Why is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ghosting on reporters?


  • 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?”

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