TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — At a news conference on new state COVID-19 testing guidelines and the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attacked national media outlets for using the anniversary to target supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“It’s interesting, how everything in our society becomes very politicized. Today is going to be, I’m not going to watch any of it,” DeSantis said. “You’re going to see the D.C., New York media, this is their Christmas, Jan. 6. They are going to take this and milk this for anything they could to try and smear anyone, whoever supported Donald Trump.”
DeSantis’s comments previously took a similar tack when decrying allegations of censorship at Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter during the 2021 legislative session and in response to changes to YouTube’s misinformation policy regarding COVID-19.
The governor said the closest comparison to Jan. 6 he faced while in Congress was an assassination attempt on Republicans during a baseball game.
“I just look back and compare when I was in Congress, what event that we faced, was the attempted assassination of Republican members of Congress on the baseball game,” DeSantis said.
“I actually was on the field, this guy who was a big Bernie Sanders guy, it was definitely a politically motivated attack, came up, pulled his van in. We didn’t think anything of it. We walked out to go to the car, and we came in contact with him. He wanted to know if it was Republicans out there. We get in the car, leave, and then we find out he shoots up a bunch of people. And if we had not had the Capitol Police there, you probably would’ve had a dozen people assassinated. That was probably a one, two day story,” DeSantis noted.
DeSantis said the story didn’t get more coverage because it didn’t “totally undercut their preferred narratives.”
“Jan. 6 allows them to create narratives, that are negative, about people that supported Donald Trump,” DeSantis said. “If you obstruct a proceeding, all about hold people accountable. If you’re rioting, hold accountable. But let’s just be clear here, when they try to act like this is something akin to the Sept. 11 attacks, that is an insult to the people who were going to those buildings, and it’s an insult to people when you say it’s an insurrection and then a year later, nobody has been charged with that.”
The governor said people were being charged with disrupting the proceedings, not insurrection.
“I think it’s very important that if this is what you said it was, why are you not charging people?” DeSantis asked. “So, I think it’s going to end up being a politicized Charlie Foxtrot today. I don’t expect anything good to come out of anything that Pelosi and the gang are doing. I don’t expect anything from the corporate press to be enlightening, I think it’s going to be nauseating, quite frankly. And I’m not going to do it. I do think that if you have this Jan. 6 committee, why do we not know some of the people who we know were really involved in orchestrating this, they got pulled off the most wanted list?”
DeSantis pointed to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who while testifying under oath to Congress, “would not answer” which FBI were involved, according to the governor.
The governor said national media didn’t care about the fact that there was “a false Russia collusion conspiracy theory that was put on for years,” and alleged that it was because the media was involved in the conspiracy. He said they didn’t care if it damaged trust in national institutions and that as Florida’s governor, he didn’t think Floridians were worried about the Jan. 6 events.
DeSantis said national media didn’t care about the fact that there was “a false Russia collusion conspiracy theory that was put on for years,” and alleged that it was because the media was involved in the conspiracy. He said they didn’t care if it damaged trust in national institutions, and that as Florida’s governor, he didn’t think Floridians were worried about the Jan. 6 events.
“So I just think that it is what it is, but it’s not something that I’ve been concerned about in my job here. Because quite frankly, it’s not something that most Floridians have been concerned about,” DeSantis said. “They’re concerned about their jobs, education, inflation, gas prices, all of those things. And I wish the Congress of the United States would be concerned with those pressing issues as well.”
DeSantis said Congress members would “sadly” use the Jan. 6 anniversary to get more time on television. The governor also criticized a recent visit to Florida by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was reported to be in Miami.
“They’re going to use this to get more TV time, and some of them, who are probably the most loud, probably will end up vacationing in Florida as well,” DeSantis said.