The Associated Press sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week demanding that he put a stop to “harassing behavior” from his press secretary, Christina Pushaw, after she pushed back on the publication’s latest hit-piece.
The @AssociatedPress is writing @GovRonDeSantis today re: his press secretary, @ChristinaPushaw, and her “direct effort to activate an online mob to attack” a @FLPressCorps reporter. “We call on you to eliminate this attack strategy from your press office,” the AP’s exec VP asks. pic.twitter.com/ghyK7Lwy2K
— Troy Kinsey (@TroyKinsey) August 20, 2021
In the letter, incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham accused Pushaw of threatening a journalist because she quote-tweeted a critique of a recent article the AP published about DeSantis, instructing the account’s followers to “Drag them.”
The article in question suggested the Republican governor has been pushing the therapeutic drug Regeneron for the coronavirus because a third-party hedge fund that once donated to his campaign invested in the company that is producing it.
Because Pushaw pushed back on the story, Veerasingham accused Pushaw of issuing “threatening and insulting tweets,” calling this “systemic bullying of journalists.”
“It is the type of behavior that the United States government routinely criticizes in other nations,” Veerasingham claimed. “It certainly has no place in a democracy that values robust and civil public discussion.”
DeSantis and Pushaw dismissed the AP’s report as a smear job that could discourage thousands of Floridians from getting a potentially lifesaving coronavirus treatment.
Hey @bsfarrington. Sad to see this cheap political innuendo from AP. Should be “DeSantis & Biden Agree Monoclonals Save Lives.”
You KNEW this isn’t a story. You KNOW you can’t defend it. You said your “boss’s boss” wouldn’t change the headline—& you refused to tell me his name. pic.twitter.com/5dA5jP1Ys1
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) August 18, 2021
In response to the AP’s complaints, Pushaw said the publication is clearly “embarrassed that they got caught pushing potentially deadly misinformation narratives that were conclusively debunked.”
Just so you all know, the @AP is embarrassed that they got caught pushing potentially deadly misinformation narratives that were conclusively debunked, so they’re trying to deflect and make the story into “Republicans Pounce.” Don’t fall for it: https://t.co/MN4j7Ogszt
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) August 20, 2021