Fresh off an embarrassing series of glitches and interface screwups during the Twitter Spaces launch of his presidential campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has unwittingly walked right into another message-disrupting tech fail, this time on conservative cable news channel Newsmax.
Appearing Thursday to promote his campaign, at one point DeSantis was on a tear about the travel advisory the NAACP issued for Florida that cited numerous DeSantis policies it says “erase Black history” and “restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.” And as he delivered a whataboutist spiel about gun violence in Baltimore, Maryland, the television video feed — and only the video feed — froze.
The audio was unaffected, as was the newscrawl at the bottom of the screen. DeSantis continued to deliver talking points from his usual “anti-woke” playbook, while host Eric Bolling’s face remained frozen mid blink, and DeSantis’ stuck with his mouth pursed in mid-pronunciation. Watch the clip above now (video via ACYN on Twitter).
The mishap comes roughly 24 hours after his much-hyped event on Twitter’s audio-only platform Spaces, which was intended to kick off his campaign with a memorable media splash but instead turned into a fiasco almost immediately. Users who tuned in expected to hear a conversation between Twitter owner Elon Musk and DeSantis, moderated by David Sacks, a DeSantis donor and Musk investor. Instead, it took more than 20 minutes to get started as the feed kept going out and the participants appeared unsure how Spaces even worked.
Musk said these problems were due to a high participant count (around 650,000 users), and he eventually had to close the event and start a new one in order to get it to work properly. (Far fewer users tuned in to that one.) The New York Times later said the whole thing was emblematic of the problems that have plagued Twitter since Musk bought the site last year.
But after DeSantis’ appearance on Newsmax, we’re starting to wonder if Musk has been unfairly blamed. We’ll see if DeSantis ends up with a tech fail hat trick at some point in the near future.