For someone who has gone out of his way countless times to make it clear just how much he disdains the national media, Ron DeSantis is now remarkably trusting of his newfound friends outside of Fox News.
NBC on Monday aired what is only the second non-Fox national TV interview, and for reasons that remain a mystery, DeSantis once again agreed to let them cut up and cut out his answers for the final product. He previously granted an interview to Jake Tapper under the same condition.
Both events have been disasters.
It’s truly astounding that there still exist Republicans who haven’t yet learned a fundamental fact about the media: You can trust them to relay the truth the same way you can trust Lizzo to fast for a day.
And when they’re not explicitly deceiving the public, they’re engaged in some other trifling behavior for the purpose of sabotaging whichever Republican is dumb enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The interview DeSantis taped last month with Tapper aired in the dead-asleep 4 p.m. ET hour, and every other question was interrupted with live segments analyzing Donald Trump’s latest legal woes. The full video was under 20 minutes and was only played in 3-minute increments before Tapper and some other CNN dork cut it off to talk about something else. There is no point in wasting the time to do the interview if that’s how it’s going to be delivered.
If that wasn’t terrible enough, the NBC package was so much worse. Correspondent Dasha Burns aired multiple pieces of it on “Today” and predictably omitted key parts of some of DeSantis’ answers and obnoxiously cut off his remarks after she challenged him on abortion regulation, bestowing upon herself that corny “brave and defiant lady journalist” glow.
Here’s how that went:
Burns: “There’s no evidence of Democrats pushing for abortions up until [after birth].”
DeSantis: “But their view is — their view is, is that all the way up until that, there should not be any legal protections —”
Burns: “There’s no indication of Democrats pushing for that.”
DeSantis: “Well, yes, there —”
If you want to know any more about what DeSantis had to say, find the full interview yourself on NBC News Dot Com, where it will be placed at an undisclosed time!
Average viewer: No thanks! I’ve got things to do!
Seriously, NBC’s daily morning newsletter went up at 9 a.m. ET advertising the interview with a promise that the “full” thing would be on the website. As of this writing, it’s still not.
Burns also made DeSantis look like a clown by chopping up his response to a question about Trump’s third criminal indictment, which charges him in relation to the 2020 election.
“Joe Biden’s the president,” he said, actually dignifying a sophomoric and patronizing question from Burns (“Did Donald Trump lose the 2020 election?” Duh-hurrr). He continued, “But the issue is, I think what people in the media and elsewhere, they want to act like somehow this was just like the perfect election.”
That’s where the footage of his answer ended. What followed, according to Politico, is this: “I don’t think it was a good-run election. But I also think Republicans didn’t fight back. You’ve got to fight back when that is happening.”
Maybe he wanted to expand further on that very important point. Maybe he didn’t. Who knows?! The DeSantis campaign decided it was a good idea to let the media decide!
I’ve been pushing DeSantis to do more non-Fox TV media since mid-June. He is at his strongest when he’s belittling nerd TV reporters with his mastery of policy material and will to correct a fake narrative. A month later, he did his first one, a welcome development. But the whole point was that the interviews would be live precisely so these things don’t happen. When it’s live, the reporter and her gang of producers can’t get cute with the editing and “fact-checking.” When it’s live, they don’t get to assert whatever line they’re trying to push while omitting any rebuttal.
This is now the second time DeSantis has made the exceedingly dumb mistake of agreeing to a pre-taped one. Why? A spokesman for the campaign didn’t get back to me with an explanation. Maybe he’ll offer something in his next aimless sit-down with Jake Tapper.