A Thursday opinion piece from MSNBC saw columnist Michael A. Cohen sound the alarm on the “vindictiveness, cruelty and demagoguery” of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R., a politician labeled by the writer as “the most dangerous figure in American politics,” even more so than former President Donald Trump.
Trump has largely stepped out of the political limelight since losing the 2020 presidential election, occasionally hinting at a possible 2024 run for the Oval Office, endorsing Republican candidates and hosting political rallies. While the liberal media still often chomps at the bit for any taste of Trump news, DeSantis’ prominence in the culture wars, embrace of Trump and lofty numbers with GOP voters have made him a prime target.
More recently, left-leaning pundits and their guests have ratcheted up the heat on DeSantis over a string of headline-generating moves, including a public battle against Disney and signed legislation aimed at reforming Florida’s public education system, such as the Florida Parental Rights Law.
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JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – APRIL 09: Florida governor Ron DeSantis is seen in attendance during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
According to “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin, “bigotry is on the ballot when it comes to Ron DeSantis.”
The women of “The View” have repeatedly hurled criticism at the Sunshine State governor on a number of issues.
During an April 25 segment focused on a separate bill signed into law by DeSantis stripping Disney of its self-governing status in response to its opposition, the liberal co-hosts railed against the actions being taken, calling them “anti-Black,” “anti-gay,” “anti-LGBTQ+,” “shameful,” “anti-American,” and “a message of hate.”
“It’s anti-woke; and woke, what that really means when you look it up in the dictionary, it’s an awareness of social justice. It’s an awareness of marginalized communities. It’s an awareness and, for some reason, Ron DeSantis and his Republican base, they don’t want people to know that there are social injustices going on,” Hostin added.
This is far from the first time The View has taken shots at DeSantis. In September, while discussing masking in schools, Joy Behar claimed that DeSantis was putting his “political ambitions” ahead of the welfare and safety children.
“He should be criminally liable for that,” she added. “You are actually committing negligent homicide when people die on your watch.”
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FILE – Trevor Noah appears at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. Noah will host the 64th annual Grammy Awards on April 3.
(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Late-night show hosts have also used DeSantis as the center of numerous jokes.
Comedian Trevor Noah made several jokes at DeSantis’s expense during his performance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner Saturday night, saying at one point that “Ron DeSantis is here,” and looking into the audience as if he was directing his attention at the governor himself. DeSantis wasn’t in attendance and said he had no interest in the event.
“I did not watch it, I don’t care what they do, but for them to advertise me when that invitation was rejected by my office, that is a lie,” DeSantis said in a Monday news conference.
Noah has previously mocked DeSantis on a number of separate occasions. On April 20, Noah aired a satirical video where Mickey Mouse ridiculed the governor for threatening Disney’s special self-governance status.
“Ron DeSantis claims to be a conservative, but right now he’s acting like a liberal b—,” Mickey said in the Comedy Central bit.
Other late-night hosts have also engaged in profanity-laced rants and jokes against the governor. In August 2020, CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert reacted to a video of DeSantis telling Biden he didn’t want to hear a “blip” about COVID from the president.
“Well governor, looks like it’s your turn to eat blip,” Colbert said, noting that Florida had asked the Biden administration for ventilators and other protective equipment. In a separate instance, Colbert said that DeSantis could use Jared Kushner’s butt as a ventilator, one of several times he’s used profane or more juvenile humor to attack the right. Another time, he called Trump Vladimir Putin’s “c–k holster.”
“Under the new law a teacher can’t explain that their governor is a d—head,” Jimmy Kimmel said on a March 29 installment of ABC’s late night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “That kind of language is not allowed anymore, so it’s up to parents to explain that their governor is a d—head.”
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Stephen Colbert for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert appears at the 73RD EMMY AWARDS, broadcast Sunday, Sept. 19.
(Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)
MSNBC has also engaged in countless segments criticizing DeSantis.
Host Joy Reid embarked on another rant against DeSantis last week, claiming he now has his “own private police force” meant to “intimidate” Black Floridians “out of being able to vote.”
“So he’s taken away Black representation. He’s taken away the ability of African-Americans to vote, and he passed this police force that you know will be sicced on Black Floridians to intimidate them out of even being able to vote,” Reid later added.
Reid’s colleague Nicolle Wallace has also been less than kind in her conversations about the governor. The “Deadline: White House” host emphatically condemned the recent education bills passed by DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin as “dehumanization” tactics on April 19.
Wallace went one step further to accuse the governor and others like him as using tactics akin to soldiers who “rape children.”
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“I worry in covering Glenn Youngkin and his politics of ‘parental choice,’ all the focus was on how well it worked. And even in our conversations about DeSantis it’s about how well they’re serving him,” Wallace said. “The truth is dehumanization as a tactic for politics is from war. Dehumanization is a tactic, speaking right now where Russians get the soldiers to rape children by dehumanizing them. Dehumanization as a practice is a tactic of war. It is being deployed in our politics and people like you and I sometimes lose the plot and admire its effectiveness, not its substance.”
Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.