WHEN TODD POLKES, production director of the embattled program The View, contacted the Office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to offer an interview, he never imagined the storm that was about to come upon him and the program he produces.
“I hope you’re having a good summer. I am reaching out to invite Gov. Ron DeSantis to be our special guest on THE VIEW next season, which starts Sept. 6. We would be honored to have him join us in studio sometime in the Fall” Polkes wrote to DeSantis’ office team, according to an email obtained by Fox News.
The response, no doubt, was not seen coming by Polkes or any of the production staff of the ABC program. Governor DeSantis’s press team — probably with his endorsement — publicly rejected the invitation citing a series of defamation made during some of The View‘s episodes by several of its panelists or regular guests.
The email to The View was posted on Twitter by Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ deputy press secretary, who on Aug. 1 revealed part of the contents of the invitation to the governor and, a day later, published the final response.
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“Thanks for the invite. I understand that you are sending this request on behalf of your team,” the email begins. “But are the hosts of The View really interested in hearing from Governor DeSantis about all of the important work he is doing on behalf of Floridians to protect their health and livelihoods, to stand up for parents and children, and to defend freedom?”
Subsequently, the governor’s press team cited several unfounded criticisms said on the show against DeSantis and asked, “Which of the below statements from the hosts of The View do you recommend our team consider when deciding if the interview will be a genuine pursuit of the truth? Or worth the time?”
The post, for example, quotes actress and comedian Joy Behar, who in August 2021 said that DeSantis was just short of being “a negligent, homicidal sociopath, because that’s what he is.”
“What is he doing? He’s risking the lives of children, children’s parents, their grandparents, anyone they may come into contact with, so he can appeal to his white supremacist base, so he can continue in his career and get reelected.” Behar said.
The post also quotes political analyst, formerly considered a conservative-Republican, Ana Navarro, who in April 2022 stated that DeSantis’ policies expose him as a character who is “It’s anti-Black, it’s anti-gay, it’s anti-LGBTQ+ community. And for some reason, the Republican base responds to it.”
“It’s anti-American. It’s what happens in Venezuela. It’s what happens in Nicaragua.” Navarro said of DeSantis.
Attorney and journalist Sunny Hostin is also quoted a couple of times in the post, first saying that “Death-Santis (…) think he’s a fascist and a bigot.” And then claiming without evidence that school policies pushed by Florida’s governor are aimed at persecuting minorities.
“It started with CRT. Let’s remember that – and those are anti-history laws, anti-Black history laws, really,” she said. “If you start coming after Black people, what comes next, right? Of course, the LGBTQ+ community, and then women, and then other marginalized groups.
Finally, after citing all the reasons why DeSantis will not attend The View, the Florida governor’s political team said: “We will pass on this offer..”
El American confirmed that all quotes attributed to The View panelists by the DeSantis team are correct and available online.
The move against The View receives praise
With her usual good timing, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw was quick to explain why the Floridian governor’s press team declined the invitation: “Liberal media wants to interview Governor DeSantis because his popularity draws ratings. But @GovRonDeSantis will not assist failing legacy media outlets in growing an audience for their smear pieces & biased reporting laden with contempt for Americans.”
After the rejection was made public, thousands of online users turned out to support DeSantis’ press team and criticize The View, one of the most unpopular programs in IMDb’s ratings. Likewise, much of the conservative press gave coverage to the email shared by Undersecretary Griffin.
For example, a column by Shawn Fleetwood appeared in The Federalist, highlighting how DeSantis’ press team is handling public relations with progressive-leaning media and inviting Republicans to be somewhat tougher on the unambiguously partisan press. Following the lead of the Florida governor’s staff.
We should probably get ready to continue to see more of these communication moves where the DeSantis team will expose the media that have been declaring war on him for some time now.