CBS was strongly criticized by a number of political commentators and public figures following a Sunday "60 Minutes" piece that deceptively portrayed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a negative light.
The criticism came from an edited clip where reporter Sharyn Alfonsi asked DeSantis about his relationship with grocery store chain Publix, which donated $100,000 to his campaign and was also a key helper in vaccine distribution efforts.
Conservative outlet The Daily Wire noted that CBS cut 355 out of the 422 words in DeSantis's response that provided essential context for viewers. This included an entire explanation on how CVS and Walgreens received the vaccines for distribution first and that Publix was the first company to volunteer out of a number of other companies DeSantis's administration approached.
CBS also cut DeSantis's example of Palm Beach County, where 90% of seniors reportedly live "within a mile and a half of a Publix." DeSantis said using Publix stores was essential in reaching these individuals and has allowed them to vaccinate "nearly 75% of the seniors in Palm Beach."
Publix released a scathing inditement of CBS following the segment.
"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," the company said. "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."
A number of other reporters and commentators also slammed CBS.