CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” currently under fire for a botched hit piece targeting Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has not done a segment on New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s myriad scandals or embattled California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom so far this year.
Even as Cuomo fights for his political life amid allegations by his own state Attorney General that the governor deliberately undercounted coronavirus nursing home deaths, as well as multiple sexual harassment accusations and charges of political intimidation, “60 Minutes” has yet to perform one of its trademark deep dives into his woes. It has also ignored Newsom, who is facing a recall effort over his coronavirus response, which was marked by accusations of hypocrisy and flouting his own restrictions.
Even prominent Florida Democrats have accused the venerable news program of pushing a false narrative about DeSantis, seen by many political observers as a top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
In the segment that aired Sunday, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi alleged that DeSantis engaged in a pay-for-play scheme with supermarket chain Publix to distribute coronavirus vaccines after donated money to his super PAC. However, Alfonsi’s segment edited out comments by DeSantis debunking the narrative that Publix received special treatment. It also suggested DeSantis’ prioritization of the state’s 4.5 million senior citizens to receive vaccine doses was based on politics, rather than them being most at risk of dying of coronavirus.
Florida Division of Emergency Management Direcor Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, blasted the notion that DeSantis gave special access to Publix as “absolute malarkey.” The chain has more than 800 locations in Florida, making it a natural fit to assist in vaccine distribution.
On Monday, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, another Democrat, accused the program of “intentionally false” reporting.
“The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement. “I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and ’60 Minutes’ declined. 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 Publix to Palm Beach County.”
While Cuomo’s scandals do not seem of interest to “60 Minutes,” the New York governor was the subject of a friendly CBS “Sunday Morning” interview in June, at the height of his media popularity over his coronavirus response. At one point, host Jane Pauley joked with him about being a bachelor and what the virus had done to his social life.
In spite of his since-reversed directive that nursing homes accept COVID-positive patients, mainstream media figures praised him and even floated him as a possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidatea in place of Joe Biden.
In recent weeks, prominent Empire State politicians including Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have called on Cuomo to resign, although he has given no indication he will.
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