Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has struck back at CBS and “60 Minutes” regarding a Sunday hit job report which misconstrued and omitted key information in order to undercut him and portray him as corrupt.
DeSantis is a popular, young and energetic man who has shown himself to be arguably the country’s strongest leader amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He’s also being floated as a potential 2024 candidate for the GOP nomination. In other words, he poses a grave threat to Democratic rule, so CBS tested the waters Sunday with an attempt to take him out.
But the governor isn’t one to go down and stay there.
In responding to claims that he essentially offered the Florida grocery store chain Publix priority to vaccine distribution — after the company donated money to him — DeSantis set the record straight, but not in the way too many Republicans do when they find themselves media targets. The 42-year-old went on offense Tuesday, rather than find himself stuck playing defense against institutional media bias that takes no prisoners.
“All [CBS] were looking to do was a hit job on me to try to smear me just because I’m in the other party than them,” DeSantis told Fox News. “That’s the only reason.”
“You know, they’re based in New York. What do they do with the Governor of New York who’s in their party? They do puff pieces. They do all this stuff,” DeSantis rightly pointed out.
“Would you rather get a vaccine as a senior in Florida or up in New York?” he asked, referring to his state being the only one to use common sense and vaccinate seniors first. “Obviously, we’ve done a much better job of protecting seniors. A lot of people were leaving New York to try to come and get vaccines here.”
The governor then nailed the once-great program for the ash heap that “60 Minutes” has become.
“So, this is partisan corporate media and I think at this point these people like this reporter they’re basically ambulance chasers with a microphone,” he said. “They are not trustworthy. They lie. We know they’re lying, they know that we know that they’re lying and yet they lie and they lie and they lie.”
DeSantis is a smart guy, and he knows that in the post-Trump White House era, a person in his position doesn’t have to play nice and take a left-wing corporate media beating. CBS struck first, so the governor took the gloves off and called out mainstream media fraud for what it is.
What “60 Minutes” attempted to do with DeSantis is abhorrent, but not unexpected. The man poses a threat to crumbling leftist narratives, so the program lied to undercut him. “60 Minutes” Sunday made an issue of a $100,000 donation Publix made to DeSantis’ re-election bid.
CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi attempted to infer that the donation was why Publix was chosen as a company Florida would partner with to distribute vaccines to seniors.
Here is that report in its entirety if you can stomach it:
The issue with what CBS was trying to say was that Publix was only chosen as a vaccination partner after other companies had already been awarded similar contracts.
Additionally, the idea for the trial contract offered to Publix was even floated by the governor’s office.
It was suggested by others due to the company’s logistical abilities to serve vulnerable Floridians in areas where vaccine distribution was more challenging.
CBS additionally declined to report information that would have sunk its own false narrative, according to Palm Beach Mayor Dave Kerner, who is a Democrat.
“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,” said the Democratic mayor 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,” said Kerner.
The Democrat concluded: “We have confronted this pandemic for over a year. Our residents, like all Americans, are tired. And the media is making it worse. They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. 60 Minutes should be ashamed.”
“Florida was one of the first states in the nation to partner with pharmacies to administer the vaccine. CVS and Walgreens were the first pharmacies to receive the vaccine in the state of Florida for the mission to vaccinate residents and staff of Florida’s long-term care facilities,” DeSantis stated.
The governor added that in addition to using CVS and Walgreens, Florida partnered on vaccines with more than 100 Sam’s Club and Walmart locations and at least 70 Winn-Dixie locations.
Since Florida did get around to including Publix in vaccine rollouts, the company has “administered more than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida,” DeSantis said.
“60 Minutes” was so sloppy in its biased reporting that it’s now facing a bipartisan backlash. Its story was built on a house of cards only made possible by omitting key and very relevant information. The once-great program debased itself for a hit job against a rising GOP star, but editors chose the wrong target.
“60 Minutes” has been relying on its decades-long reputation for years now as it has pushed hysteria and false reporting. That reputation can no longer prop up its obvious bias.
DeSantis is a political force to be reckoned with. He’s a threat to Democrats nationally and his successful leadership is a daily threat to the corporate media’s fear-mongering.
If the mainstream media is going to try and hamstring him, they’re going to have to try a little bit harder than Sunday’s disgraceful, lazy bit of so-called reporting.
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