Things got tense Sunday on 60 Minutes as CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley squared off with prominent Trump supporter Mike Cernovich.
As part of a segment on Fake News, Pelley introduced Cernovich as the founder of a website, Danger & Play, which “has become a magnet for readers with a taste for stories with no basis in fact.”
Things only got testier from there.
Pelley grilled Cernovich over a story he published titled “Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms.” Pelley pointed out that Cernovich had not actually spoken to any doctor who had examined the democratic Presidential nominee, and that the campaign denied the allegation.
Pelley: You don’t think that’s misleading?
You believe it’s true today?
Oh, absolutely…She had a seizure and froze up walking into her motorcade that day.
Well, she had pneumonia. I mean…
How do you know? Who told you that?
Well, the campaign told us that.
Why would you trust the campaign?
The point is you didn’t talk to anybody who’d ever examined Hillary Clinton.
I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her on her word. The media says we’re not going to take Donald Trump on his word. And that’s why we are in these different universes.
Even before the Clinton post, the prominent Trump supporter had been a highly controversial figure. Cernovich was a self-proclaimed champion of the “Gamergate” movement, which targeted progressive women in the video game industry. He also Tweeted in 2012 “Have you guys ever tried “raping” a girl without using force? Try it. It’s basically impossible. Date rape does not exist.” (The tweet has since been deleted, but was captured here.) He also told The New Yorker “My first marriage was ruined by feminist indoctrination.”
Cernovich, for his part, claimed to be the victim of selective editing. Prior to the broadcast, Cernovich posted an excerpt of the interview to Danger & Play — some of which was aired, some of which was not. (The italicized portions below were not heard on the CBS broadcast.)
Cernovich: Do I really think that you guys are gonna tell the story that I would like to have told? No. Your story’s going to be here’s a guy, spreads fake news, uses social media, these social media people better … I know the story you guys are doing before you do it.
Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?
Because it is an agenda. The agenda is … The truth is you’ve talked to a person who sincerely believes true, you must also admit that there have been many stories reported by major outlets like The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, that were false.
People get it wrong, so why then come guns blazing at me, and not guns blazing at everybody?Why isn’t this segment going to say, how did the New York Times get conned? How did the Washington Post believe that Russia had hacked the power grid? We all together, collectively need to discover what the truth is, and converse with one another what the truth is, that’s a different story.
Another story is, here is a person that is able to bypass traditional media outlets, reach people directly to tell a story. Maybe he’s a good guy, maybe he’s not. People decide.
This is another story, ’cause I know the story you guys are going to tell. Hillary Clinton’s perfectly healthy. This guy Cernovich that said she’s not, he has no reason to say that. Facebook and Twitter need to crackdown on this kind of stuff.
What’s wrong with that story?
I just told you, because that is an agenda. You could tell a more whole picture. You could tell a full story, but that’s one narrow thing. ’Cause I know by the questions you’re asking, the story you’re going to tell.
Watch above, via CBS.
[featured image via screengrab]
Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com