MATTHEWS: Another one to file under ‘journalists behaving badly’ 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on after announcing a proposal for Digital Bill of Rights, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The higher you want to climb in politics, the more that gets dissected and written about you, down to the number of pets you have and how your great-great-great-great-great uncle once removed created quite a stir in your hometown all those years ago when he streaked down Main Street, doing cartwheels along the way. 

This is especially true when it comes to Republicans, for whom the media leaves no stone unturned when it comes to digging up supposed dirt in an effort to derail their political careers. 

Though he hasn’t declared his presidential candidacy yet, rumors are swirling that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will do just that as early as May, once the state’s legislative session is over. 

The number of hit pieces filed on DeSantis over the last three years (since the start of the coronavirus pandemic) are too numerous to count, but a couple of recent ones left even some on the left scratching their heads and wondering who thought it was a bright idea to publish them. 

On Thursday, The Daily Beast wrote about how DeSantis’ social skills with voters are supposedly lacking. In it, they noted that, among other things, DeSantis can often be found away from most of the action in a crowded room rather than mixing and mingling, preferring to surround himself with those already closest to him. 

But it was the allegations about DeSantis’ supposed eating habits that really, er, took the cake. 

The Daily Beast reported that DeSantis’ supposed “soft skill” problems with voters and donors are so bad that at one point during a 2019 flight, he failed to “read the room” by eating pudding — while seated in a “very intimate flight cabin” — with three fingers. 

I mean what awful thing will we learn about DeSantis next? That he slurps milk out of his cereal and soup bowls? I shudder to think. 

The story ended up being too much for even the liberals at New York Magazine, which mocked The Daily Beast story by predicting that the so-called “pudding incident” would destroy DeSantis’ presumed presidential aspirations because talking points coming from someone “who’s been credibly accused of licking dessert from his paw like a cartoon bear” just can’t be taken seriously. 

Then there was Puck News, who not long after the “pudding” story went up wrote an article wondering if DeSantis was taking Ozempic because he’d slimmed down in a short amount of time. 

“If there’s one thing that’s been documented about DeSantis, it’s his ability to shove anything in his mouth,” Puck News reported. But the “sudden change [in how he looks] has some wondering if DeSantis, like the rest of Hollywood and the Upper East Side, is on Ozempic, the diabetes-turned-weight-loss drug.” 

In the end, they concluded that he probably wasn’t. 

“For what it’s worth, I’m told that he’s stopped eating carbs and he’s taking the new diet very seriously, so perhaps he doesn’t need the drug.” 

Now that’s the type of hard-hitting, Truth to Power journalism we’ve been waiting for all this time, right? 

Seriously, what better way to get people to think critically about the type of national leader Ron DeSantis could be should he run for president and win than to report that he’s a real person who is trying to take better care of his health but has human moments when it comes to food like the rest of us? 

As has been the case with all the rest, these food and weight hit pieces will have the opposite effect of what they intended. They’ll endear people to DeSantis all the more and may win over some converts to his side along the way as people get more and more disgusted with how the mainstream media operates. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.