CBS faced a new round of backlash Tuesday after issuing a second statement supporting its widely criticized “60 Minutes” report that accused Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of participating in a “pay-per-play” scheme involving the network. from Publix supermarkets.
The venerable news magazine suggested during Sunday’s show that the governor had awarded Publix the right to distribute the coronavirus vaccine after the company made a $ 100,000 contribution to his campaign. However, the report was accused of misleading comments DeSantis made to a correspondent explaining his administration’s dealings with the popular network.
Democratic state officials, conservative pundits, Publix, and DeSantis himself have all rejected the story. Meanwhile, CBS News issued a statement Tuesday that ignored the story’s key accusation.
CBS NEWS SUPPORTS WITH THE WIDELY CRITIZED 60-MINUTE REPORT ON DESANTIS, IGNORING THE DISPUTED ‘PAY-PER-GAME’ ANGLE
“When data from the state of Florida revealed that people of color were vaccinated at a much lower rate than their wealthier neighbors, ’60 Minutes’ reported the facts related to the launch of the vaccine, which is controlled by the governor.” a CBS News spokesperson told Fox News. “We requested and conducted interviews with dozens of sources and authorities involved. We requested an interview with Governor Ron DeSantis, he refused; we spoke twice with State Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz, but he refused to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline The idea that we ignore their perspective is false.
“Contrary to your statement yesterday, we also officially spoke with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For more than 50 years, events reported by 60 MINUTES have often sparked debate and sparked strong reactions,” the spokesperson continued. . “Our story on Sunday night speaks for itself.”
Moskowitz and Kerner, both Democrats, spoke out against “60 Minutes” after the story aired.
“The information was not based solely on misinformation, it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement Monday. “’60 Minutes’ should be a shame.”
THE PRESSURE MOUNTED IN ’60 MINUTES ‘TO CORRECT AND WITHDRAW THE DESANTIS REPORT: THE CRITICAL SAYS’ CBS CLEARLY PURCHASED ERRORS ‘
Moskowitz and Kerner did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statement from CBS News.
When asked why a defense of the pay-per-play allegations raised by the “60 Minutes” report was not in the statement, a CBS News spokesperson told Fox News that the show simply repeated the claims already made in the reports. Florida newspapers and declined to comment further.
Critics criticized the new statement for failing to address the “pay to play” narrative or the misleading editing charge.
“This dig is only going to make things worse,” predicted Republican strategist Matt Whitlock. “Everyone has access to the video and can see exactly how they deceptively edited the interview to fit a pre-established narrative, the truth is, to hell.”
“His segment focused heavily on Publix’s angle to the story and this statement does not mention his misleading edit to smear DeSantis,” reacted Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saaevdra.
CBS GOES DARK WITH DESANTIS, AVOID MENTIONING THE ’60 MINUTES ‘REPORT ON MORNING AND EVENING NEWS SHOWS
“This is the kind of statement you make when you know that the larger media apparatus will protect you,” wrote Fourth Watch media critic Steve Krakauer.
“CBS is basically a glorified voice or media affairs now,” Daily Caller’s Logan Hall joked.
“@ 60Minutes is playing the race card. Unreal,” attorney Michael Henry told the CBS show.
Publix called the notion that he received special access “absolutely false and offensive.”
“The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between the campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to team up with other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive,” a Publix spokesperson told Fox News. “We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining with other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities. to get out of the pandemic. “
A preview clip posted Friday showed a tense exchange between DeSantis and “60 Minutes” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi about what the CBS reporter suggested was influence peddling.
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However, as conservative writer AG Hamilton first noted, “60 Minutes” cut several minutes from the press conference, during which DeSantis explained that CVS and Walgreens received the vaccine first during its rollout in senior communities and centers. long-term care while Publix was the first chain to volunteer to launch the vaccine in its stores. DeSantis also told Alfonsi that CVS and Walgreens would also receive the vaccine when their mission to vaccinate Florida’s seniors was completed.
A CBS spokesperson initially told Fox News of the edited exchange: “As we always do for clarity, 60 MINUTES used the portion of the governor’s response over 2 minutes that directly addressed the correspondent’s question.”
Brian Flood of Fox News contributed to this report.