The job of Governor DeSantis taxpayer-compensated Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw appears to be three-fold;
1- Attack the mainstream media and the real journalists of The Associated Press, The Miami Herald, The Orlando Sentinel and other publications that are using their investigative skills to expose the darkness of Florida’s COVID crisis and the continued half-truths and moving of the goalposts by the Governor and his acolytes.
2- Spread and amplify any misinformation about COVID in Florida via her Twitter feed.
3- Coordinate messaging with the right-wing media ecosystem, including The Wall Street Journal opinion page, Town Hall Fox News, NewsMax (based on Florida), The Blaze (founded by Glen Beck) The Daily Caller (founded by Tucker Carlson) and The Federalist (founded by Ben Domenech) among others to parrot what the Governor is saying. For the record, I read NewsMax and Town Hall.com regularly to inform myself of what conservatives (or these days MAGA populists) are thinking and it is without question in my mind DeSantis has eclipsed President Trump as the figure this alternate-media ecosystem rallies around (this by no means indicates Republican voters would prefer Trump to DeSantis as the nominee but does show the media grifters on the right prefer DeSantis, his autocracy and preference for lawlessness to any other current US elected official).
Time and again the last several week’s we’ve seen Pushaw’s tweets turn into opinion pieces on these sites. And often times the tweets tell the story.
These tweets and associated narratives tell a story that is much more widespread than a small amount of Twitter dialogue.
Today right-wingers create all sorts of false equivalencies and assume if you criticize someone’s policies or comments you are attacking them personally (Pushaw demonstrates this trait but why pick on her solely, she’s far from alone among those on the right though in fairness many on the left behave the same way – Europeans have often pointed ot to me that Americans in general take things too personally) . They then use those professional criticisms as justification to author the sort of below-the-belt, nasty personal attacks so many conservative talking heads engage in on a daily basis. They thrive on nastiness, dishing out personal criticism, trying to bully people, calling people names and muddying the waters as to what is factual and what isn’t. The excel in misinformation.
The right has since April 2020, created a completely alternate reality, fed by alternate scientific studies, alternate media stories and aggressive name-calling, bullying and shaming online. The result has been that almost half the country lives in a an alternate universe about COVID.
The other result is that political figures on the right NEVER get held truly accountable for anything anymore because they claim aggrieved victimized status when they are called out by credible journalists and publications (like The Associated Press for instance) and turn a lynch-mob of angry, well-funded advocacy publications like The Federalist loose.
If the state of Florida wants a Twitter vigilante who is supremely gifted at inciting an online lynch-mob towards the mainstream press (or “corporate press” as both DeSantis and Pushaw call it) while coordinating with a group of well-known biased national publications, taxpayers are getting theirs moneies worth. If we wanted something else in a Press Secretary, then we are falling short.