This is the latest new low for our journalistic standards in America, and given the trash heap that is our mainstream media, that's really saying something.
Check out this deceptively edited video that CBS ran on "60 Minutes" as a clear smear piece on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and then I'll give you the FULL transcript below:
The entire story here is that grocery chain Publix donated $100,000 to DeSantis's campaign – you know, because no other companies apparently donate to politicians ever except "greedy" Republicans.
Last month, CBS reporter Sharyn Alfonsi attempted to smear DeSantis by connecting his decision to let Publix help with the vaccine rollout with the political donation.
The edited clip completely and utterly takes out essential context for the viewer to see the full story. It's probably the worst example of deceptive editing since the "good people on both sides" clip about Trump.
Here were a few essential pieces that CBS left out:
- Walgreens and CVS had the vaccine first, in addition to hospitals, clinics, and other government sites.
- DeSantis's administration asked a number of other companies to help and Publix willingly volunteered.
- DeSantis explained that Publix was a good choice because in an elderly county like Palm Beach, 90% of seniors live within 1.5 miles from a Publix.
- DeSantis said he talked personally with senior citizens and that their feedback to how Publix was handling the situation was 100% positive.
Here's the full response from DeSantis with the portions OMITTED from the video in bold:
Sharyn Alfonsi: Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign, and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Beach—
Ron DeSantis: So, first of all, that — what you're saying is wrong. That's—
Sharyn Alfonsi: How is that not pay-to-play?
Ron DeSantis: —that, that's a fake narrative. So, first of all, when we did, the first pharmacies that had it were CVS and Walgreens. And they had a long-term care mission. So they were going to the long-term care facilities. They got the vaccine in the middle of December, they started going to the long-term care facilities the third week of December to do LTCs. So that was their mission. That was very important. And we trusted them to do that. As we got into January, we wanted to expand the distribution points. So, yes, you had the counties, you had some drive-through sites, you had hospitals that were doing a lot, but we wanted to get it into communities more. So we reached out to other retail pharmacies — Publix, Walmart — obviously CVS and Walgreens had to finish that mission. And we said, we're going to use you as soon as you're done with that. For Publix, they were the first one to raise their hand, say they were ready to go. And you know what, we did it on a trial basis. I had three counties. I actually showed up that weekend and talked to seniors across four different Publix. How was the experience? Is this good? Should you think this is a way to go? And it was 100% positive. So we expanded it, and then folks liked it. And I can tell you, if you look at a place like Palm Beach County, they were kind of struggling at first in terms of the senior numbers. I went, I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the folks in Palm Beach County, and I said, "Here's some of the options: we can do more drive-through sites, we can give more to hospitals, we can do the Publix, we can do this." They calculated that 90% of their seniors live within a mile and a half of a Publix. And they said, "We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents." So, we did that, and what ended up happening was, you had 65 Publix in Palm Beach. Palm Beach is one of the biggest counties, one of the most elderly counties, we've done almost 75% of the seniors in Palm Beach, and the reason is because you have the strong retail footprint. So our way has been multifaceted. It has worked. And we're also now very much expanding CVS and Walgreens, now that they've completed the long term care mission.
Sharyn Alfonsi: The criticism is that it's pay-to-play, governor.
Ron DeSantis: And it's wrong. It's wrong. It's a fake narrative. I just disabused you of the narrative. And you don't care about the facts. Because, obviously, I laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable.
Even Democrats like Florida's Jared Moskowitz thought this was an absolutely horrid piece of "journalistic" trash:
Publix itself released a statement that nicely called the segment "irresponsible."
"The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state's vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive."
The rest of the political spectrum treated it the same:
Note that "60 Minutes" thought it important to go after a powerful Republican (and possible GOP 2024 hopeful!) while completely ignoring other governors like New York's Andrew Cuomo, despite the latter killing seniors as part of his Rona response and facing sexual assault and harassment allegations from over a dozen women.