Commentary

'60 Minutes' Offers Pathetic Follow-Up to DeSantis Hit Piece: Reading Fan Mail from Someone Who Liked It

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A week after “60 Minutes” used all the tricks in its left-wing media arsenal to run a hit piece on GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the program returned Sunday with a unique defense: One viewer really enjoyed it.

In response to its widely debunked DeSantis story, which told a horrid tall tale of corruption, kickbacks and big money in politics related to the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Florida, CBS News offered no apologies — despite the fact that no corruption, kickbacks or big money were involved.

60 Minutes” attempted to mislead its viewers by suggesting that DeSantis took $100,000 from the Florida grocery chain Publix and then gave the company exclusive rights to distribute vaccines to seniors in Palm Beach County — at the expense of seniors. The once-great American institution of intrepid reporting forgot to include the part where none of that actually happened.

Here’s that awful segment in its entirety:

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The report drew criticism from even left-wing media figures such as CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Chris Cillizza and The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. Tom Jones of the Poynter Institute wrote that “it doesn’t appear as if DeSantis did anything wrong. If he did, ’60 Minutes’ failed to provide enough information, context or evidence that he did.”

On Sunday’s edition, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi brought up the fact that the segment was not popular with viewers who apparently aren’t fond of being lied to. The program received a number of negative responses throughout last week, she said, and Alfonsi read two of them on the air.

“Shameful biased reporting — that is what you’re guilty of. You are no longer journalists, but lobbyists and activists,” wrote one intelligent viewer, Amy Ernest of Houston, while another, David Plewes of Lighthouse Point, Florida, commented: “I have watched 60 MINUTES for decades. After your biased piece on Governor DeSantis, I will only watch it one more time. Just to see if you broadcast this message.”

Hopefully, Plewes did watch that segment, if for no other reason than his comment was one of two in which CBS silently surrendered the fraud.

Do you trust the reporting on "60 Minutes"?

The biased network, of course, never conceded that it told a bunch of lies out loud. However, Alfonsi did ensure that one viewer who enjoyed watching fake news had his review included in her non-apology response to running a fabricated story on a governor who has spent a year showing us what leadership looks like.

“Some viewers, including a retired newsman, applauded the story,” Alfonsi said, before reading a comment from that one-time newsman, Nick Boryack of Vero Beach, Florida.

“Ron DeSantis will continue to deny, refute … call your reporting a with hunt. … I can only hope … that you will continue to investigate and expose the truth,” that viewer wrote. (Given the shady editing of the governor’s comments in the “60 Minutes” segment, one has to wonder what was left out where those ellipses appear.)

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Alfonsi said other viewers also enjoyed the fake news piece, which saw her rely solely on omissions to essentially conjure a story from thin air.

Of course, it isn’t difficult to find one or two individuals out of any group who would give a glowing review to just about anything. Some people really go against the grain, as you know if you ever read audience reviews for atrocious works of film, while some people in 1985 probably legitimately liked New Coke — no, not the woke 2021 version.

Like Coca-Cola, Viacom-owned “60 Minutes” is now a part of the new leftist corporate oligarchy. Its allegiance is to a one-party state, and that party is not the Republican Party. The program ran a smear that was summarily dismantled by even the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach, Dave Kerner.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. The reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement. “I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and 60 Minutes declined.

“They know that the Governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the County Administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County. We also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccinations centers throughout the county, which the Governor has been incredibly supportive.

“We asked and he delivered. They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative.”

DeSantis also pointed out the flaws in the “60 Minutes” piece in a statement on his website, and he appeared on Fox News last week to address the smear job.

Publix didn’t start doling out vaccine doses until CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Florida’s Winn-Dixie had already begun inoculating seniors. That didn’t matter to CBS, Alfonsi or the editors at “60 Minutes.” They wanted people to think that Publix’s $100,000 donation to a gubernatorial PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, meant something nefarious was afoot.

By the way, Walgreens donated $25,000 to Friends of Ron DeSantis last year. Why would a company that chipped in three-quarters less than Publix get vaccines before a Florida-based grocer with 750 pharmacies in the state if the implied corruption was so deep?

Why did Florida’s WUSF-FM have to gather this information for us, and not “60 Minutes?”

Why did CBS omit that AT&T last year gave the governor’s re-election fund $30,000, according to Orlando Weekly? That seems pertinent. The mobile phone carrier hasn’t given a single shot to anyone. Will TracFone line-jump and begin giving out Pfizer doses via text message?

This is all routine campaign finance stuff. We know which party gets its funding from Big Tech monopolies and big business. DeSantis is not a member of that party. Why weren’t Alfonsi and “60 Minutes” digging around in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s closet of skeletons in Albany? Why did the show spend three months in Palm Beach County, only to present a bogus hit job?

We all know why. There was nothing there.

“60 Minutes,” despite its best efforts, couldn’t destroy DeSantis. The show built a flimsy narrative that might have been able to manage its own weight had it not been so blatantly biased that even Democrats were incensed after watching it. The program is less credible than a Chinese tabloid and has been exposed as what we know it is: another outlet for the Democratic Party.

That’s a party that rightly views DeSantis as a threat.

The show had a chance to at least admit it had gotten something wrong and save face on Sunday’s broadcast. “60 Minutes” could have propped itself up, preserved some semblance of dignity, vowed to do better and lived to fight for the Democrats another day.

Rather than admit any wrongdoing, however, the program took off its mask and went with an odd angle. The show essentially said that its erroneous and agenda-driven reporting, at the very least, got people talking.

It was indeed a conversation starter. After all, one man who used to work in the news business allegedly did tell someone at CBS he liked the network’s fake news segment. That’s assuming we can take CBS at its word, even on that.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has authored thousands of news articles throughout his career. He has also worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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