FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – A Florida newspaper is facing intense backlash this week after referring to the landslide wins made by GOP candidates during Tuesday’s midterm elections – including Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, and Rep. Matt Gaetz all easily coasting to re-election – as transforming the state into a “crimson hellscape.”
The editorial board of the Sun Sentinel – the most circulated newspaper in South Florida – made the declaration on Wednesday, bemoaning the election’s results on their website and the continued apparent evolution of the state into a conservative stronghold.
“Nice knowing you, Florida,” the editorial said. “After Tuesday’s stunning election results, the state’s political transformation is now nearly complete, from deep purple battleground to crimson hellscape, an ideal launch pad for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential aspirations.”
“We now await a second-term agenda that may feature an open-carry gun law, tighter abortion restrictions, new strategies to suppress the vote and more charter flights for out-of-state migrants, presented with even more of the governor’s trademark hubris,” the board continued.
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Regardless of their apparent distaste for DeSantis, the Sun Sentinel nonetheless noted that his huge 20-point win over his opponent was “historic and nothing short of astounding” and that he had “carried 62 of 67 counties” and created “a sea of red reflecting an epic Democratic collapse.”
However, the outlet also claimed that DeSantis had greatly stacked the deck in his favor on Tuesday due to his “racial gerrymandering.”
The acidic editorial quickly turned heads, and shortly after the editorial was published, it was quietly edited, changing the “hellscape” with “landscape.” No explanation or acknowledgement was made in the article regarding the change, but regardless, it came too late to avoid public criticism.
Christina Maria Pushaw, the rapid response director for DeSantis’ re-election campaign, tweeted a response to the Sun Sentinel, posting a map depicting Florida’s overwhelmingly large number of “crimson” GOP districts.
Can’t get over this beautiful map that @SunSentinel called a “crimson hellscape” then stealth-edited to “landscape.” she said. “I live in one of the 5 blue spots…but even my county shifted towards @GovRonDeSantis by double digits this election and elected a GOP STATE SENATOR!!!”
Author and commentator Josh Steimle sarcastically chimed in, tweeting that the Sun Sentinel’s editorial, “Seems objective and professional.”
Ryan Petty, a Florida State Board of Education member, tweeted, “Crimson hellscape. That’s a strange way to spell freedom.”