The CBS News “60 Minutes” reporting scandal that erupted over the weekend after the show deceptively edited remarks made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be growing as newly released emails show that the show did not include remarks that DeSantis’ office sent them two days before the show aired.
“60 Minutes” was slammed by Publix, the grocery store chain at the center of their story, who said in a statement that the segment was “absolutely false and offensive.” Former Florida state Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, publicly called out “60 Minutes” over the segment, saying that DeSantis’ office did not push for selecting Publix to distribute the vaccines. Palm Beach County Democrat Mayor Dave Kerner also slammed “60 Minutes,” saying that their reporting “was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false.”
“60 Minutes” doubled down on their segment in a statement last night, writing:
When Florida state data revealed people of color were vaccinated at a much lower rate than their wealthier neighbors, 60 MINUTES reported the facts surrounding the vaccine’s rollout, which is controlled by the governor. We requested and conducted interviews with dozens of sources and authorities involved. We requested an interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, he declined; We spoke to State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz twice, but he declined to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline. The idea we ignored their perspective is untrue. Counter to his statement yesterday, we also spoke on the record with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 MINUTES have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions. Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.
However, Town Hall Editor Guy Benson noted, CBS’s statement gave a “fake refutation,” claiming that they spoke to Kerner. Kerner “didn’t claim he didn’t speak with them,” Benson wrote. He alleged they *didn’t include the important truths he told them* because doing so would ‘kneecap their narrative.’”
Emails obtained by Fox News reporter Joseph A. Wulfsohn show that DeSantis’ office did respond to questions from the show two days before it aired.
Fox News reported:
On March 31, the Wednesday before airing, “60 Minutes” associate producer Emily Gordon sent a list of questions to DeSantis communications staffer Meredith Beatrice with a response deadline set for the following day at 5 p.m. The questions included: “How did the state determine that seniors were at greater risk” to the coronavirus “than other groups,” a response to claims from “sources” who say the vaccine rollout “favored wealthier communities” while “African American and Hispanic residents” were “not getting vaccinated as quickly” as White people.
DeSantis’ office responded that he would need more time to answer the questions and CBS never replied, the report says. A producer for the show reached out to DeSantis’ office the next day and said to send them his answers “when you are able,” telling them that the segment would air Sunday.
DeSantis’ office sent their answers to the show on Friday, two days before the show aired. The show confirmed they received the answers, which came two days after their “deadline,” which DeSantis’ office said was “arbitrary” and a problem they have “never encountered” before. The show did not include DeSantis’ responses.
DeSantis’ office urged the show to interview Moskowitz and Kerner, saying that it was “important” that they did so. CBS responded that the deadline had passed for them, claiming “the Covid pandemic makes our interview protocol much more complicated and time-consuming due to new distancing and testing requirements for correspondents and camera crews.”
However, as Fox News noted, that “standard appeared not to apply to Florida State Rep. Omari Hardy, a DeSantis critic who ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi interviewed remotely.”
The show said that they had spoken to Moskowitz several times and that the information that he provided to them would be included in the segment. Moskowitz blasted that claim from CBS, telling Fox News that the information that he provided was not included in the segment.
Moskowitz slammed CBS’s statement in a tweet posted yesterday, saying that he warned them that the segment was “bulls**t” and that he “walked them through the whole process.”
“The fact that I didn’t sit down on ‘camera’ because I am responding to a 100 year emergency doesn’t change the truth,” he added.
I did speak with @60Minutes. Never said I didn’t. They were very nice, but I told them that the @publix story was “bullshit”. Walked them through the whole process.The fact that I didn’t sit down on “camera” because I am responding to a 100 year emergency doesn’t change the truth https://t.co/G7QNsV42V5
— Jared MASKowitz 😷 (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 6, 2021