Scott Pelley treated President Biden with kid gloves on Sunday night during a rare interview on “60 Minutes,” in the eyes of some critics, who argued the CBS journalist lobbed softballs or were peeved at the lack of follow-up questions.
Biden did make news multiple times during his first TV interview with an American journalist in seven months, admitting it “remains to be seen” if he will run again in 2024, announcing the United States would defend Taiwan against an attack from China and even declaring the COVID pandemic is “over.”
However, the conversation left many viewers disappointed with some irked that Pelley didn’t particularly push back on the president and others wanted him to bring up the crisis along the southern border.
“From the very start, it was clear why Biden chose Pelley to conduct his first sit-down interview in months. Right out of the gate and until the last minute, Pelley gushed and sucked up to Biden in embarrassing fashion,” NewsBusters analyst Kevin Tober wrote, in reference to Pelley discussing how initially the “summer was going so well for the president.”
“Once Pelley was finished with his servile opening introduction for Biden, he began by asking the President a series of questions about the economic calamity Biden has caused. Although, Pelley didn’t frame it that way. Instead, Pelley let Biden get away with his lies on the economy and his refusal to admit the United States is in a recession,” Tober wrote.
The media watchdog wrote Pelley asked Biden what he can do to prevent a recession with the “premise of the question being that Biden’s recession denialism is reality.”
Pelley then allowed Biden to declared the COVID pandemic is over, sparking intense backlash from both conservative and liberal voices across social media who called out his administration’s recent mixed messaging. Biden’s words triggered criticism over his COVID emergency power usage, mask-wearing and ongoing mask and vaccine mandates across the U.S., with conservatives slamming his alleged overreaching power and leftists criticizing the “irresponsible” claim.
“Left wingers are going to be furious at him for this, but this is also interesting because less than a month ago he justified canceling a trillion dollars in student loans by citing his covid emergency powers,” OutKick founder Clay Travis tweeted late Sunday.
“Biden used emergency covid declaration to enact student loan forgiveness and this is why Scott Pelley is a bad journalist and interviewer,” pundit Stephen L. Miller reacted.
Pelley failed to make any of the points that conservative viewers offered up before pivoting.
“Feeling bad for Biden, Pelley attempted to make his viewers feel bad for poor Joe Biden and the ‘difficult life’ the millionaire President has,” Tober wrote, referring to a portion of the interview when he felt “Pelley groveled before Biden’s feet and heaped praise.”
Pelley asked, “You have lived a long life of triumph and tragedy. In November you’ll be 80. And I wonder what it is that keeps you in the arena?”
Tober’s criticism wasn’t finished, as he noted “Pelley announced to the audience without laughing at himself that pro-abortion Biden is ‘Catholic’ and devout.”
“This kind of media praise would make state-controlled media in North Korea blush. Pelley would make a terrific ‘news anchor’ at a North Korean or Chinese state media outlet,” Tober wrote.
“No surprise tonight: Pelley is just another shameless Biden fluffer,” radio host Gerry Callahan wrote.
Other conservatives took to Twitter to criticize the “60 Minutes” interview over aspects like Hunter Biden
Fox News’ Taylor Penley contributed to this report.