Ron DeSantis’s book drops on February 28. The book’s subtitle is Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, signaling DeSantis’s ambition for national office. Despite the book’s imminent publication, major national news outlets’ coverage of DeSantis has been mostly piecemeal. This is a a dereliction of journalistic duty. It allows DeSantis to set the terms of the public’s understanding of him. The journalistic coverage of him after the book comes out will be reactive, written in the shadow of what he has published about himself.
There should have been long form coverage of DeSantis by now, published in major newspapers with national and international reach. This coverage should have synthesized news of DeSantis’s high-profile extreme right steps with coverage of his lesser known but equally extreme, right wing steps. We should already have major stories about his background and his career before becoming governor, with analysis of how he arrived at his current ideology.
We need this sort of reservoir of background information, synthesis, and analysis to prepare us to understand DeSantis’s depiction of himself and the effects he has had on Florida. DeSantis isn’t publishing his book primarily to inform us. He’s positioning himself to run for President. The book is campaign material. But many people won’t perceive it that way. It will become their baseline for who DeSantis is and what he’s done in Florida.
Addendum: some useful coverage of DeSantis published before his book release
The list below will be updated if and and when I find additional useful articles.
- On DeSantis and education
- On DeSantis and business
- On what DeSantis did before becoming governor
- On DeSantis’s overall effects on Florida
- General profiles of DeSantis