WPTV, other news media not allowed inside as DeSantis signs elections bill

'It wasn't secret,' governor tells reporters while leaving event
WPTV reporter Matt Sczesny questions Gov. Ron DeSantis as he leaves private bill-signing ceremony in West Palm Beach, May 6, 2021
Posted at 8:44 AM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 12:04:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In an unprecedented move, WPTV and other news media weren't allowed inside the venue where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an elections bill into law Thursday. The event was billed as a Fox News exclusive.

The governor's office didn't send out its usual news release to announce the event.

The Palm Beach Post discovered the event was happening based off a tip from a promotional flier.

During a news conference in Panama City Beach hours later, DeSantis called it a "wonderful bill signing" and said he was happy to give Fox News the exclusive on national television.

"It was live on national television on 'Fox & Friends,' and we were happy to give them the exclusive on that. And I think it went really, really well," DeSantis said.


Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses election reform bill

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who recently announced his own candidacy for the governor's mansion, called out DeSantis for barring media from the signing.

As he left the event, DeSantis was asked by reporters why he chose to keep it a secret.

"It was on national TV," he said. "It wasn't a secret."