During Norah O’Donnell’s portion of 60 Minutes Sunday evening where she spoke to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the CBS anchor brushed past Biden’s corruption scandal, only asking one measly and highly biased question about it to the Democratic candidate. But because O’Donnell is a respected journalist, she made sure to ask multiple questions to his running mate about how “racist” President Trump is.
With Biden, O’Donnell hit all the major topics, from COVID to taxes to the economy and finally the Supreme Court, before getting around to that dreaded topic no one in the media wants to talk about. But look at how she set up the question:
"In the closing days of the campaign, Joe Biden has been forced to address new and unverified claims that he was involved in his son Hunter's foreign business dealings," she said off-camera before asking Biden to reject his own scandal as Russian disinformation:
"Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter's computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?"
Of course Biden affirmed O'Donnell's leading question his team might as well have written themselves in her notes. While Russia has become a knee-jerk response for the left-wing media, the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe denied this was the case six days ago (this interview was recorded the same day the DNI's statement came out, but CBS did not add any updates to their broadcast to reflect this.)
Remarkably, this was the only question about the Hunter Biden laptop/emails. Biden's other big issue with packing the Supreme Court didn't get push back from O'Donnell either. After he told her he would let a "bipartisan commission" he created decide if he would pack the courts, O'Donnell offered no criticism, simply saying, "This is a live ball?"
Perhaps because she didn’t want to get yelled at, O’Donnell chose to give her gentle fact-checks of Biden off camera, seen in these exchanges below (click expand):
BIDEN: …. I can send every single qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion. I can make sure every single person who qualifies community college can go and we still have a lot of money left over. That's what I mean by significant institutional changes.
O’DONNELL [off-camera] The non-partisan Tax Policy Center and others have questioned whether Joe Biden's corporate minimum tax plan would raise as much money as he estimates. After our interview, Mr. Biden's staff told us he misspoke and that the cost of free public college could be twice as much as he said.
O'DONNELL: The president says that's gonna end up sending jobs overseas.
BIDEN: He's sending them overseas already. Take a look at what's happened. We have a trade deficit that's larger with China than when we were there.
O'DONNELL [off camera]: Actually, that depends on how you calculate it. The overall trade deficit with China was slightly lower in 2019 than it was during the last three years of the Obama administration.
Ironically, O’Donnell pressed Harris more than she did Biden, in one exchange, which you can read in the transcript at the bottom. In a telling moment, Harris couldn’t even answer a question about her own super liberal voting record without hysterically giggling and dodging the questions. In what came across as another instance of CBS trying to do the Democrat ticket a favor, O’Donnell practically begged Harris to deny she was radically left-wing. “I want to give you an opportunity to address this,” she said, pleading with Harris to “button it up” and take the topic seriously.
But there were softballs too. As mentioned above, O'Donnell teed up the senator to call the president a racist:
O'DONNELL: On the campaign trail, President Trump has attacked you frequently. He's called you a monster. He's said you're nasty and it would be an insult to our country if you became the first female president. Do you see this as just the rough and tumble of politics, or do you view those attacks against you as racist?
O’DONNELL: Do you think the president is racist?
CBS protecting Democrats from scandals and facing up to their own records almost a week before election day was sponsored by Xfinity, and Progressive Insurance, whom you can contact at the Conservatives fight back links provided.
Read the relevant transcript portions below:
CBS's 60 Minutes
NORAH O’DONNELL: In the closing days of the campaign, Joe Biden has been forced to address new and unverified claims that he was involved in his son hunter's foreign business dealings. The president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, says he came into possession of emails allegedly belonging to hunter Biden and turned them over to the tabloid New York Post.
TRUMP: Smoking gun emails.
O’DONNELL: Mr. Trump and his allies have called for an investigation, but the F.B.I. would neither confirm nor deny to 60 Minutes that one was taking place. Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter's computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?
JOE BIDEN: From what I've read and know the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani, the president, together, it's just what it is. It's a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?
O'DONNELL;: From the moment Joe Biden selected her as his running-mate, Senator Harris has become one of President Trump's favorite targets.
O'DONNELL On the campaign trail, President Trump has attacked you frequently. He's called you a monster. He's said you're nasty and it would be an insult to our country if you became the first female president. Do you see this as just the rough and tumble of politics, or do you view those attacks against you as racist?
O’DONNELL: Do you think the president is racist?
O’DONNELL[off-camera]:: President Trump has said he denounces racism and white supremacy.
O’DONNELL to HARRIS: You're very different in the policies that you've supported in the past. You're considered the most liberal United States senator.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: I-- somebody said that and it actually was Mike Pence on the debate stage. (Laugh) But--
O'DONNELL: Yeah. Well, actually, the nonpartisan GovTrack has rated you as the most liberal senator. You supported the Green New Deal, you supported Medicare for All. You've supported legalizing marijuana. Joe Biden doesn't support those things. So are you gonna bring the policies, those progressive policies that you supported as senator, into a Biden administration?
HARRIS: What I will do, and I promise you this, and this is what Joe wants me to do, this was part of our deal, I will always share with him my lived experience as it relates to any issue that we confront. And I promised Joe that I will give him that perspective and always be honest with him.
O'DONNELL: And is that a socialist or Progressive perspective?
HARRIS: (Laughing) No. No. It is the perspective of-- of a woman who grew up [voice breaking]-- a black child in America, who was also a prosecutor, who also has a mother who arrived here at the age of 19 from India. Who also, you know, likes hip hop. (Laughing) Like, what do you want to know? (Laughing)
O’DONNELL: Well, I want to give you-- I want to give you the opportunity to address this because, at the Republican National Convention, President Trump made the case that Joe Biden is gonna be nothing more than a Trojan horse for socialist policies, for the left wing of the Democratic party. Are you going to push those policies when you're vice president of--
HARRIS: I am not--
O’DONNELL: --Of the United States?
HARRIS: --Gonna be confined to Donald Trump's definition of who I or anybody else is. And I think America has learned that that would be a mistake.
O'DONNELL: So just-- just to button that up, because you have fought for Medicare For All. That's not something that Joe Biden supports. If you become vice president, would you say to a president Biden, "You know what? Let's-- we should really be pushing for Medicare for All, not a public option. That's just not gonna do it. That's not my value"?
HARRIS: I would not have joined the ticket if I didn't support what Joe was proposing. And so our plan includes expanding on everything that Joe together with President Obama created with the Affordable Care Act. By contrast, you have Donald Trump, who's in court right now trying to get rid of a policy that brought health care to over 20 million people, including protecting people with preexisting conditions. And he's doing it in the middle of a pandemic that has killed over 215,000 Americans.