSantis' wife before the election featuring images of the candidate that began, "On the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said: ‘I need a protector.’ So God made a fighter." The ad went on to invoke God's name a whopping 10 times. It was so over the top that even religious media outlets criticized it -- but Tober wants you to believe such criticism of DeSantis is apropos of nothing.

Clay Waters complained that DeSantis' record on COVID issues and pandering to anti-vaxxers was criticized in a Dec. 17 post:

Don’t be fooled, voters: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is as insane as Donald Trump! That was Paul Krugman’s warning in his Friday column based on DeSantis’s occasionally hesitant tone toward vaccinations and a recent request for a grand jury probe over statements from COVID-vaccine makers: “DeSantis May Make 2024 an Election About Vaccines.”


He was angry with DeSantis for calling for a grand jury to look into possible misinformation spread by vaccine companies. Krugman sneered, “I doubt that anyone believes that DeSantis knows or cares about the scientific evidence here.”

Actually, DeSantis provided several examples of misleading claims about vaccine efficacy from Pfizer and Moderna, and President Biden himself, who falsely stated "You're not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations." Krugman probably didn’t bother looking.

To commit his latest anti-DeSantis rant, Krugman had to ignore actual facts, available at, showing Florida’s “fully vaccinated” percentage of the population is slightly higher than the national average (68 percent vs 67 percent), significantly higher than blue states like Michigan and comparable to Oregon and Minnesota. If DeSantis is trying to seed anti-vaccine propaganda in Florida, he’s doing a lousy job of it.

Waters went on to complain that Krugman noted "thousands of excess deaths in the Sunshine State" -- which, interestingly, he didn't dispute, perhaps beause he can't. Waters also cherry-picked the vaccination number: While the "fully vaccinated" number -- which refers only to the first round of vaccines -- is around the national average, the Times data to which Waters refers also notes that the booster rate is notably below the national average (29% vs. 34%).

Meanwhile, the MRC has been silent about election truther and MyPillow guy Mike Lindell questioning the legitimacy of DeSantis' re-election. It appears that not even the MRC will never amplify questions about elections in which Republicans win, even as it continues to cling to its bogus stolen-election narrative involving Donald Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2023 9:59 PM EST

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