Fox News Nails ‘60 Minutes:’ CBS Show Spent Ten Minutes on Palin, Skipped Reid’s ‘Negro’ Remark

Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn on Monday hit 60 Minutes for spending ten minutes out of a 13 minute segment highlighting negative dirt on Sarah Palin. At the same time, the news magazine ignored racially charged remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Shawn analyzed Anderson Cooper’s January 10 interview with the authors of Game Change, observing, "...Most of the CBS story was critical of Sarah Palin." [Audio available here.]

He explained, "The story did not mention Reid calling then-candidate Barack Obama light-skinned with no Negro dialect, comments for which the Senator has since apologized." This is despite the fact that authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin broke the "Negro" story. Shawn noted the segment ran 13 minutes and three seconds. He then broke down the numbers: "That means that Sarah Palin was the focus for just over ten minutes, ten minutes and four seconds. Hillary Clinton, 90 seconds. President Obama, just under a minute."

Underlining CBS’s lopsided totals, he concluded, "Harry Reid not a minute, not a second, not a nanosecond." 60 Minutes’ explanation for all of this? Shawn observed, "We've asked a spokesman for a response. We're waiting for that response. A source, meanwhile, explained that they only had so much time for the story, and they had to focus on more important things that affect the country."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on Happening Now at 12:40pm EST, follows:

JON SCOTT: More, now, on Senator Reid's remarks and last night's 60 Minutes story on the new book that reported them. The segment on the book Game Change focused on Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, but it did not once mention Senator Reid's remarks. Why? Senator correspondent- senior correspondent- senator correspondent as well- Eric Shawn has more on this from our New York Newsroom. Thank you, Jon.

ERIC SHAWN: If nominated, I will not run. Thank you, Jon, Well, there's a big question today, everyone's talking about this, what was not on 60 Minutes last night? You know, The venerable news magazine program aired that story on the new political book that is sparking this firestorm, but the segment totally ignored the controversial, racial comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that are quoted in the book. Instead, most of the CBS story was critical of Sarah Palin. The segment was about the book Game Change and included interviews with the authors that you see there. Well, it was reported by Anderson Cooper, who also hosts a news program on CNN. The story did not mention Reid calling then-candidate Barack Obama light-skinned with no Negro dialect, comments for which the Senator has since apologized. A source says the program did have access to the whole book when they did the interview, but the segment largely zeroed in on Palin and allegations about her troubled vice presidential run. In fact, we did a Fox News analysis of the segment and it shows, look at this: The whole segment ran 13 minutes and three seconds, Palin was mentioned 30 seconds into it, right in the introduction, and she's the focus of the piece for the next five minutes and 20 seconds. Hillary Clinton is then discussed for 30 seconds. President Obama, well, he gets 58 seconds. Then it's back to, guess who, Sarah Palin, for another four minutes and 44 seconds. Well, the segment does end with one more mention of Hillary Clinton, totaling one minute, So let's look at the totals here: That means that Sarah Palin was the focus for just over ten minutes, ten minutes and four seconds. Hillary Clinton, 90 seconds. President Obama, just under a minute, Harry Reid not a minute, not a second, not a nanosecond. In fact, the 60 Minutes web site offers even more clips that weren't aired, and here's some of the titles of those clips: "What About Sarah Palin?" "A terrifying VP." "Regrets over Palin?" There's no mention on the web site, that I could see, of Harry Reid. We've asked a spokesman for a response. We're waiting for that response. A source, meanwhile, explained that they only had so much time for the story, and they had to focus on more important things that affect the country. Jon?

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org