FL Gov Ron DeSantis Threatens To Break Mickey Mouse's Legs Over Criticism Of 'Don't Say Gay' Law
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is mad as hell and he's not going to take it any more. If Disney is going to do cancel cultures to Florida by criticizing its "Don't Say Gay" bill, then Florida will just have to use the power of the state to punish the company. Because the First Amendment is very clear that the government is allowed to engage in viewpoint-based discrimination and punish people and companies for the content of their speech.
Oh, wait ...
Last week DeSantis signed the hated bill, which bans acknowledging that gay people exist in elementary schools. They've assiduously branded all critics as "groomers," because what better way to protect children than to glibly accuse everyone who disagrees with you of being a child molester?
Last week, when it was too late to stop it, Disney finally got off its haunches and offered tepid criticism of the law, with CEO Bob Chapek expressing his hope that the statute would be "repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts" and vowing to halt corporate political donations in the state. This is apparently illegal, and not just according to the dipshits at Fox who accused the company of doing hate crimes.
Florida's Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez whined to Laura Ingraham about the "feckless CEOs of these woke corporations, they’re too busy bowing down to the altar of the [Chinese Communist Party]."
Florida Lt. Governor: They will try to bully us like Disney doing. How dare they. They have no right to criticize legislation by duly elected legislators\u2026 Governor DeSantis and I won\u2019t stand for itpic.twitter.com/iIhWtrElZC— Acyn (@Acyn) 1647056464
"They have no right to criticize legislation by duly elected legislators that are passing common sense legislation,” she continued. “To criticize and to threaten! Governor DeSantis and I won’t stand for it.”
A 2019 study found that Walt Disney World generates $75 billion annually for Central Florida's economy and is responsible for 463,000 jobs and almost $6 billion in yearly tax revenue. Nonetheless, DeSantis brands the company “California corporate executives" bent on attacking Florida families with their "woke" ideology. (Gonna go out on a limb and say that California would recover a lot faster from the loss of Disneyland than Florida would if Mickey Mouse upped sticks from Orlando tomorrow.)
“I think they crossed the line,” DeSantis said during a press conference this week. “We’re going to make sure we’re fighting back when people are threatening our parents and threatening our kids.”
Note that Disney, which gave Florida politicians almost $5 million dollars in the last cycle, including $50,000 to DeSantis himself, is only "threatening" to cut off the money spigot — and to both sides. But the governor isn't going to take that one lying down, and now he's talking about rewriting the state's social media law to remove the "theme park exemption."
Last summer, DeSantis and the Legislature's Republicans enacted a law purporting to save free speech by making it illegal for social media sites to ban politicians or political candidates. It contained one hilariously unsubtle carve-out for the state's biggest employer, exempting companies which "own a theme park or an entertainment venue larger than 25 acres" from the law's strictures.
Now, lest there be any confusion, DeSantis and the Florida GOP cooked this bill up all by themselves, as Orlando state Rep. Anna Eskamani notes.
Here\u2019s the moment it happened in case folks want to watch it, your girl was on point https://youtu.be/eOdvKxznxLg— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani \ud83d\udd28 (@Rep. Anna V. Eskamani \ud83d\udd28) 1648744512
The GOP wrote that stupid theme park carve-out and put it in there explicitly to keep Disney sweet. But now that DeSantis is going to war with the Mouse, he's having second thoughts ... about objective reality.
"What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power," he said Monday, professing himself entirely ignorant of how the Disney-specific provision got into his good, clean, very legal bill forcing corporations to engage in speech and host content at the behest of the government.
"I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is ridiculous,’" DeSantis said of his own thought processes last summer when the law passed. "Honestly, it was embarrassing."
But now he's going to fix that provision, which apparently inserted itself into his bill.
"I think in this particular case with Disney, I just don’t think you have very many people in the legislature anymore who are going to be able to defend a lot of what has been done over many years to really have them almost govern themselves in some of these things," he said. "That was probably never appropriate to start, but is certainly not appropriate now at this point."
So now they're going to go back and make sure that the provisions of Florida's social media law apply to Disney as much as to every other company — which is to say NOT AT ALL. Because that ridiculous assault on the First Amendment was immediately enjoined by a federal judge in June. Just like DeSantis's stupid anti-protest bill and his efforts to block University of Florida employees from testifying in litigation against the state. And Equality Florida has already filed a First Amendment suit to get the vile "Don't Say Gay" bill enjoined.
But Florida Republicans have an answer for that one, and it is this amazing song which played on "Fox and Friends" this morning and was flagged by Media Matters.
The press don't like him, but it sure does get my business
He stands up for what he believes
So don't come down here trying to change things
We're doing all right in the sunshine state
Stay out of our business, leave our gov. alone
Down in sweet Florida
Our governor is red, white, and blue
Down in sweet Florida
He's shooting us straight and telling us the truth
Yeah, that's right
Hear that, Mouse? These proud patriots want you to take your business elsewhere and let Florida be free.
Florida vs. Human Decency: Florida Passes 'Don't Say Gay' Bill, Now Let Those Lawsuits Fly!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.