As Ron DeSantis gets avalanche of negative coverage, Elon Musk also buried

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I used to be attempting to consider somebody who in latest weeks has gotten worse press than Ron DeSantis.

The piling on the Florida governor has gotten so dangerous that not a day goes by with out him being pummeled by the pundits. That is all of the extra placing as a result of DeSantis was beforehand held up as the person who might trounce Donald Trump and take the Republican Celebration in a brand new course – an avatar of Trumpism with out the luggage.

Now that post-indictment Trump has surged within the polls and DeSantis has been sliding, the geniuses of the fourth property are treating him like a piñata – even though he hasn’t entered the race.

I’ve been arguing for a while that DeSantis must punch again on the more and more tough assaults by the previous president. He has largely sidestepped or deflected these assaults, and may be very a lot operating the chance of being outlined by Trump.


Ron DeSantis in Iowa

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters on March 10, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.  (Scott Olson/Getty Photos)

Whereas DeSantis gained’t declare his candidacy till the Florida legislature finishes its session, the actual fact is Trump has drawn him into the presidential race. Within the social media era, you now not have the posh of deciding when to grow to be an official candidate. DeSantis has additionally made some missteps, however whereas he likes to slam the media, the 180 flip to negativity is amplifying and exaggerating his weaknesses.

Simply over the weekend, two liberal feminine columnists for the New York Times ripped Ron:

“DeSantis is making the error of believing that the first race is about points, whereas Trump instinctively understands that it’s about dominance,” says Michelle Goldberg.

Turning the opposite cheek “didn’t work in 2016 and it’s not working now. Witness the parade of Florida Republicans turning their again on DeSantis and bending the knee to Trump with their endorsements.”

Maureen Dowd writes: “DeSantis appears imply, punching out at Mickey Mouse, immigrants, gays and girls; pushing by way of an growth of his proposal to ban faculty dialogue of sexual orientation and gender id to incorporate all grades, in addition to a draconian ban on abortion after six weeks. He even admonished some highschool children throughout the pandemic for carrying masks.” Not a fan.

However I’ve, after deep contemplation, give you somebody who’s getting hammered extra aggressively than DeSantis, maybe as a result of he transcends politics.

His identify is Elon Musk.

Elon Musk pointing

Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks throughout a tour of the plant of the long run foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory on August 13, 2021, in Grünheide close to Berlin, Germany. The US firm plans to construct round 500,000 of the compact Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y collection right here yearly.  (Patrick Pleul – Pool/Getty Photos)

Now the sometimes-world’s richest man has all the time made information, provided that he additionally owns Tesla, SpaceX and different corporations. However ever since he set his coronary heart on shopping for Twitter, he has been constantly trashed by the left-leaning media, which think about him an more and more excessive right-winger. (By no means thoughts that he simply admitted voting for Joe Biden.)

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So the longstanding problems of Twitter – a few of which have gotten worse as he’s laid off 80% of the workers – have supplied fodder for Musk’s media antagonists. He has made issues worse with some erratic strikes and petty fights, resembling denigrating the Occasions and NPR. 

And he has stripped a whole bunch of 1000’s of customers (together with me) of their blue checkmarks, ticking them off as what was meant to be a verification course of morphed into an elite standing image – for which customers now must pay an $8 month-to-month subscription payment. 

Elon Musk and the Twitter logo

Elon Musk’s Twitter eliminated the “state-affiliated media” label it quickly positioned on NPR’s account and changed it with a label that reads, “authorities funded media.” PBS acquired the identical label.  (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto, CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP through Getty Photos (Picture illustration))

Musk eliminated the blue symbols from plenty of big-name pundits, together with the likes of Pope Francis and Paul McCartney. Weirdly, Musk tweeted he’s personally paying the payment for LeBron James, William Shatner and some different celebrities. (What, LeBron can’t afford to pay?) On the similar time, accounts sprung up that includes useless celebrities, making clear the method ain’t working completely. 

Politico author Jack Shafer blames the press for overcovering what he calls the “vapor path of damaged Musk guarantees and failed predictions…

“He’s knocked a U.S. senator with a vulgar tweet, known as a Thai cave rescuer a ‘pedo man,’ ridiculed Invoice Gates’ beer stomach and mocked a disabled Twitter worker…  

“This unbroken stream of Musk blarney and BS must be sufficient to discourage the press from routinely reporting the tycoon’s publicity hounding.” Besides that Musk’s tweets – artificially boosted by an algorithm – are outrageous, humorous, inflammatory, aggravating – filling the void left by Trump.


Shafer mentioned: “Reporters on the Musk beat have some extent once they say you by no means know which one in every of Musk’s outrageous stabs at grabbing consideration will really blossom into real information. He’ll do something to maintain it and himself within the information, and day-after-day the information media rewards his showboating with an avalanche of operating protection and commentary.” Responsible as charged. 

In the Atlantic, Charlie Warzel says Musk’s transformation of the positioning – full of “culture-war drivel” – “is to witness the platform working at its purest, basest degree. Neglect offensive; his conduct is cringe. It exhibits us what has all the time existed deep down in Twitter’s molten core, an elemental feeling shared by the platform’s most ardent customers and that powers a lot of social media: disgrace.”

Effectively, I’m not ashamed, despite the fact that Twitter can typically be a sewer. The app additionally has its upside, serving up breaking information and conversations about the whole lot from coverage points to media to cute canine movies.


Now I feel Musk’s dangerous press edges out DeSantis’ dangerous press, however possibly you disagree. Maybe you’ll resolve to tweet about it. 

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