It was less than six months ago Donald Trump’s campaign released his full interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl after the anchor pledged on set to refuse to air legitimate and verified claims by the Republican president. Now, the network’s flagship program faces another round of what’s become routine backlash for activist reporting.
CBS’ “60 Minutes” drew fire this week for airing a special Sunday on Florida’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. The flagship program manipulated statements to frame Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as engaged in political patronage with vaccine distribution.
CBS charged DeSantis with prioritizing vaccine distribution through Publix, the state’s most widespread supermarket, after its corporate owners donated $100,000 to political action committees that supported the Republican governor’s 2018 campaign. CBS producers, however, selectively sliced DeSantis’s responses to fit the network’s manufactured narrative by omitting his refutation of their charges on air.
WATCH: CBS and @60Minutes excluded context from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in which he explains the steps his government took to make the decision to partner with Publix on vaccine distribution.
The 60 Minutes version is first, followed by the full answer from DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/2KRQKPLOe7
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 5, 2021
The full unedited video shows that 60 Minutes cut out everything in bold from DeSantis in the transcript below. Pretty wild.https://t.co/7JtTrd69ikhttps://t.co/D2m7IpyD0U https://t.co/ctTwTEcJoT pic.twitter.com/MMOg987nJp
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) April 5, 2021
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat, also released a statement on Monday railing at the network for refusing an interview in which he offered to set the story straight as opposed to fueling the false one producers were on a mission to create.
“I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and 60 minutes declined,” Kerner said, claiming his municipal government had originally asked the governor to partner with Publix. “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 Public to Palm Beach County” (emphasis original).
Oh boy. Democrat mayor of Palm Beach County says 60 Minutes' "reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false." Says he offered to refute 60 Minutes' half-cooked conspiracy theory based on personal knowledge and "60 Minutes declined." pic.twitter.com/yJ9aRa6RMy
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 5, 2021
It was just several months ago that the program, stained by forging documents during the 2004 presidential election to hamper President George W. Bush’s re-election chances, engaged in another major episode of activist reporting by Stahl.
In October, Stahl sat down to conduct the legacy program’s interview with the Republican ticket to air on the second-to-last Sunday preceding the election. The Trump campaign, however, published the full interviews days before the scheduled programming, when Stahl declared valid claims the president made about Joe Biden would not make it to air.
Stahl Dismissed News Of Hunter Biden Laptop
After 20 minutes of sparring, Stahl flatly denied Biden was undergoing any sort of scandal weeks after blockbuster reporting from the New York Post implicated the Democrat candidate in his son’s potentially criminal overseas business ventures.
“He’s in the midst of a scandal,” Trump said of Biden after complaining reporters fawned over what flavor of ice cream the Democrat Party nominee purchased at a campaign stop. Just a week prior, the Post had published emails from a recovered Delaware laptop suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden that revealed how the Biden family stood to rake in millions from businessmen with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“He’s not,” Stahl interrupted. “He’s not. No.”
Later in the discussion, Stahl denied the Delaware computer contents obtained by the Post were even newsworthy and claimed it was “investigated and discredited.”
“It can’t be verified,” Stahl said. “It can’t be verified.”
A puzzled president pressed further.
“What can’t be verified?” Trump inquired.
Just this week, Hunter Biden admitted on “CBS Sunday Morning” that the laptop, which was found abandoned at a Delaware repair shop, “of course, certainly” could be his.
Just one day after Stahl’s interview, Fox News reported that the laptop was seized by the FBI as part of a federal money-laundering investigation and its contents were “verified by multiple federal law enforcement officials who reviewed them.” One week later, a forensic analyst confirmed the emails’ authenticity with The Daily Caller.
The Biden campaign, however, repeatedly dismissed the charges as a Russian disinformation campaign, an effort in which Stahl and “60 Minutes” was complicit.
Stahl Denied Crossfire Hurricane Existed
During her nearly hour-long interview with Trump, Stahl also denied there was any evidence to suggest Joe Biden spied on the 2016 Trump campaign.
“The biggest scandal,” Trump complained, “was when they spied on my campaign.”
“There’s no real evidence of that,” Stahl shot back.
That’s been well documented by The Federalist and others, including congressional investigations, that the Obama-Biden FBI coordinated a deep-state campaign to falsely smear the incoming president of 2017 as a Russian agent.
Stahl either showed up to the exclusive White House interview ignorant of politically driven investigations into Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, George Papadoupoulos, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn, or she was covering up for her preferred Democratic presidential candidate two weeks before the November contest. Considering her adamant defense of Biden contrary to the facts, it was likely the latter.
Read all the evidence Stahl claimed doesn’t exist here.