CBS Gives Socialist Bernie Sanders a Platform to Bash Deficit Hawk
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft boosted the agenda of Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, by granting him 30 seconds of air time to attack billionaire Pete Peterson, who was featured on the November 17, 2013 edition of the news program. However, this half-minute block was 2.5 times the amount that Peterson got during Charlie Rose's report [MP3 audio available here; video below]
Rose merely played a 12-second soundbite of Peterson during the segment, and mentioned the former Nixon Cabinet official's involvement with a group of philanthropists, who are donating at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity:
CHARLIE ROSE (voice-over): Billionaires can be shy when it comes to talking about their money. But Warren Buffett helped convince seven, who have signed the [Giving] Pledge, to sit down with '60 Minutes'. They are investors Pete Peterson and Nicolas Berggruen; South African mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe and his wife, Doctor Precious Moloi-Motsepe; entrepreneur Sara Blakely; and AOL founder Steve Case and his wife, Jean....
PETE PETERSON (on-camera): ...Charlie, this is a group made up largely of entrepreneurs, and they didn't make a billion dollars or five billion dollars by doing the ordinary. They did it by being bold.
Kroft concluded the news program with the regular "The Mail" segment, and read Senator Sanders' rebuke of Peterson and his foundation, which aims at "increas[ing] public awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerate action on them":
STEVE KROFT: In 'The Mail', comments on a story we called 'The Giving Pledge', about billionaires who have committed half their fortunes to philanthropic causes.
Liberal Senator Bernie Sanders questioned one of the participants' priorities: '60 Minutes calls Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson a philanthropist. What Pete Peterson has done is throw hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbying campaigns to cut Social Security, Medicare, and disabled veterans' benefits. That, to my mind, is not philanthropy.'
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation recommends fixing the federal budget process, as well as gradually raising the Social Security retirement age, and "increasing the total amount of revenue collected for the Social Security program".
As if this wasn't enough, Kroft read one more letter targeting the billionaires' group in general, which also referenced another segment from the November 17, 2013 edition of 60 Minutes:
KROFT: Some viewers suggested the billionaires watch Bob Simon's story about the children's orchestra in Paraguay and its instruments made of recycled trash: 'Cannot the billionaires spare a few million to buy instruments for the Landfillharmonic?' [from Mark DaCrosta of Holiday, FL]
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.