After CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a lengthy glowing profile back in October of the anti-Trump group of ex-Republican grifters know as The Lincoln Project, on Sunday, the broadcast only managed a 47-second “update” informing viewers that the organization was now plagued by scandal, including co-founder John Weaver being accused of sexual harassment by multiple men.
“Now, an update on a story we called The Lincoln Project. Last October, we reported how veteran Republican strategists and ad makers, outraged with then-President Trump, trained their skills against the incumbent president and his Senate supporters,” Stahl briefly recalled at the very end of program. She then acknowledged the group’s upheaval:
Now, The Lincoln Project has been beset with scandal and controversy. John Weaver, one of the project’s founders, who appeared in our story, has been accused of sending unwanted, inappropriate sexual texts to more than 20 men, some of them on the Lincoln Project staff. John Weaver has left the organization. Several other founders have left as well, amid accusations that they knew about Weaver’s harassment.
That was all CBS could muster, after the network initially refused to even cover the disturbing accusations against Weaver.
Before the election, The Lincoln Project was hailed on 60 Minutes with great fanfare and given a 13-minute glowing profile. That included touting Weaver and his fellow co-founders, who were free to engage in self-righteous moralizing:
LESLEY STAHL: You basically have endorsed Joe Biden.
REED GALEN: We have. We have endorsed Joe Biden, yes.
STAHL: It feels like, I’m sure, to the other Republicans, as – as a total betrayal?
GALEN: Republicans can call us, you know, betrayers of the faith all they want. We go – we sleep well at night.
STAHL: John Weaver feels it’s the party that’s betrayed him.
JOHN WEAVER: I mean, look, Lesley, we’ve gone from caring about character, rule of law, defending the Constitution, a cogent national security policy, free trade – where are all those issues? Imagine if you traveled the country for 30 years, fighting for Republican principles, and you learned it was all a lie. No one cares about all the issues that we fought for.
STAHL: How painful is it for you to turn against the Republican Party? Do you ever sit around and talk about – you’re repudiating your life, in a way?
WEAVER: Yeah, of course we do. I mean – I mean, we’re busy, but there are moments of melancholy about it. No doubt.
It’s not really surprising that CBS would unwittingly promote a serial sexual harasser. After all, this is the same network that employed disgraced This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, and CEO Les Moonves for years. Apparently CBS’s investigative journalists were incapable of discovering numerous allegations against those in their own ranks.
The Lincoln Project was loudly heralded by CBS when the group was looking to take down Republicans in an election, but now, it’s scandals are only given a brief whisper of coverage.