Gov. Ron DeSantis avoids progressive or “legacy media” outlets like the plague with good reason, and the latest hit piece put out by “reporter” Maxwell Tani for the Left-wing publication Semafor, all but makes his case.
By the way, what the heck is Semafor?
It appears as if the “new media” site is the brainchild of former Buzzfeed founder Ben Smith, and could be backed by disgraced FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried.
Before I dive right into Tani’s blatant hit piece against Gov. DeSantis, it's important that I point out that Semafor boasts that their “journalists” tend to “know the difference between the facts and their analysis.”
This is laughable. Look here.
Last Sunday, Tani posted a story that he titled, "Ron DeSantis is building his own media.”
The article was written to try to set the narrative that Gov. DeSantis only spoke to conservative media outlets or friendly media, and was shutting out mainstream media outlets or “legacy media.”
Tani focuses on two new DeSantis-friendly sites, Florida’s Voice and The Florida Standard, as outlets that give the popular governor lay-up interviews and friendly press, not to mention being backed by Republican donors.
There may be some truth to what Tani claims about those Republican donors. One of the worse kept secrets in Florida is the fact that certain donors are backing one or both of these websites, but then again, isn’t Bankman-Field backing Semafor?
Don’t get me started on hedge funds owning mainstream media outlets, because I have goods on that.
But I want to focus on Tani and his biased and questionable journalist integrity.
Last Friday, I received a phone call from a friend and colleague, one of Florida’s most respected journalists and someone DeSantis also respects and speaks to.
Let’s call him Paco.
Paco told me that a media outlet (Semafor) wanted to reach out to me about a story they were writing about DeSantis and his relationship with conservative media.
Paco said that if anyone was the person to speak to about DeSantis, it was me because my conservative bona fides were beyond reproach and my past relationship with the Governor.
I then received an email from Tani about the story. Here is the email I received:
Hey Javier. I'm a media reporter with Semafor. I'm working on a story about the DeSantis media ecosystem: What reporters/journalists he talks to, who he is friends with in conservative media, which conservative media personalities are backing him in 2024.A few people told me that the governor occasionally talks to you, and that you'd be a good person for me to chat with. If you have a few minutes to talk, give me a call? 714-345-5427.
So, I called Tani and gave him just enough information for him to frame a balanced and informative story about DeSantis, giving him my take on his relationship with the media.
I have sat in dozens of press conferences since DeSantis took office, and have sat down with him numerous times while he was a member of the House of Representative, so I have a pretty good gauge on how he deals with the media.
Considering that I work along side both the Washington and Florida press corps, I know what to say and what not to say to reporters like Tani.
And no attribution even though a well-respective colleague of mine told you to reach out because of my bona fides. I'm a simple blogger? It's obvious we did not fit the narrative you were looking for and you chose to pick and choose what you wanted to post. Typical hit piece
— Javier Manjarres (@JavManjarres) December 5, 2022
Moreover, I sent him a written statement expecting it to be butchered and be taken out of context.
Do you think he used my entire quote or butchered it? Wait for it…Wait for it…
Here is what Tani wrote about our 15 minute or so conversation and subsequent email containing my quote and links to past stories and interviews with “backbench congressman” DeSantis:
Unlike Trump, the governor also has a smaller rolodex of personal friends in conservative media. He’s friendly with some prominent pundits, most notably Tucker Carlson. And while he largely steers clear of beat reporters in the state, DeSantis still occasionally talks privately to longtime Florida blogger and one-time Republican congressional candidate Javier Manjarres, whose relationship with DeSantis predates his time as a backbench congressman.
“He’s an amigo,” Manjarres told Semafor.
Referring to DeSantis as a “backbench congressman” speaks volumes about Tani’s motives and Semafor’s feable attempt to “rebuild trust” from their audience, as they brag of trying to be working on.
Yes, you can laugh again.
Here is my entire quote. It goes without saying that what I sent over did not fit the biased narrative Tani was seeking.
"Gov. DeSantis’s relationship with the media is simple.
Show him the respect he deserves by not asking really stupid questions. Reporters who tend to yell at him and think they can outsmart him by trying to reframe one of those stupid questions at his press conference will always feel his wrath.
Ron and I have always had a very friendly and respectful relationship both on and off the political playing field. He is an amigo. A good hombre."
Ladies and Gentlemen, there you have it.
This is a textbook case of “fake news” reporting. First of all, referring to me a simple blogger and not using my entire quote just tells you where Tani’s head is.
Also, if Tani were to cite The Floridian, let alone link to it (most real journalist reference their sources), readers would then realize the legitimacy of the website and its balanced reporting.
Then deriding DeSantis by calling him a former backbenching legislature is the icing on the fake news cake.
Stories like this are why DeSantis has his people block and tackle certain “media” outlets. DeSantis avoids certain outlets and personalities because they behave like idiots and publish so-called news stories that are laden with ideological ulterior motives.
Javier Manjarres is the Publisher of The Floridian