This past Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes featured a piece by CBS’s Scott Pelley examining the idea of fake news, but it was far from perfect with a glaring omission, a shocked host and guest that liberals fall for fake news, and downright hypocrisy from the network that promulgated Dan Rather’s fake news.
Going first to who falls for fake news, Pelley’s examples were heavily skewed to so-called right-of-center falsehoods like Pizzagate or Hillary Clinton having Parkinson’s Disease.
Pelley repeatedly told viewers that fake news was an issue on both sides, but never provided any proof until the nine-minute-mark of the 13-minute exposé with two ludicrous headlines about President Trump using drugs and having cancer.
It was soon after this that guest and “internet advertising firm” CEO Jeff Green dropped this admission that both he and Pelley seemed befuddled by:
JEFF GREEN: So the first thing that we found out is that it is definitely a phenomenon that affects both sides.
PELLEY: Liberals and conservatives?
GREEN: Yes. There is no question they’re both affected.
There was yet another surprise in store for these hardcore liberals. After citing a case of left-wing fake news about Congress “plotting to overthrow President Trump,” Green revealed that “fake news readers on the left were more likely to be affluent and college educated.” At the other end, “right-leaning fake news overwhelmingly attracted readers in their 40s and 50s.”
Green admitted that this “shocked me,” and Pelley had a similarly flabbergasted look. Green added that he “thought the same way that many Americans perhaps think is that fake news was a phenomenon that only tricked the uneducated,” but, alas, “not true — just not — the data shows it’s just not true.”
The glaring omission appeared a few minutes earlier while Pelley spoke to Jestin Coler, who “made real money on fake news” but overseeing two of them that fooled people (National Report and the Denver Guardian).
Touting the fact that “he pushed people’s buttons on issues such as abortion and ObamaCare” and reading headlines from some other Coler stories, Pelley shamefully left out the fact that Coler was not a Republican but a registered Democrat.
Hilariously, the pathetic National Public Radio (NPR) found the time to include this tidbit when they profiled Coler on November 23’s All Things Considered:
Coler, a registered Democrat, says he has no regrets about his fake news empire. He doesn’t think fake news swayed the election.
“There are many factors as to why Trump won that don’t involve fake news,” he says. “As much as I like Hillary, she was a poor candidate. She brought in a lot of baggage.”
Also worth noting was Pelley’s lengthy time spent promoting fake news promulgator and far-right commentator Mike Cernovich, who told Mediaite after it aired that he found it to be “fair” and “good journalism.”
When it comes to pushing fake news, 60 Minutes has little room to talk. They most notably peddled the fake 2004 Rather story about then-President George W. Bush, but they had some other hits as well.
In February 2008, Pelley engaged in conspiracy theories by giving a full story to allegations that the Bush administration ran “a covert campaign to ruin” former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (who ended up behind bars in 2006 for bribery). Pelley proudly touted supposedly Republican interviewees but, as my colleague Kyle Drennen explained at the time, they were anything but GOPers.
Here’s some other doozies the leftist newsmagazine has fed viewers over the years:
– March 2015: Profiled liberal scientist and fake-quote-master Neil deGrasse Tyson
– May 2011: Lesley Stahl told viewers how “stately” Al Sharpton is
– Any number of the show’s early unflinching love affair with Barack Obama as compiled in our September 2010 Special Report Syurpy Minutes
– November 2009: 60 Minutes commissioned a poll to see if Barack Obama should be put on Mount Rushmore
– January 2009: The late correspondent Bob Simon smeared Israel as an apartheid state
– May 2008: Pelley fretted that illegal immigrants “don’t survive detention” in the U.S.
– September 2007: Pelley swooned over then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as being “friendly,” “incorruptible,” and “modest”
– February 2007: Exaggerated levels of military dissension during the Iraq War
– October 2005: Stahl predicted Valerie Plame case “could possibly take off the way Watergate did”