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Tuesday, July 4, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Attacks Disney For Him
Topic: Media Research Center

The DeSantis Defense Brigade at the Media REsearch Center has been working so hard, we're still trying to keep up. The MRC has been giving DeSantis' partisan war against Disney special attention. Tierin Rose Mandelburg did her best DeSantis PR job in an April 18 post:

“Don’t mess with Texas” should change to “don’t ef with Florida.” Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) just cracked down against Disney … again. 

Desantis and the Disney company have been in a feud for quite some time now. The increasingly woke entertainment conglomerate tried to interfere with Florida politics when it objected to a DeSantis-backed bill to protect kids from hypersexualized content in schools. 

Most recently DeSantis has cracked down on Disney's fantasy financial situation. Walt Disney World resides in a special tax district called Reedy Creek and in essence, has been serving as its own government since 1967. DeSantis ended that and appointed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board to replace the Disney-run Reedy Creek Improvement District that formerly oversaw Disney World infrastructure.

Disney tried to outmaneuver DeSantis when it “cut a special deal with the old oversight board it controlled before the new board, appointed by [DeSantis], took over,” Daily Mail noted. 

It became known that Disney secured approvals for the next 30 years for zoning, infrastructure and air-rights if the company chose to expand -- without approval from DeSantis’ selected board and without meeting the rules DeSantis had set.


DeDantis went so far as to drop a casual mention of building a prison next to the amusement park. 

Disney owns undeveloped land near its current residence but DeSantis confirmed that Florida also owns that land. He toggled with a couple of ideas with suggestions from others like a state park or an extension of the amusement park. DeSantis added,  “Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless.”

The House of Mouse might want to start playing nice, if you ask me, since Disney’s development is going to be up to DeSantis’ hand-picked board if the new resolution takes effect.

Mandelburg didn't explain why Disney must be punished simply for "objecting" to DeSantis' "don't say gay" law. She went on to huff that "Disney has clearly overstepped and abused its privileges," but she didn't explain why exercising First Amendment rights is suddenly a "privilege" when used to advance views she doesn't like.

The same day, Alex Christy complained that commentataors pointed out DeSantis' partisan nastiness:

Occasionally, the cast of MSNBC will view themselves as qualified to opine on what is and is not conservative and Tuesday’s Chris Jansing Reports was one such occasion. Not only did nominal Republican Tara Setmayer declare Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s fight with Disney to be “petulant” and “not conservative,” but also “un-American.”

Jansing’s original question to Setmayer had nothing to do with Disney, but was more about 2024 horse race analysis and how it relates to the GOP’s relationship with Donald Trump, “if you're a congressional Republican, how worried are you about the fallout from the former president if you show up at a DeSantis event?”

After a long-winded answer about Republicans being scared of Trump, DeSantis being a former “C-lister” and a “wimp,” Setmayer declared, “And his behavior taking on Disney is not only petulant, but should be concerning to people who claim that they're free market conservatives because political retribution against a private company is definitely not conservative and quite frankly un-American.”

Apparently, breaking cronyism is simultaneously anti-free market, un-conservative, and un-American. This is why MSNBC needs actual conservatives and not members of The Lincoln Project.

Christy didn't mention that his MRC colleague thinks free speech is a "privilege." Isn't that un-American?

In yet another April 18 post, Curtis Houck grumbled that there was accurate reporting about DeSantis and Disney:

Amid stories meant to inflame racial tensions, the Fox News vs. Dominion Voting Systems case, and rallying to TikTok’s defense over a Montana bill to ban the app, NBC’s Today found time Tuesday to bemoan Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) daring to “doubl[e] down on a fight against an American icon: Mickey Mouse.”

“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is making headlines on several fronts this morning. A high-profile trip to Washington, D.C., his escalating feud with Disney, now floating the idea of building a state prison next to Disney World,” co-host Craig Melvin began.

Houck then tried to reframe DeSantis's threat to build a prison next to Disney World: "After pointing out “[t]he clash last year when Disney opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law,” Gutierrez bemoaned how DeSantis used an appearance to (jokingly) propose the “developing land next to Disney World” to include a prison." Houck offered no evidence that DeSAntis was joking.

That was followed by comedy cop Christy complaining that others didn't get DeSantis' (unproven) joke:

CBS’s The Late Show host Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show temp host Jordan Klepper condemned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on their Tuesday shows for joking about possibly putting a new state prison next to Disney World and it was unclear if these professional joke tellers knew DeSantis was joking.

Referencing Disney’s attempt to wiggle around state law, Colbert introduced a clip of DeSantis by declaring that he “couldn't take control of Disney World, so now he's talking about what he can do to the land around the park.”

Colbert may be celebrating prematurely, but as for DeSantis, the clip showed him musing over what do with the land around Disney World, “People have said, you know, maybe have another-- maybe create a state park, maybe try to do more amusement parks. Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I mean, I just think that the possibilities are endless.”

Based off his tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions, DeSantis was clearly joking, but Colbert still replied, “Yeah, a state prison next to Disney. He’s about to run for president, and his latest proposal is ‘I'm going to put Florida convicts next to your children.’”

Christy regularly ignores the voice, body language, and facial expressions of comedians to declare that their jokes aren't funny, so maybe he's not a very good judge of such things.

Houck returned for an April 19 post whining that someone pointed out DeSantis' weak position against Disney:

MSNBC’s Morning Joe has, in part, been defined by co-host Joe Scarborough’s jealousy for Florida Republicans who had a more successful political career and following than he did.

Such was the case Wednesday when he and his crew of middle school bullies spent over 25 minutes smearing Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as “anti-business,” “anti-conservative,” “insecure,” and “stupid” for fighting woke Disney and working to undo the state’s crony arrangement with Reedy Creek. 

With 2024 on their mind, they also made sure to fawn over Donald Trump linking with Disney to attack DeSantis.


The ever-pompous goon later quipped: “You know, Willie, as a Florida guy, I am a Florida man, it’s never made sense these attacks on Disney.” He explained that “Floridians take great pride in” Disney and he has “friends” across the spectrum, so DeSantis doing anything to fight the multi-billion dollar corporation was “a great example...of Republicans overrplaying.”

Nowhere in these 25 minutes of hate did they care to admit DeSantis was reelected in November by nearly 20 points, Republicans swept state row offices, and the GOP gained super-majorities in the legislature.

If Houck thinks Scarborough is jealous of DeSantis' success, does that mean we can claim Houck is jealous of the success of CNN's Oliver Darcy, given how he can't stop maliciously slandering Darcy as a "Benedict Arnold" for the offense of escaping the right-wing bubble?

The next day, Houck baselessly insisted that Disney treats ABC the way the MRC treated its former "news" division

Acting on behalf of its parental overlords in Ron DeSantis-hating Disney, ABC’s Good Morning America ran a 62-second segment on Thursday trashing the Florida Republican Governor’s Board of Education for having “expanded the Don't Say Gay bill” “critics dangerous” to the lives of students.

ABC had a helping hand as Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News also bemoaned the change while touting members of Florida’s congressional delegation endorsing former President Trump over DeSantis in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Houck offered no evidence to back up his claim that Disney is mandating the content of ABC News reports.

Houck used the word "whore" in the headline of an April 27 post to disgustingly smear any news coverage critical of DeSantis:

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC banded together under the banner of corporate liberalism to rally behind ABC’s parent company/"economic heavy hitter" Disney and even some 2024 GOP presidential candidates against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for having created a “long-running feud” and “power struggle” for Florida supremacy.

So as not to lose their jobs, ABC’s newscasts were stenographers for the people who sign their paychecks. World News Tonight anchor David Muir boasted in a tease: “Our parent company, Disney tonight filing a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, accusing the governor of a ‘targeted campaign of government retaliation.’”

Again, Houck has no evidence of coordination -- he simply assumes that Disney treats ABC like his employer treated CNS. Despite a complete lack of proof, HOuc concluded by repeating the slander again, asserting that the "liberal media" was "playing whores for corporate liberalism."

DeSantis must be paying the MRC well for it to so viciously smear anyone who tells the truth about him.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 PM EDT

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