Semaphore, a new media outlet founded by Ben Smith and Justin Smith, has faced a major backlash over Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ report on his media relations.
In a Sunday article titled “Ron DeSantis Builds His Media,” Semaphore Media reporter Max Taney detailed the governor’s penchant for interviews with primarily conservative media outlets, including two new Florida publications, pointing to the governor’s easy access to the media. described as an attempt. interviews and friendly advertising.
As Tani tweeted, “Ron DeSantis is building his own alternative conservative media ecosystem in Florida,” Semaphore’s official Twitter account said: “Florida’s governor shut down the mainstream press and gave interviews to outlets supported by GOP donors.”
Members of the governor’s team disputed Semaphore’s claims and criticized the liberal media for not giving Republicans a fair shake.
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Brian Griffin, a spokesman for Gov. DeSantis, quoted the story on Twitter and responded, “Right…” the luxury position of destroying traditional media. It’s not a luxury to have the print and corporate media turn against you, but conservatives must fight back and refuse to accept that a biased and dishonest media has any right to attention or access.”
Deputy press secretary Jeremy Redfern responded to Tany’s tweet: “Are you going to be OK?” he asked.
“When your options are the ultra-partisan legacy media, self-proclaimed Democratic activists like the Capitol Press Corps, the pay4play Lincoln Project blog, and “new media” (owned by Sam Bankman-Fried) like Semaphore, definitely an alternative,” DeSantis communications officer Christina Pushow tweeted.
Semaphore received some of its initial funding from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who was widely criticized for the fraudulent business practices that led to his company’s downfall. Several others took to Twitter to attack the publication for its association with Bankman-Fried.
“Is there a bigger joke than Semaphore right now? So if we’re getting this right… DeSantis doesn’t appear on mainstream shows like ‘The View’ and does that mean he’s freezing out the ‘media’? SBF possible.” I can’t be happy about his big investment here. How big is it again? Fox News reporter Joe Concha wrote.
“Semaphore is @BuzzFeed [Ben Smith]’s new left-wing blog was paid [Bankman-Fried]”, – wrote Richard Grenell, acting director of national intelligence during the Trump administration.
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Pushow again blasted Tani for the errors in his article, noting the claim that DeSantis’ “last interview with a major outlet was a sit-down with a local CBS affiliate in late 2021.”
“You don’t check your stories before you publish them, so why should @GovRonDeSantis talk to you? Fact: He spoke to local TV stations during Hurricane Ian the past few months and also did an interview with Telemundo “, – he says. tweeted.
Columnist Karol Markowicz pointed out another error when Tani claimed that DeSantis turned down an offer to interview Whoopi Goldberg and Meghan McCain on The View in August and instead gave an interview to a conservative website in Florida.
“.@MeghanMcCain hasn’t been seen since 2021 and it’s a huge advantage for @GovRonDeSantis that she’s not talking to the media like Whoopi about openly hating conservative jokes. Good @thewillwitt for the interview,” he tweeted.
Semaphore later made a correction, replacing McCain in the copy with Joy Behar.
Conservative pundits continued to rally, arguing that Democratic politicians benefit from a friendly left-leaning media.
“In an environment where the corporate media is just anti-GOP propagandists – and very proud of it – why does Ron DeSantis take this seriously? (Also, big corporate media propagandists are not ‘mainstream’ and never will be shouldn’t be. so called),” Federalist Editor-in-Chief Molly Hemingway tweeted.
“Democrats already own the media,” wrote Joel Pollak, a senior editor at Breitbart.
Scott Wagner, vice chairman of the South Florida Water District Board, tweeted: “You don’t have to wonder why @GovRonDeSantis dropped 60 Minutes after losing journalistic integrity and editing and falsifying an entire piece. these are losers.”
Wagner pointed to a 2021 story in which CBS’s “60 Minutes” mistakenly reported that DeSantis chose Publix as a vaccine distribution site because of political donations he received from the company. The report was discredited, and even several prominent Democrats in the state defended DeSantis.
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Pluribus editor Jeryl Bier wrote, “The biggest problem with this article is that it concludes that DeSantis is popular because he’s getting friendly media coverage because his policies appeal to voters.”
DeSantis won his re-election bid by a landslide last month and is considered one of the GOP’s top contenders if he were to throw his hat into the 2024 presidential ring.