HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Why is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ghosting on reporters?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA GAGE SKIDMORE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photo via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to hold media events across the state. But when the events are finished, he sidesteps other questions from reporters.

And his office appears to be quiet on the subject. When asked why he is not setting aside time to speak to reporters, his office says the governor’s schedule is “very busy” or provides no reason.



The latest example came Tuesday, as reporters started to approach the governor after a Cabinet meeting. Instead, DeSantis skedaddled out a side door.

Typically, Florida governors have done press availabilities after Cabinet meetings. DeSantis has mostly honored the tradition, offering a few minutes of his time before a throng of cameras and tape recorders.

His spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferre, did not provide a reason about why he was unavailable Tuesday. His schedule showed he had about 90 minutes before his next public event, which was less than a mile from the Capitol.

Another representative of DeSantis’ office noted that the governor had given time to reporters Jan. 22 at a Tourism Day event at the Donald L Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee. Three reporters were each allowed a single question, a ground rule that hadn’t been spelled out before the exchange.
A week before the Cabinet meeting, DeSantis appeared at a news conference outside the Florida Senate touting his administration's work on hurricane relief. After he gave his comments mid-event, DeSantis marched down a hallway and into a room that is not accessible to the public.

“The governor’s schedule is very busy today,” Ferre said.

His schedule that day showed meetings from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. After the news conference ended, the governor had roughly 30 minutes to spare before his next public event, which was being held in the same building.

While it is not clear exactly why the governor has decided to reduce his time with reporters, his strategy is leaving many unanswered questions about issues during the ongoing legislative session.

Reporters also have been interested in issues such as the governor’s association with Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman accused of funneling foreign money into U.S. elections.

On Jan. 14, the last time reporters asked DeSantis about Parnas, he laughed and said: “What is there more to say about it?”

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation