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Axios reporter claims press release about DeSantis roundtable is ‘propaganda’

Florida Department of Education communications director Alex Lanfranconi shared a screenshot revealing that Axios reporter Ben Montgomery responded to an email containing a press release by calling the release “propaganda.”

The press release is headlined, “Governor Ron DeSantis Hosts Roundtable Exposing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Scam in Higher Education.”

“This is propaganda, not a press release,” Montgomery wrote in response to the email, according to the screenshot Lanfranconi posted.

DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin retweeted Lanfranconi’s post and commented, “This is modern journalism.”


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“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion on divisive concepts such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the impact that these concepts have had on Florida higher education institutions and the students that attend them. These concepts are in no way inclusive, and instead force exclusion and division within higher education, and do not in any way contribute to learning or knowledge; as such, no funding from hardworking, tax-paying Floridians, including the parents of higher-education students, should be spent on these divisive initiatives,” a press release posted online declares.

During the roundtable event, DeSantis said that DEI has been employed at colleges in an attempt to “impose uniformity of thought” and that those who “dissent from this orthodoxy” face exclusion and marginalization.

DeSantis, who won re-election during the Sunshine State’s 2022 gubernatorial contest, is widely viewed as someone who may mount a 2024 presidential bid later this year, a move that would mean challenging former President Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

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