DeSantis Team Responds After Media Outlet Says Governor Gets A Lot Of Undue ‘Flattering’ Coverage

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James Lynch Contributor
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A spokesman for Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed news startup Semafor for questioning local digital outlets’ positive coverage of DeSantis.

DeSantis’ Press Secretary Bryan Griffin called out Semafor and the corporate media in a Dec.4 Tweet saying “[it’s] not luxury to have print & corporate media stacked against you – but conservatives have to fight back and refuse to accept that biased & dishonest media are entitled to attention or access.”

His comment is referring to a report by news startup Semafor about positive coverage DeSantis has received from local Florida news outlets and independent media figures. DeSantis has given interviews to Fox News, conservative podcasters and favored Florida news sites, Semafor alleged.

Griffin elaborated on his statement to the Daily Caller. “Much of the mainstream media (“traditional media” in the article you provided) are liberal activists masquerading as journalists. In these outlets, it is often difficult to tell the difference between editorials and news articles. The bias is not only within their writing — it is also exhibited in topic selection, headlines, focus, framing, and the ExpertsTM they choose to utilize to achieve their desired conclusions. They are not informing the public; they are telling them what and how to think.”

He added, “As such, conservative leaders must reach the public and speak truth through outlets willing to report accurately and fairly. Mainstream media is not entitled to attention, and indeed the public is better served when these outlets are held to higher standards of journalistic integrity.”

Semafor specifically mentioned The Florida Standard and Florida’s Voice for positive coverage of DeSantis. Both are new sites with conservative ownership groups designed to push back against unfair legacy media coverage, Semafor reported. (RELATED: DeSantis Denies ‘U-Turn’ On Revoking Disney’s Special Privileges)

Semafor reporter Max Tani stated in the “Max’s View” section of the newsletter that “DeSantis finds himself in the luxurious position of being able to brush off traditional media,” which Griffin specifically responded to in his twitter statement.

In a separate Dec. 4 newsletter, Semafor founder Ben Smith wrote that DeSantis’ “pet Florida media” makes “the People’s Daily look like a lively New York tabloid.” The People’s Daily is a Chinese state-run news outlet which the State Department deems a “foreign mission”  for its CCP propaganda.

Semafor is a digital media and newsletter startup that launched in Oct. 2022. It has received criticism for the seed investment made by disgraced former crypto billionaire and Democratic megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried. Company CEO Justin Smith told employees in a Dec. 2 memo Bankman-Fried’s investment would be a “single-digit minority stake” if converted to equity.