DeSantis Still Wants Defamation Bill Targeting Conservative and 'Legacy' Media Outlets (VIDEO)

DeSantis Still Wants Defamation Bill Targeting Conservative and 'Legacy' Media Outlets (VIDEO)

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
May 6, 2023

During his closing remarks after the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signaled that he was still looking to push through a defamation legislative measure against media outlets in the Republican-led state legislature, but only after “a little bit more work” is done to reshape it.

“The defamation, it’s a thorny issue, ok. So, I think that people just started debating it, and there are legitimate issues to do,” said Gov. DeSantis.

Gov. DeSantis said that he did not want to “incentivize frivolous lawsuits, but both bills presented and later killed in both the Senate and House of Representatives did just that.

“Clearly, I don't want to incentivize frivolous lawsuits. That is totally unacceptable and I think there were concerns about initially there were some other things and so it was just the type of thing that probably needs a little bit more work, because you know you want to do this all in a thoughtful way and you want to have something that actually makes sense,” added DeSantis.

Shortly after DeSantis’s defamation bill began to track in the Florida legislature, conservative media outlets of all sizes around the state began to rail against the proposed measure,

Rep. Cory Mills (R) also took notice and sent a blistering letter to the Florida legislature expressing his concern over the proposed bill (s).

The opposition was so loud that the measure was quickly killed, and “legacy media” news outlets took notice.

Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, along with others, pointed to The Floridian’s story about the defamation bill DeSantis had enlisted legislators to push through.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could be on the verge of causing himself a historic and irreparable self-inflicted political wound if he signs into law a controversial legislative measure targeting Free Speech and media outlets.” (Source-The Floridian)

The Florida Bill That Could Help Sink DeSantis's 2024 Chances

Regardless of how the defamation bill is being spun, the measure was a colossal failure.

As we stated, “On its face, DeSantis’s defamation bill is one hot mess.”

Prior to the defamation bill being shelved, DeSantis’s Executive Office told The Floridian that “The Governor would like to see significant changes” to the bill.

DeSantis’s former press secretary Christina Pushaw, who now works on his political campaign, tried to run cover for the governor earlier this year.

“It’s almost impossible for public figures to win defamation lawsuits against media smears. But Gov. DeSantis is working to change that,” stated Pushaw.

Now that the bill is dead on arrival, and there will not be a special legislative session to revive it, DeSantis appears to be pushing lawmakers to restructure it for the 2024 legislative session that starts next January.

In reading the bill, and going over the video testimony of Rep. Alex Andrade, it could take a very heavy lift to frame the defamation bill in a way that plaintiff’s will not feel emboldened to file a complaint against anyone simply because they disagree with what is said or written about them.

The way the bill is framed now, anyone can get sued and have to hire legal representation, opening the door for astronomical legal fees, and having to deal with attorney’s who are just looking to settle a case.

In addition, these lawsuits could also open litigation against news aggregators like Drudge Report, The Liberty Daily, Citizen Free Press, and other websites who propagate the stories named in a complaint.

Watch the DeSantis:

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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