Robert Reich: The Bizarre ’60 Minutes’ Interview With Marjorie Taylor Greene – OpEd


On Sunday, CBS’s flagship news program “60 Minutes” gave Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a platform to label Democrats as pedophiles and float dangerous transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ conspiracy theories, without pushback or fact checks.

There are really two questions here. 

First, should “60 Minutes” have interviewed Greene at all? Greene has attracted a lot of attention for her extreme views, and she has cozied up to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but she is not a major Republican lawmaker. Greene has openly supported violence and insurrection. She has boasted that if she had been in charge of the January 6 coup attempt, the insurrectionists “would have won,” and she allegedly sought a presidential pardon after participating in a December 2020 White House meeting about the effort to overturn the presidential election results. (She was in New York, rallying for Trump.) She had previously been stripped of committee assignment for expressing approval of social media posts calling for Democrats to be assassinated. Does being an unbiased news outlet require giving any notorious public figure a platform to air their views, regardless of how despicable? 

The second question is, having decided to interview her, should “60 Minutes” have pushed back harder against her views? Lesley Stahl, the interviewer, introduced Greene as “smart and fearless” and then allowed Greene to spew her vitriol without stopping her or offering factual evidence contradicting her. When interviewing public figures who present bigoted and dangerous points of view, do journalists have an obligation to counter them, and, if so, how? 

What do you think? I’ve included the interview below, should you wish to watch. 

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

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