“60 Minutes” defends heavily edited clip on Fla. vaccine rollout, Gov. DeSantis blasts program as ‘smear merchants’

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: The CBS Broadcast Center stands in Manhattan on September 13, 2018 in New York City. The popular television network has been under scrutiny since allegations of sexual misconduct forced out Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of "60 Minutes", and chairman and chief executive of CBS Les Moonves. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 2:15 PM PT – Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Legacy media program “60 minutes” has stood by its widely criticized report covering Florida’s vaccine rollout. In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for the CBS run show doubled down on the reporting.

Critics called out the “60 Minutes” piece for reporting the DeSantis administration did not respond to requests for comments regarding the story. The spokesperson said that they did reach out and received no reply or statements declining to comment, while the governor’s office said the show completely ignored its perspective and instead aired a misleading report.

“They went for the smear, they’ve been caught red-handed,” DeSantis noted. “Now, see, all these corporate media people, they all scratch each other’s back. A lot of them are just pretending it didn’t happen. They’re not going to police their own.”

The program also defended using a heavy video edit to show a misleading response from the governor. The spokesperson said, “As we always do for clarity, ’60 Minutes’ used the portion of the governor’s over two-minute response that directly addressed the question from the correspondent.”

In reality, a sizable portion of the response was omitted, according to transcripts of the original press conference. Gov. DeSantis stood his ground against the mainstream media Tuesday.

“They cut out everything that showed that their narrative was a piece of horse manure,” DeSantis stated. “And it shows you how dishonest — these are smear merchants. That’s why nobody trusts corporate media.”

The governor slammed CBS, saying they knew what they were doing was a lie. DeSantis added, they continued to lie about his vaccine rollout because they did not want to let go of the narrative.

“I know corporate media thinks that they can just run over people,” DeSantis said. “You ain’t running over this governor. I’m punching back and I’m going to continue to do it until these smear merchants are held accountable. The fact of the matter is: Florida has vaccinated three-and-a-half-million senior citizens. We are the first state in the country to put seniors first. The result of our efforts is that seniors are much less likely to be hospitalized for COVID than they were 6 months ago.”

DeSantis went on to tout Florida’s successful vaccine rollout as a huge team effort. He continued to call out the media for not being able to handle the truth.

RELATED: Fla. Officials Say “60 Minutes” Spinning False Narrative Program