Amid stories meant to inflame racial tensions, the Fox News vs. Dominion Voting Systems case, and rallying to TikTok’s defense over a Montana bill to ban the app, NBC’s Today found time Tuesday to bemoan Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) “escalating feud with Disney” daring to “doubl[e] down on a fight against an American icon: Mickey Mouse.”
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is making headlines on several fronts this morning. A high-profile trip to Washington, D.C., his escalating feud with Disney, now floating the idea of building a state prison next to Disney World,” co-host Craig Melvin began.
National correspondent Gabe Gutierrez footnoted a rare DeSantis trip to Washington before bemoaning that he’s using Florida’s legislative session to “doubl[e] down” on his “intensifying” “fight against an American icon: Mickey Mouse.”
After a clip of DeSantis stating that Disney should “live under the same laws as everybody else,” Gutierrez added “a new bill’s in the works from Florida’s Republican controlled legislature to wrestle back power from Disney, the state’s largest single site employer.”
[DeSantis] wants to revoke the company’s self-inspection of rides and monorails and investigate potential safety hazards. The move comes after Disney quietly managed to prevent a state board from taking control of a 42-square-mile special tax district, which essentially allows the entertainment company self-rule in Florida.
After pointing out “[t]he clash last year when Disney opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law,” Gutierrez bemoaned how DeSantis used an appearance to (jokingly) propose the “developing land next to Disney World” to include a prison.
On Twitter, DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin explained what Gutierrez (and others in the liberal media and faux conservatives) have ducked, which was that “Disney had extraordinary special privileges and an unfair special advantage compared to other businesses in the state.”
Griffin argued “[t]hat is not appropriate, especially in light of Disney's threat to work to overturn duly enacted legislation in the state of Florida (legislation that empowered parents to be involved in their child's education which, incidentally, had extraordinary public support.)”
The NBC correspondent closed with more aspersions about 2024, “his poll numbers...dropping,” and touting attacks from former President Trump.
Gutierrez gave Disney the last word with its tweet promoting “an upcoming pride event at Disneyland” and April 3 comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger claiming this was government clamping down on free speech.
Exit question: If NBC is so concerned about free speech and capitalism, why are their liberal media comrades so incensed about conservatives boycotting Bud Light and opposing transgenderism?
Tuesday morning’s liberal media fret-fest over DeSantis was brought to you by advertisers such as AARP, Liberty Mutual, and Walmart. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcript from April 18, click “expand.”
April 18, 2023
8:04 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; DeSantis vs. Disney Feud Escalates]
CRAIG MELVIN: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is making headlines on several fronts this morning. A high-profile trip to Washington, D.C., his escalating feud with Disney, now floating the idea of building a state prison next to Disney world. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez joins us from the nation’s capital with more. Gabe, good morning to you.
GABE GUTIERREZ: Hey, Craig, good morning. Governor DeSantis scheduled to make a trip here to D.C. to meet with Republican lawmakers amid widespread speculation that he’ll soon announce a run for president. But with the Florida legislative session still underway, he’s now doubling down on a fight against an American icon: Mickey Mouse. This morning the feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney is intensifying.
GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS (R-FL): They’re going to live under the same laws as everybody else.
GUTIERREZ: DeSantis says a new bill’s in the works from Florida’s Republican controlled legislature to wrestle back power from Disney, the state’s largest single site employer. He wants to revoke the company’s self-inspection of rides and monorails and investigate potential safety hazards. The move comes after Disney quietly managed to prevent a state board from taking control of a 42-square-mile special tax district, which essentially allows the entertainment company self-rule in Florida.
DESANTIS: This is basically a sham agreement.
GUTIERREZ: The clash started last year when Disney opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which opponents call the “don’t say gay bill.” It bans classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis also now floating the idea of a state developing land next to Disney World.
DESANTIS: Maybe try to do more amusement parks, some have said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows!
GUTIERREZ: The renewed political brawl as DeSantis ramps up his travel nationwide ahead of a possible presidential run, speaking to supporters last week in Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire.
DESANTIS [a Liberty University] [on 04/14/23]: We have made Florida the state where woke goes to die.
GUTIERREZ: But his poll numbers are dropping after sustained attacks from Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: Ron DeSanctimonious is being crushed in the polls, all of them.
GUTIERREZ: And while DeSantis has avoided engaging with Trump directly, NBC News has exclusively reported that DeSantis’s political team has reached out to members of Florida’s congressional delegation to keep them from endorsing the former President. And, this, week, a super PAC supporting Ron DeSantis is out with a seven figure ad buy even though he’s not formally in the race. Disney said it had no comment on Governor Ron DeSantis’s latest remarks, but its first tweet following the news conference, it highlighted an upcoming pride event at Disneyland. Earlier this month, CEO Bob Iger said it seemed wrong that a government would seem to punish a company for exercising free speech, Craig.
MELVIN: Gabe — Gabe Gutierrez for us there in Washington. Gabe, thank you.