On their Twitter account, the long-running CBS show 60 Minutes offers this boastful language: "The most successful news magazine in TV history, offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news." Scott Pelley's Sunday night interview with Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland is not what anyone would call a "hard-hitting investigative report." Instead, it resembled a video press release. Just check out the tweets!
For "hard-hitting," see Pelley with President Bush in 2007. As anchor of the CBS Evening News, Pelley was a nightly bomb-thrower in the early days of President Trump, denying "reality" while he was "tweeting tantrums and falsehoods."
Pelley explained at the outset: "Tonight, he tells us about the principles that guide him and how he would deal with political interference." Pelley painted him as a centrist: "Caught in the middle is this 70-year-old former prosecutor and well-respected judge with a long history as a moderate."
That sets up the bizarre notion that Biden's Justice Department is nonpartisan in its pursuits.
“We do not have one rule for Republicans and another rule for Democrats. We don't have one rule for foes and another for friends,” says Attorney General Merrick Garland. “We have only one rule; and that one rule is that we follow the facts and the law.” https://t.co/PtVa036DOa pic.twitter.com/6OsPzAKmId— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
One obvious "tell" in determining if an interviewer is taking direction from Team Garland is bringing up his relatives and the Holocaust. Garland brings that up all the time -- in his confirmation hearing, in the last House hearing, in NPR's softball interview on a plane from Ukraine, everywhere.
Two of Merrick Garland’s relatives were murdered in the Holocaust. Garland says his family’s history is the reason he devoted his life to upholding the rule of law. https://t.co/60gPelcNMC pic.twitter.com/rVzqB2zBK8— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
Pelley gently soft-shoed on the subject of Biden probes and indictments. He was so protective he referred to "what is described in some quarters as the Biden Justice Department," as if Republicans should never use such a term.
Pelley sounded the most skeptical when he noted that Trump has been indicted as he's running for president. "You could make the argument that it's the worst possible time." Garland claimed there was no timing except the pace of the facts.
Then it's somehow not political as they tout the massive prosecution of Trump fanatics, even the ones who merely "paraded" nonviolently.
The January 6th attack led to one of the largest DOJ investigations ever – more than 1,100 people have been charged.— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
“This is a fundamental aspect of our democracy. If we can't ensure that this kind of behavior doesn't recur, it will occur,” says AG Garland. pic.twitter.com/9JsBJ1ysCE
At the end of the interview, Pelley asked Garland "when the history of this extraordinary time is written, what is the best that Merrick Garland can hope for?” Hard! Hitting!
Merrick Garland explains his objective as attorney general: “Pass our democracy on, in working order, to the next generation that picks up the torch.” https://t.co/vC2SwiPzvb pic.twitter.com/Pwam9qE7py— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
For a look at our Special Report on "Syrupy Minutes," see here.