CBS News‘ “60 Minutes” – which still hasn’t covered the New York nursing home scandal – has come under fire for fabricating a “pay for play” narrative that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave preferential treatment to Publix to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine because they contributed to his campaign – and then edited out his perfectly reasonable explanation.
In a deceptively edited segment which aired Sunday night, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi barked questions at DeSantis during a March press conference, saying: “Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign… And then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Beach –”
In 60 Minutes’ deceptive edit, DeSantis appears to dodge the question.
In reality, he notes that other retailers received contracts to distribute before Publix, and that the recommendation to use the chain came from Florida officials.
Watch 60 Minutes’ deceptively edited exchange vs. reality:
“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 actually said. “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.”
“So yes, you had the counties, you had some drive-thru sites, you had hospitals that were doing a lot, but we wanted to get it into communities more. So we reached out to other retail pharmacies: Publix, Walmart, obviously CVS and Walgreens had to finish that mission and we said we’re going to use you as soon as you’re done with that,” he continued, adding that Publix was “the first one to raise their hand.”
The network’s propaganda was so absurd that Palm Beach County’s Democratic Mayor, Dave Kerner, issued a statement saying that 60 Minutes’ “reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false.”
More from Breitbart‘s John Nolte:
The clip released by the fake outlet is maliciously edited to make it look as though DeSantis dodged and bulldozed her question rather than answer it — which he did to the satisfaction of any reasonable person.
“Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign,” Alfonsi angrily says. “And then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Beach –”
“First, of all what you’re saying is wrong,” DeSantis fires back.
“How is that not pay for play?” Alfonsi shouts back.
“That’s a fake narrative,” DeSantis explains. “I met with the county mayor, I met with the administrator, I met with all the folks at Palm Beach County and I said, ‘Here’s some of the options: We can do more drive-thru sites, we can give more to hospitals, we can do the Publix.’ And they said, ‘We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.’”
Alfonsi shouts back that Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay says DeSantis “never met with her about the Publix deal.” She then heckles the governor: “The criticism here is that is pay for play, governor!”
“And it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” DeSantis replies. “It’s a fake narrative. I just disabused you of the narrative. And you don’t care about the facts. Because, obviously, I laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable.”
By design, DeSantis looks ridiculous in the 60 Minutes clip, like he’s claiming a victory he didn’t earn, like he’s just shouting words like “disabused” and “facts” and “irrefutable” hoping that will make it so….