CLICK TO SHARE
Earlier this week, 60 Minutes dropped a bombshell: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, had granted Publix a vaccination contract as a kickback for a $100,000 campaign donation, according to a report by journalist Sharyn Alfonsi.
Then the story swiftly fell apart. Publix was neither the first nor the only vaccine distributor in Florida; the idea to use a grocery chain with more than 800 locations across the state was a good one, and did not originate with the governor; moreover, DeSantis explained all of this to Alfonsi, but his quotes were edited in a misleading way for the version that appeared in the 60 Minutes segment.
Bafflingly, CBS News is standing by this atrocious hit job. "For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 Minutes have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions," said the network in a statement released Tuesday. "Our story Sunday night speaks for itself."
This story should be a source of deep embarrassment for the network: Alfonsi made incendiary claims that she utterly failed to prove, and the report actively concealed from viewers the more plausible explanation offered by countless government leaders involved in the decision, including DeSantis himself. (Florida's director of emergency management, as well as the mayor of Palm Beach County—both of them Democrats—have subsequently released statements blasting CBS's distortions.)
It should have also drawn a thorough debunking, as well as outright condemnation, from other corners of the mainstream media. An accusation of corruption leveled by a major television network against a likely 2024 contender is a big story. It's perhaps an even bigger story when it turns out the network got it completely wrong. Media critics at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere should be all over this.
If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.
CLICK TO SHARE