CBS 60 Minutes plants a shiv in Florida's Gov. DeSantis in a wildly biased report

The death of journalism III

Another in a continuing series

CBS’s 60 Minutes is a reliably progressive/liberal/Democratic apologist, but on Sunday it wildly outdid itself with its hit piece on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The “reporter,” Sharyn Alfonsi, accused DeSantis of a pay-for-play scheme by rewarding the Publix grocery store chain a deal to handle COVID-19 vaccinations because it gave $100,000 to his PAC. (See video below.)

I put quotes around reporter because Alfonsi is anything but. She’s a propagandist, a pawn of the Democratic party, someone who has no professional ethics or shame, allowing herself to be so abused by political interests.

At a press conference, she tried to portray DeSantis as an unapologetic opportunist who put campaign donations ahead of poor, black, senior citizens by turning over the state’s vaccination program to Publix.

The report unabashedly selectively edited out DeSantis’ explanation. It took a Democrat, Jared Moskowitz,, Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, to call out 60 Minutes for its malpractice.

On Twitter, he called the report Twitter “absolute malarkey.”

In further explanation, DeSantis told conservative writer A.G. Hamilton:

“First of all, the first pharmacies that had [the vaccine] 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 in December to do LTCs,” DeSantis told Alfonsi. “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.

Molly Hemmingway, writing in the Federalist accused 60 Minutes of trying to “invent a scandal:”

To push the false narrative and protect its favored governors, “60 Minutes” refused to interview people who disputed its false narrative, selectively edited video to hide facts, and omitted data that debunked its thesis and accurately describe Florida’s success.

Publix in a statement called the notion that it received special access “absolutely false and offensive.”

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. We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic.

Compounding this outrage, other media picked up the CBS report wholesale without Maskowitz’ explanation or the critical backlash the report generated. (Here and here.)

Expect more of these groundless attacks on DeSantis. Democrats are getting an early start to a coordinated campaign against DeSantis who, because of his common sense and handling of the pandemic in Florida, is getting mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024.

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  • Again, where are Dennis critics who constantly degrade DeSantis' success and try to deny the statistics of Florida's success? Hard to deny this was a hit piece on DeSantis when all the facts are in his favor as well as two top Democrats that 60 minutes refused to interview because they favor DeSantis' efforts?

  • DeSantis is just another corrupt Republican politician.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Sure. DeSantis's response was completely backed up by the Democrat mayor of Palm Beach. They in on it together? Wait, no. No Democrat is corrupt, according to you.

  • Where are your sources? Please provide documentation for your statement.

  • In a subsequent news conference, DeSantis made it clear that he intends to make full use of this interview to advance his right wing message. As Politico reports:
    "Context — His presentation did point out the shortcomings of the broadcast, which was primarily a rehash of news stories done by local press in Florida: There was never a state contract with Publix, and the grocery chain was chosen to help with vaccine distribution by the state’s emergency management director Jared Moskowitz after Walmart turned down the deal. Moskowitz, a Democrat, was on hand at DeSantis' presentation to outline conversations that top state officials had before the decision with Publix was made.

    "Yet transparency concerns remain — Let’s not forget, however, news outlets in Florida have had all sorts of trouble getting details like that as they have tried to cover the governor’s response to the pandemic. The DeSantis administration has gotten sued over the withholding of records. (Worth noting: Fox News was given copies of fairly recent email exchanges between the administration and "60 Minutes" while most news outlets have to wait in line for months to get their record requests filled.)"

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Politico is just another left wing hack media source. The founder, Mike Allen, left for Axios because they got too left wing. If lack of transparency makes him corrupt, let’s look at Cuomo, Whitmer, and Newsom where death rates are soaring despite lockdowns with no records made available. That’s corruption 60 Minutes won’t touch.

  • In reply to Get out of IL now!:

    I know, everyone who doesn't agree with your worldview is a "left wing hack media source." I figured that, since Dennis based his report on far right publications and writers, a little perspective from the middle-of-the-road Politico would add to understanding the story. I guess some don't want perspective; they want agreement.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Here is where I linked: Maskowitz is a Democrat. Axios and The Hill, are not "far right publications." The other one, the Federalist, would probably meet your definition.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You also have a lengthy quote from A.G. Hamilton at National Review. Maskowitz may be a Democrat but he is an agency executive under the office of Governor DeSantis. Beyond this, the Politico article indicates that DeSantis is blocking FOI requests from Florida media. Do you have any information on this?

  • Some people just can't give credit where is do. "just another crooked Republican governor"...what a exaggerated blanket statement to's ok tho because it isn't a is an opinion. Political Party affiliation knows no monopoly on the crookedness of politicians. The term public servant is a misnomer.

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