‘60 Minutes’ Criticized Over DeSantis Report, Video Editing

Headline Roundup April 6th, 2021

“60 Minutes,” a CBS News production, is facing criticism over a “deceptively” edited video of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis which omitted most of DeSantis’ nearly 500-word response to a CBS reporter. The 60 Minutes report drew a connection between a $100,000 donation from supermarket chain Publix and DeSantis’ announcement weeks later authorizing Publix to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. DeSantis and Publix have denied the alleged “pay for play” arrangement, and at least two Democratic Florida officials have rejected the allegations and criticized 60 Minutes’ reporting.

Read a full transcript of the video exchange here.

Coverage in right-rated outlets focused on steep criticism of 60 minutes by prominent right-wing figures, as well as on CBS’s lack of coverage on the story, and was more likely to describe the video as “deceptively” edited. Coverage was less prominent in left-rated outlets and used more neutral language.

‘60 Minutes’ Criticized Over DeSantis Report, Video Editing

From the Center
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution partnership with Publix grocery stores weeks after the company gave $100,000 to his PAC, CBS' "60 Minutes" reported Sunday, citing campaign finance records. DeSantis and Publix deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for directing vaccines toward wealthy communities, with some who benefitted from the vaccine pop-ups also donating to the governor's political action committee, per Axios' Tampa Bay reporter Ben Montgomery.

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From the Left
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ANALYSIS

"60 Minutes" is facing backlash for a story it aired Sunday on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — including from the supermarket chain Publix and two prominent Democrats in the state.

As part of a larger story about Florida's vaccine rollout, the renowned newsmagazine program spotlighted a recent $100,000 donation that Publix made to DeSantis' re-election bid.
The story, by correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, suggested there was a possible link between the donation and the state's partnership with Publix stores for vaccine distribution — a serious issue of foul play, if...

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From the Right
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CBS News’ "60 Minutes" has given no indication that it will correct or retract the widely contested report that suggested Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R., gave the Publix grocery store chain preferable treatment to offer the coronavirus vaccine based on its donations to his PAC despite growing pressure.

"CBS clearly made mistakes in professional journalistic judgment in the execution of this story. These are the kinds of mistakes that necessarily happen when enterprise reporting is done with bias and on the basis of pushing a preconceived political narrative," DePauw University...

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