CBS’s “60 Minutes” was slammed late Sunday and on Monday morning over a deceptive segment the network aired that smeared Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the way that the state rolled out its vaccine distribution program.
Reporter Sharyn Alfonsi ambushed DeSantis at a press conference last month and aggressively questioned him using a misleading narrative. CBS then deceptively cut out nearly all of DeSantis’ response to her in which he answered her question and defused the central point of the segment, and instead published only the very end of their interaction when he cut her off after she seemed to ignore the answer that he gave. A Democrat came to DeSantis’ defense as did the company that was involved in the segment.
Numerous commentators and political figures slammed “60 Minutes” over the segment, with some calling it among the worst segments they’ve ever seen in terms of being blatantly dishonest.
Below are some of the top responses to the segment:
- Alicia Smith, political commentator: “The DeSantis 60 minutes piece was one of the more blatant political hatchet jobs in the past couple years and that’s saying something. Selectively editing videos and omitting evidence just to conjure up a predetermined narrative isn’t journalism, it’s tabloid fodder. And nobody at 60 mins will pay a price for this. Nobody will be forced to apologize, be asked why they selectively edited an interview, or why they omitted key pieces of the vaccine decision. It will just be repeated by other outlets as a statement of fact. Mission accomplished.”
- Mollie Hemingway, Hillsdale Senior Journalism Fellow: “60 Minutes ignores deadly scandals with Cuomo and Newsom in order to try to invent one with DeSantis. (Gasp: large grocery chain gives political contributions!) The FL Governor’s real crime? Not following the hysterical lead of the propaganda press, thereby making them look bad.”
- Jared Moskowitz, former Democrat lawmaker and current director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management: “@60Minutes I said this before and I’ll say it again. @Publix was recommended by [FL Division of Emergency Management] and [Florida Dept. Health] as the other pharmacies were not ready to start. Period! Full Stop! No one from the Governor[‘]s office suggested Publix. It’s just absolute malarkey.”
- Publix: “The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive. We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic.”
- Josh Jordan, statistician: “The full, unedited answer from DeSantis certainly gives a lot of details that were edited out of the 60 Minutes interview. I realize they have to edit for time, but the edited clip below intentionally leaves out context on why Publix was chosen.”
- Emily Brooks, reporter, on CBS News claiming they “obtained” publicly available campaign finance records: “‘Obtained by 60 Minutes?’ It’s public record. I found this info in less than two minutes. That’s not the kind of language outlets normally/should use for info posted publicly — more for documents that sources give reporters/outlets. Super weird and pretentious phrasing.”
- David Harsanyi, writer: “Florida’s governor distributing vaccines to the largest supermarket chain in his state is a scandal for the same network that gave Cuomo a dozen glowing segments after he sent a bunch of old people to die. It’s just unbearable.”
- Matt Whitlock, political strategist: “Cuomo killed thousands of seniors, covered it up, and has been accused of serial inappropriate behavior And we’ve got 60 Minutes arguing DeSantis decided to distribute vaccines through the most trusted grocery store in the state… because campaign donations.”
- Scott Jennings, CNN analyst: “If DeSantis is GOP nom in ‘24 and/or elected POTUS, the outrageously dishonest targeting of him by the national media will be a major reason why”