CBS News’ “60 Minutes” read off statements Sunday both praising and criticizing its segment that accused Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of picking Publix for vaccine distributions because the company donated to his political committee.
“In the mail this week, comments on our story about disparities in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Palm Beach County, Florida,” said CBS News’ Sharyn Alfonsi, who reported the original story. “Viewers focused on an exchange with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a press conference. Some viewers, including a retired newsman, applauded the story.”
“But many more comments condemned our editing and reporting,” she said, going on to read comments that included one declaring the individual would only be watching another episode of “60 Minutes” to see if it would “broadcast” the complaint.
Sunday’s @60Minutes ended with @Sharyn_Alfonsi reading comments about her shoddy hit piece on @RonDeSantisFL. She didn’t acknowledge doing anything wrong. “Some viewers, including a retired newsman, applauded the story.” #60Minutes pic.twitter.com/v5qEwT5PXc
— Brent Baker (@BrentHBaker) April 12, 2021
Critics called out the “60 Minutes” segment for editing out a large portion of DeSantis’ explanation regarding why Publix was chosen for vaccine distribution in Palm Beach County. The segment broke down further after some noted that the Publix donations made up just a small portion of contributions.
Others pointed out that individuals such as Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom made deals with companies that donated millions of dollars over the years. Two Florida Democrats also pushed back on claims made by the show.
The show has now issued multiple statements regarding the debacle, though it continues to back its reporting. (RELATED: Florida’s Democratic Emergency Management Director Says He Told ’60 Minutes’ Its Hit On DeSantis Was ‘Bulls**t’)
DeSantis addressed the “60 Minutes” segment shortly after it was broadcasted and told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that it was “a baseless conspiracy theory.”
“They didn’t want to discuss that and obviously they selectively edited the background. They tried to act like there was a conspiracy with Publix, ignoring the fact that other pharmacies were involved before Publix, doing all our long-term care facilities,” DeSantis said.