Fla reporter buried when ‘Don’t Say Gay’ tweet turns into perfect example of what’s WRONG with journalism

A Friday tweet exchange between a South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter and a contributing editor for The Spectator over Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law turned into such a perfect summary of the sad state of American journalism, even Governor Ron DeSantis’s spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, couldn’t ignore it.

It started when the Sun Sentinel’s Scott Travis tweeted, “Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law takes effect today. It’s impact has already been felt.”

“That’s not the name of the law,” responded The Spectator’s Stephen L. Miller.

“That’s why it’s in quotes,” explained Travis. “But the name recognition for ‘don’t say gay’ among the public is far higher than the bill’s actual name.”

“It’s a good lesson in marketing/branding,” he stated.

Miller found the explanation “amazing.”

“‘We started calling it that and you know, look how many people recognize it’ is a pretty amazing admission for a journalist,” he noted.

And to that, Travis took exception. After all, those were not the words he used.

“If you’re going to use quotes,” he admonished Miller, “quote accurately.”

The exchange caught the attention of Pushaw, who couldn’t resist commenting.

“Senior journalist at @SunSentinel,” she captioned her screenshot of the back-and-forth.


“You mean like you put ‘Don’t Say Gay’ in quotes even though it’s an inaccurate description of the law?” she asked Travis.


The baffling lack of self-awareness from the Sun-Sentinel reporter comes on the heels of an announcement that his paper has cut a quarter of its newsroom staff.

“And he’s one of the few Sun Sentinel reporters who did NOT get laid off today,” Pushaw remarked incredulously.

“This is the greatest self-own I’ve seen all day,” she added.

In just a few thoughtless words, claimed many on Twitter, Scott Travis demonstrated the problem with today’s journalists and  illustrated with crystal clarity the reason his paper gave so many of it staff their walking papers.

“In case you wonder why the Sun Sentinel had massive layoffs, wonder no more,” tweeted one witness to the exchange. “People are sick of being told what the media believes you SHOULD hear rather than the actual real news. Times they are a’changing.”

“Journalist hypocrisy in five tweets,” declared another user.

“Scott Travis forgets Mark Twain’s Rules for Fools, loses Twitter spat in epic public self-own,” quipped a third.

It’s a lesson Travis would do well to never forget again.

“It is better to keep you mouth closed and let people think you are a fool,” Twain once wrote, “than to open it and remove all doubt.”


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Melissa Fine


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