Progressive Media Outlet Smears Pro-DeSantis Influencers, 'Secret Foreign Agent' Pushaw Responds

Progressive Media Outlet Smears Pro-DeSantis Influencers, 'Secret Foreign Agent' Pushaw Responds

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
January 25, 2023

Few would deny Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is popular among the masses. Influencers on Twitter will speak favorably of him, and some are even acknowledged by his campaign Press Secretary Christina Pushaw.

According to the Daily Beast's Jake Lahut, this cannot possibly be because Gov. DeSantis is just that popular.

"Scoop — A look at the Ron DeSantis digital strategy and his A-team of influencers. Top flak Christina Pushaw has been recruiting conservative content creators/media types and making a pitch (which she denies) either IRL or through intermediaries," he tweets.

Instead, as his tweet suggests, Lahut insinuates that the DeSantis office has "quietly recruited a network of conservative social media influencers as part of a broader attempt to circumvent the mainstream press and appeal directly to GOP primary voters nationwide."

This is somehow supposed to be a bad thing.

Lahut describes how three influencers (anonymous, of course), were supposedly approached by Pushaw (who had previously been accused of being a "secret foreign agent" by Charlie Crist) to tweet in favor of DeSantis for pay. Never mind the fact that Democrats and liberal groups do the same thing on platforms such as TikTok.

Naturally, Twitter is quick to call him out.

Pushaw herself responds to the article by asking "where is the evidence of this supposed "Pitch"? You have 3 anonymous sources. Zero receipts. Because it does not exist. Who is your editor?" When another user responds confirming what Pushaw says, she replies that "I've never done that and have no reason to ask anyone. People contact me often to ask how they can help get the governor's message out because they like his policies. I am grateful for any help, whether it's from anonymous accounts or well-known media personalities."

Three influencers who are mentioned by name in Lahut's article are Caleb Hull, John Cardillo, and Jack Murphy. One user jokingly says "BREAKING: Campaign hires staff." Pushaw responds that "None of the people mentioned here are campaign staff. Nobody connected to the governor nor myself pays anyone to tweet or attend events. Governor DeSantis has organic support because he leads on conservative policies that people like. 19.4!," referring to the large margin by which DeSantis beat Charlie Crist in the midterm election for Governor.

Similarly, State Rep. Alex Andrade (R-2) mockingly replies to Lahut with "BREAKING: Politician we don’t like has a sECrEt ARmY of iNfluEnCeRS…" while including a picture of TikTok influencer Benito Skinner, who worked with the Biden White House to create a comedic video in 2021.

Perhaps one user puts this whole situation best when they say "they are scared of the Florida man [DeSantis] becoming a national figure. They do this with any powerful R, and because DeSantis has a great team behind him, you get lied about too."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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