Axios hammered over claim DeSantis is 'milking,' 'seizing' on much-criticized '60 Minutes' report

Kurtz: Nearly everything in ’60 Minutes’ piece was ‘designed’ to paint DeSantis as a ‘bad guy’

Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz joins ‘America Reports’ to discuss the widely criticized CBS ’60 Minutes’ segment.

Axios raised eyebrows on Tuesday by accusing Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of “milking” a widely-panned “60 Minutes” report that accused him of taking part in a “pay-for-play” scheme.

DeSantis has been on the offensive after the venerable CBS newsmagazine aired a report which suggested that the governor rewarded the grocery store chain Publix with coronavirus vaccine distribution rights after the company donated $100,000 to his campaign. 

“They don’t believe in facts. It was a political narrative,” DeSantis told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday.

On Tuesday morning, Axios ran the headline “DeSantis milks ’60 Minutes’ spat.”

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally with his eyes on the White House, is dialing up a dispute with ’60 Minutes’ — seizing on a juicy chance to ingratiate himself with the GOP base by bashing the media,” Axios began its report, which was also shared on Twitter. 

Axios, which previously took Sunday’s “60 Minutes” report at face value while downplaying the backlash it had received, called the dustup a “political gift” for the prominent GOPer and appeared to downplay the selective edit of DeSantis’ exchange with correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, writing only: “He claims that his answer was edited deceptively”.

Critics blasted the story on social media for using the “conservatives pounce” trope common among the mainstream media.

“CBS News maliciously ran a fake news conspiracy theory involving Ron DeSantis and senior vaccinations and Axios’ @zacharybasu @mikeallen think the real angle is that,” The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway reacted. “Republicans are sick to death of corporate media constantly lying about them.”

“What is up with these crazy, partisan headlines?” Live Action president Lila Rose asked. “I’ve seen blatant media bias for fifteen years… but somehow, the blatant partisanship, ideological bias of legacy media is even worse now.”


“This is insane, and Axios has to know it. How much of the media has gone all in on being partisan Democrats? We know CBS has. I did not expect it of Axios,” Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney wrote.

“60 Minutes lies, Republican ‘seizes!'” radio host Derek Hunter quipped.

“[It’s[ never that the media was wrong for intentionally manufacturing false stories and political spin. No. [It’s] always how the targets of their efforts respond,” journalist Chad Felix Greene tweeted.

“How is DeSantis responsible for 60 Minutes fabricating a hit piece on him that even the state’s Democrats vehemently dispute? Are those Dems ‘seizing’ a chance to ingratiate themselves w the GOP or are they being honest in criticizing a dishonest media? BS headline,” radio host Dana Loesch said.

A preview clip released Friday showed a tense exchange between DeSantis and Alfonsi over what the CBS reporter suggested was influence-peddling.


However, as first pointed out by conservative writer A.G. Hamilton, “60 Minutes” cut several minutes from the press conference, during which DeSantis explained that CVS and Walgreens had the vaccine first during its rollout at senior communities and long-term care facilities while Publix was the first chain to volunteer to roll out the vaccine in its stores. DeSantis also told Alfonsi that CVS and Walgreens would get the vaccine when their mission of vaccinating Florida’s seniors was completed. 

A CBS spokesperson told Fox News about the edited exchange: “As we always do for clarity, 60 MINUTES used the portion of the Governor’s over 2-minute response that directly addressed the question from the correspondent.”

Even after Florida Democrats like state Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner condemned the “60 Minutes” report, CBS doubled down. 

“When Florida state data revealed people of color were vaccinated at a much lower rate than their wealthier neighbors, ‘60 Minutes’ reported the facts surrounding the vaccine’s rollout, which is controlled by the governor,” a CBS News spokesperson told Fox News. “We requested and conducted interviews with dozens of sources and authorities involved. We requested an interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, he declined; we spoke to State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz twice, but he declined to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline. The idea we ignored their perspective is untrue.


“Counter to his statement yesterday, we also spoke on the record with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 MINUTES have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions,” the spokesperson continued. “Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.”

When asked why a defense of the pay-for-play allegations raised by the “60 Minutes” report wasn’t in the statement, a CBS News spokesperson told Fox News the program simply repeated claims already made in Florida newspapers and declined additional comment.

Source: Read Full Article