Miami Herald Editorial: We Hope Nation Is Watching

Newspaper blames governor for loss of huge Disney development, but not all agree
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2023 12:59 PM CDT
What Both Sides Are Saying About Disney, DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a fundraising picnic for US Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Disney has pulled the plug on a $1 billion project in Florida, and most (but by no means all) see the company's ongoing feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis as the primary reason. That feud, of course, started last year when the company criticized the state education law that detractors call "don't say gay," prompting retaliation from the governor. Things have only escalated since.

  • Blaming the governor: The editorial board of the Miami Herald calls Disney's latest move as a "stunning economic—and psychological—blow to the state," and it puts the blame squarely on DeSantis. This "is about suppressing free speech," the editorial reads. "It’s about punishing political enemies using the power of the state. It’s about a nakedly ambitious, vindictive governor who can’t tolerate dissent. We hope the rest of the country is watching."
  • False narrative? The "idea that Disney would abandon a multi billion dollar project because of a tiff with DeSantis is idiotic," reads a tweet in a thread on the subject highlighted at the conservative Twitchy site. "It's the kind of thing that people whose living is entirely about petty on line spats think is good business because they don't understand business." No, Disney didn't beat DeSantis, writes the author. "Disney beat DISNEY."

  • Blaming the governor, II: Democrats, particularly those in Florida and California, are pouncing on DeSantis, notes Politico. This is a common sentiment, from a statement by Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani: “DeSantis is a job killing moron who cares more about his own political ambitions and culture wars than Florida and our future. This is not who you want for President—ever.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom sarcastically thanked DeSantis for the 2,000 jobs promised in the development project.
  • From the right: At the conservative RedState, a blogger named Bonchie isn't buying the narrative that Disney pulled out because of DeSantis, arguing that it was a shaky business proposition from the get-go. He also faults "spineless" Republicans such as Mike Pence who are criticizing the governor for fighting with the company. "Again, is the Republican Party going to be the party that pushes back on woke corporations or not? Because it’s starting to feel rather swampy in here, and that includes what’s coming from Donald Trump."
  • The politics: An analysis at the New York Times sees the Disney move as a "significant defeat" for DeSantis, who is expected to launch his 2024 presidential campaign next week. The piece suggests it will worsen doubts about DeSantis' judgment that have surfaced among Republican donors. A similar sentiment is voiced in a CNN analysis by Stephen Collinson: "Disney’s latest swipe at DeSantis set off multiple political reverberations," he writes. "It offered a huge opening for ex-President Donald Trump and other Republican primary candidates to argue DeSantis is blundering through an ill-conceived battle with the corporate giant and to accuse him of squandering jobs and business in pursuit of higher office."
(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.