Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier joined “America Reports” on Tuesday and analyzed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” newsmagazine’s story on Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, amid a firestorm of criticism that the network selectively edited the governor’s remarks and offered a slanted piece overall.
DeSantis was joined by otherwise unlikely allies in top Sunshine State Democrats in blasting CBS for the story, which appeared to connect the state’s choice of Publix Supermarkets as vaccine hubs to a $100,000 political donation the company made to Friends Of Ron DeSantis.
The Democratic chief of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz, as well as Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, reacted to the piece by claiming it did not portray the truth about the governor and the vaccine rollout.
“America Reports” host John Roberts asked Baier if he thought “60 Minutes” left out exculpatory evidence that would have cast DeSantis differently.
“They fell short, way short. It’s falling apart in the days after,” Baier replied, adding that CBS and CBS News seem to have stopped highlighting the piece after the initial Sunday evening airing.
“It was not on ‘CBS This Morning’ and it was not on the ‘CBS Evening News’ — It’s not a good thing. It has only empowered Governor Ron DeSantis, who has now been out and about talking about what he calls kind of a hack job.”
“If you look at the tape, there is about 2 minutes of an answer that is very detailed about how CVS and Walgreens were part of the long-term care facility effort.”
Baier noted that DeSantis met with the Democrat Kerner in Palm Beach to discuss the best options to vaccinate the elderly in South Florida, which has a high senior citizen population.
“Did [Publix] donate to his campaign? Yes they did. But they also donated to Democrats in Florida and the piece just kind of fell apart. I think it’s to the political benefit probably of Governor DeSantis.”
“I’ve been a big proponent of praising when big journalism happens — on ’60 Minutes’ and other networks. It’s less and less, and this does not help that cause,” the anchor said.
“It clearly came from a point of view. It’s a little bit more egregious when you consider of all the governors that you are going go after, and you are going to dig into, why not look at the governor in your own backyard: Governor Cuomo, who is facing 9 women [accusers] and he’s facing a giant controversy over his actions in nursing homes in New York and what he did or didn’t do.”
“Of all the governors, maybe that one would get a 60 Minutes look,” he said, as Roberts displayed a graphic showing how both Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have received 0 minutes each on ’60 Minutes’ — compared to the lengthy package on DeSantis.
CBS News later claimed DeSantis turned down an interview request, and said the idea they ignored his perspective is untrue.