Sarah Silverman slams Joy Reid as media panics about DeSantis' proposed civilian military force in Florida

The MSNBC host called DeSantis' proposal 'fascisty bananas' despite NY, CA having similar forces

Actress Sarah Silverman took aim at MSNBC host Joy Reid for sounding the alarm on Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for a proposal for a civilian-military force in his state. 

DeSantis introduced a plan to re-establish what's called the Florida State Guard that can quickly aid the response to hurricanes and other emergencies. Several other states across the country including New York and California have similar civilian forces. 

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"We want to make sure that we have the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible. That will require us to have access and be able to use support in ways that are not encumbered by the federal government or don't require federal government," DeSantis said Thursday. "So I'm going to be recommending in the budget $3.5 million to re-establish the Florida State Guard. The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the National Guard and state-specific emergencies."

However, despite how common it is for states to create their own civilian military force, news outlets suggested DeSantis is tapping into authoritarian impulses. 

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier) (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

CNN's homepage, for example, was dominated Friday morning with the headline, "DeSantis proposes new civilian military force," something the liberal outlet stressed, "he would control."

"Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to reestablish a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control," the CNN article began. "But in a nod to the growing tension between Republican states and the Biden administration over the National Guard, DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be ‘not encumbered by the federal government.’ He said this force would give him ‘the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.’"

It wasn't until the fourth paragraph that CNN acknowledged that Florida would be the 23rd state to establish such a force. 

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But that didn't stop CNN's story from going viral and was shared by several liberal media personalities including the "ReidOut" host. 

"So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?" Reid tweeted.

Silverman, an outspoken liberal, pushed back at the MSNBC star's hyperbolic remark. 

"Please read the article before you post this stuff you’re a news outlet. The truth has to matter," Silverman told Reid. 

Reid was far from the only one expressing sheer panic over DeSantis' proposal. 

"WOW: GOP Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis wants to form a personal militia like the ‘political’ leaders in Iraq have. It would be a militia that only answers to him. This is the beginning of a ‘Red Army’ as the GOP prepares for war. Literally," liberal SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah reacted to the CNN report. 

"'And that, children, was the genesis of Florida's nuclear weapons program,'" Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson wrote

"So...fascism," Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali tweeted. 

"What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do," MSNBC analyst Fernand Amandi similarly wrote

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"i can never figure out how much of this is serious and how much is desantis just trying to get a headline to use to trigger the libs," New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie tweeted

Other outlets ran stories similar to CNN like Axios' "DeSantis proposes Florida civilian military force that he'd control," The Hill's "DeSantis proposes civilian Florida State Guard military force he would control" and The Guardian's "Ron DeSantis plans Florida paramilitary force outside federal control." 

MSNBC's "The ReidOut Blog" went even further attacking the GOP governor with a piece titled, "DeSantis wants Florida to establish its own military force. He can't be trusted." 

(Getty Images/MSNBC/Reuters)

A spokesperson for Gov. DeSantis blasted the liberal media's coverage of his proposal. 

"Today, ‘DeSantis’ was trending on Twitter alongside 'Gestapo.' This is a result of sensationalist false narratives pushed by irresponsible journalists," DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News. "The fact is that 22 other states already have a State Guard, like proposed for Florida. Calling them ‘Gestapo’ is disrespectful, not only to the service members who assist states in emergencies, but also to victims of the actual Gestapo."

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"Corporate media’s super-spreaders of disinformation are desperate to score cheap political points against Governor DeSantis, but they aren’t fooling Floridians. Florida is the freest state in the country, because we have a governor who fights to defend our constitutional rights – even in the face of an unprecedented onslaught from the Biden Administration. Protecting citizens’ freedom to live their lives and make their own choices, as Governor DeSantis does, is the opposite of dictatorship," Pushaw added.