FIRING BACK: ‘Top Gov’ DeSantis takes aim at corporate media in new ad

by Samantha Flom

Photo: Alamy

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is no stranger to corporate media attacks, and in a new ad inspired by the film “Top Gun,” he gives a crash course on fighting back.

“No. 1, don’t fire unless fired upon, but when they fire, you fire back with overwhelming force,” DeSantis advised in the ad, which was tweeted Tuesday by his wife, Casey DeSantis.

Other “rules of engagement” shared by the Republican governor included “never ever back down from a fight” and “don’t accept their narrative.”

Applauded by many conservatives for its lack of a political agenda, “Top Gun: Maverick” has been a box office smash this year, raking in $662 million in ticket sales and surpassing “Titanic” as the seventh-highest grossing film ever, according to Variety

A sequel to the 1986 cult classic “Top Gun,” the film follows the next generation of TOPGUN Navy fighter pilots – led by Tom Cruise reprising his role as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – on a new and dangerous mission. 

DeSantis, who served as a U.S. Navy JAG officer before starting his political career, had previously mentioned wanting to see the film back in June, according to Florida Politics.

“I do want to see it at some point,” the governor said at a press conference, per the outlet. “I think it’s just, you know, it’s like any movie that’s not, like, overwhelmingly woke can actually appeal to normal people.”

Since assuming Florida’s governorship in 2019, DeSantis has made a point to appeal to “normal people” as well. His campaign website lists priorities such as “putting kids first and protecting parents’ rights” and “protecting the integrity of our elections” — and he has certainly demonstrated his commitment to both.

In addition to recently signing legislation that prohibits teaching racial discrimination and age-inappropriate content in classrooms, the governor last week announced the arrests of 20 individuals for alleged voter fraud.

As for taking on the press, DeSantis has repeatedly challenged the mainstream media’s narratives on topics like Covid-19, the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Even though he refuses to “back down from a fight” with left-leaning media, DeSantis’s Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw asserted last Wednesday that part of conservatives’ media strategy should be to limit interviews with “legacy media” to make clear that anti-conservative bias will not be tolerated.

“(M)y working theory is that if ALL conservatives simply stop talking to them, the legacy media will lose any shred of credibility or interest to Americans who follow politics,” she tweeted. “It won’t be worth paying for straight DNC opinion. We should use our platforms to build up new media.”

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