Politico's Florida bureau chief Matt Dixon told the outlet during an interview that Gov. Ron DeSantis' communications team has made its relationship with the media "worse" by publicly sharing screenshots of journalists' questions.
"Calling them confrontational does a disservice to the word confrontational. Under DeSantis, the institution of public communications has been upended. It previously was an area that always had some healthy tension between reporters and communications staff, but now the creation of tension is the point, as opposed to an occasional byproduct," Dixon said, according to Politico.
"DeSantis' communications team has openly boasted about how it's not their job to help members of the media, and are well known for taking screenshots of reporter questions and posting them on Twitter, a habit that only makes the relationship worse. Stories that they disagree with often end up as standalone headlines on right-wing websites or Fox News, and then will be endlessly retweeted and circulated by the community of Twitter trolls they have helped cultivate," he added.
Christina Pushaw, who resigned from her role as DeSantis' press secretary last year to serve as rapid response director for his campaign, mocked Dixon's comments: "Politico? More like PolitiCOPE," she tweeted. "Matt Dixon should cry more," she wrote in another tweet.
Current DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin also mocked Politico, tweeting in response to Pushaw's post, "BREAKING: @politico tells @politico that @politico isn't treated nicely enough because @politico sends emails that @politico doesn't want the world to see."
"Is this 'crying more?'" Dixon wrote when retweeting a Twitchy story about his comments and the resulting mockery. "I'm often told to do it by many of the people in this story, but not exactly sure how it works."
Last week, Griffin posted a screenshot of a loaded request for comment from CNN.com's John Blake.
"I'm requesting a response from Gov. DeSantis or anyone from his office to an article I am writing about Gov. DeSantis decision to block the teaching of an high school Advanced Placement course on African American history course in Florida," Blake wrote, according to the image in Griffin's tweet. "I've talked to one of the nation's leading scholars on fascism who, along with another scholar who is an authority on fascism, say that DeSantis' decision echoes similar decisions made by fascist dictators to force what one historian calls 'collective amnesia' about the past."
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