DeSantis targets media hypocrisy over its ‘book ban’ allegations

Disputing the media’s claims that he wants to “ban” books, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a video presentation of specific examples of the books being removed from schools.

Then, seemingly proving his point, several local media outlets reportedly cut their live feed to the press conference over concerns that the content was inappropriate for TV audiences. 

DeSantis has kept Florida at the forefront of a national effort to get rid school libraries and classrooms of sexually inappropriate books.

“In Florida, pornographic and inappropriate materials that have been snuck into our classrooms and libraries to sexualize our students violate our state education standards,” the governor said in a statement on Wednesday, which also links to the video presentation.

“Florida is the education state and that means providing students with a quality education free from sexualization and harmful materials that are not age appropriate,” he added.

One local reporter confirmed that their station cut its live feed to the presentation over concerns that the materials were inappropriate for TV audiences.

“When we were told sexually explicit content would be shown – we went down. I am not disputing that. I emailed my newsroom, concerned,” tweeted WFLA investigative journalist Masha Saeidi.

A spokesman for DeSantis said the censorship of the presentation proves the media is lying about book bans.

“The media has done an enormous disservice to people by lying about Florida’s educational standards and curriculum transparency efforts,” said Bryan Griffin, press secretary for DeSantis.

Griffin shared a screen grab of one such attempt at inaccurate media coverage with a local news station: 

My name is Ashley and I’m a reporter with Channel 9 in Orlando. I’m covering a rally tonight in the city, where people will gather to discuss books banned in Florida. They are specifically saying this is part of Governor Desantis’ anti-black, anti-immigrant and anti- women agenda. 

Does your office have a comment? 

Thank you, 


As Griffin pointed out, there are no books banned in Florida.

“Any adult can buy any publication they want,” Griffin answered.

Some of the books that have caused concerns for parents include Gender Queer – an explicit, pornographic book showing sex acts; Flamer – a graphic book about young boys performing sexual acts at a summer camp; This Book Is Gay – a book containing instructions on “the ins and outs of gay sex” and; Let’s Talk About It – a book that contains graphic depictions about how to masturbate for males and females, the governor’s office reports.