Florida paper grumbles that DeSantis barred liberal media from covering GOP summit: ‘Try crying about it’

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gathered state Republicans for a conference and the liberal press was “crying” about not being invited, according to his spokeswoman. 

The Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit was held over the weekend, featuring a “Victory Dinner” headlined by DeSantis on Saturday. In an article that was updated throughout the weekend but originally published on Thursday, the Tallahassee Democrat complained, “[DeSantis’s] party is prohibiting many reporters from covering its big election-year gathering in Hollywood,” Florida.

The outlet noted that while this event had “traditionally has been open to the media,” this year “many media outlets were not allowed into the event.” 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had gone through a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years, becoming one of the most popular leaders among the GOP.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had gone through a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years, becoming one of the most popular leaders among the GOP.
(REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

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DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw poked fun at outrage over the event strategically deciding its guests.

She tweeted, “It has come to my attention that some liberal media activists are mad because they aren’t allowed into #SunshineSummit this weekend. My message to them is to try crying about it. Then go to kickboxing and have a margarita. And write the same hit piece you were gonna write anyway.”

Pushaw’s comments were a play on a quote from former White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier this year when she said, “So, my advice to everyone out there who’s frustrated, sad, angry, pissed off: Feel those emotions, go to a kickboxing class, have a margarita, do whatever you need to do this weekend, and then wake up on Monday morning.” 

Pushaw added that many liberal journalists attend conservative events with a bad-faith mindset, intending to make the event’s hosts and attendees look controversial to the public. “It’s such a vibe killer when you’re at a conservative event and it’s teeming with Daily Beast / VOX / Vice / Washington Post activists trying to stalk attendees and get content that they can edit, take out of context, & publish for their DNC overlords,” she noted in a July 23 tweet.

She criticized the media outlets repeatedly complaining about the event not inviting them, tweeting, “Liberal media in Florida doomed itself to irrelevance because these ‘journalists’ make every story about themselves & their delusions of persecution. People don’t want to read your hand-wringing.”

Florida, Sanibel Island, Lighthouse Beach Park Point Ybel. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Florida, Sanibel Island, Lighthouse Beach Park Point Ybel. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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The Tallahassee Democrat noted, “Among national publications, the Wall Street Journal received media credentials but the Washington Post and New York Times did not.”

“Barring most mainstream media organizations from the Summit is unusual,” the newspaper said, especially with congressional primary debates to be held.  

It followed up by suggesting that wariness of liberal media outlets makes DeSantis an increasingly Trumpian character, “Trump also loves to bash the media and, at times, barred certain outlets from covering his events. DeSantis has made criticizing the media a central part of his regular talking points.”

Even so, the outlet theorized that DeSantis may have excluded liberal journalists in order to allow Trump more time in the public spotlight. It said, “This weekend, Trump will be speaking in Florida at a [different] conservative event in Tampa. The media is being allowed to cover that event. Could Trump’s simultaneous appearance Saturday night have something to do with the tight media access at the Sunshine Summit?”

Then-President Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Evansville, Indiana.

Then-President Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Evansville, Indiana.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The paper then provided a unique theory, “The increasing attention DeSantis is receiving within the GOP reportedly is irking the former president. DeSantis may not want to draw too much attention to himself on a night Trump also is seeking the spotlight.”

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In case the article had not belabored the point enough, it assured readers, “Whatever the reason, it’s particularly unusual to prohibit many media outlets from covering an event where candidate debates will be held.”

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