Not only did “60 Minutes” take a cheap shot at Ron DeSantis and miss, but the shoddy hit piece that aired on CBS’s flagship news program boomeranged so badly that even CNN has been forced to admit it.
The governor of Florida continues to look like a very serious Republican contender in 2024. Now that his leadership during the COVID crisis is clearly the nation’s gold standard, he has been targeted by the media in an attempt to slow his momentum.
“60 Minutes” clearly believed that they could hurt DeSantis’s national profile when airing the deceptively edited smear job. They sloppily suggested that he engaged in a pay-for-play deal with the Publix grocery store chain to distribute vaccines. Their attempt to make the governor go viral worked, although not in the way that was intended.
DeSantis came out swinging, ripping into “60 Minutes” over the misleading clip: “They cut out everything that showed that their narrative was a piece of horse manure“, he said when questioned by reporters.
Ron DeSantis is on another level.
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) April 7, 2021
The tables were quickly turned on CBS. This, according to CNN’s Chris Cillizza, inadvertently delivered a “massive gift” to a man who could be a shoo-in for the GOP nomination if former President Donald J. Trump chooses not to run.
Cillizza bemoaned the shoddy work by the CNN competitor, “It was a passing mention, without any other facts or context to back it up. Just that Publix was working with the state to administer vaccines and that the company’s PAC had made this donation to the governor”, and that, “the insinuation here, however, was pretty clear. Publix got this state contract because of the donation. Pay to play. Favoritism. All that good stuff”.
He then pointed out a major problem with the piece; that it was denounced by two prominent Florida Democrats. “The problem is that, in the wake of the “60 Minutes” report, multiple Democratic elected officials have come out to debunk the tie between the donation and Publix distributing the vaccine.
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat, said that the news program had run “intentionally false” information because, he insisted, the producers knew that the county, not the governor, had been the one to request the Publix partnership”, Cillizza wrote.
Cillizza then summed up the major “60 Minutes” misfire; “The report — and the backlash — amount to a massive gift to DeSantis as he looks to his reelection race next year and, he hopes, a 2024 run for the Republican presidential nomination”.
Not easily discouraged, CBS and “60 Minutes” doubled down because, when it comes to the media, there are never any consequences for lying to the American people.
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) April 6, 2021
According to a statement, “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”.
The story may speak for itself but so does the unedited video of DeSantis.
This is wild. Watch Ron DeSantis’s full answer on Publix, Walgreen’s and CVS vaccine distribution and look at the edited cut 60 Minutes used: pic.twitter.com/FqTRgOZS9Z
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 5, 2021
DeSantis wisely declined to be interviewed by “60 Minutes” which was an easy call considering how unfairly Trump was treated for four years. Come to think of it, it’s how all Republicans are treated by a mainstream media who effectively functions as a propaganda arm of the Democratic party.
It turns out CNN was right. By airing such an easily deconstructed hit-piece on DeSantis, “60 Minutes” has handed him the club that he will use to beat the press. Possibly all the way to the White House.