CBS News has shown repeatedly that it has no compunction about faking the news. The network thinks it can always skate by with a phony apology or excuse, believing its news brand is virtually indestructible.
It is embroiled in yet another embarrassing scandal after it was caught airing footage of an Italian hospital during a March 25 CBS This Morning segment about the ventilator shortage in New York.
CBS News used footage of a crowded hospital room filled with sick coronavirus-infected patients on make-shift ventilators. It was taken from a Sky News report that aired on March 22.
“This is the main hospital in Bergamo, in Lombardy province. It’s one of the most advanced hospitals in Europe,” the Sky News narrator explained.
The fake footage aired during a segment about the Trump administration’s feud with Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a request for more ventilators. The report was intended to make conditions in the state’s hospitals look more dire, just to tarnish the president.
“It was an editing mistake. We took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows,” a CBS spokesperson told Fox News on Monday
Cuomo alleged last Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) only gave the state 400 ventilators to treat coronavirus patients when it needed 30,000.
“You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” Cuomo said during a press conference, claiming close to 30,000 New Yorkers would die if the administration didn’t make up the shortfall.
Trump accused Cuomo of ignoring a 2015 recommendation by a state Department of Health panel that New York buy 16,000 more ventilators in advance of a pandemic.
“He had 16,000 ventilators that he could have bought and he didn’t … He should’ve ordered the ventilators,” Trump said that evening. He also expressed doubt that the state would need that many ventilators, but promised to dispatch an additional 4,000.
Cuomo told reporters Tuesday he has bought 17,000 ventilators from China for $25,000 each, a total of $425 million.
In late January at the height of the impeachment trial against the president, CBS Evening News’ Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes used an unnamed source for a discredited story that Trump was bullying senators into voting against his impeachment.
“One Trump confidant tells CBS News that GOP senators have been warned, ‘Vote against the President and your head will be on a pike.’ So far their heads appear to be safe,” said Cordes.
During her report Cordes dismissed Trump’s concerns about Ukraine’s reported interference in the 2016 U.S. election and deals negotiated by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter as debunked conspiracy theories based on Russian propaganda.
Democrats impeached Trump based on unfounded accusations that he used a $391 million military aid request from Ukraine and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens on a July 25 phone call.
On a subsequent report, Cordes repeated the threat from the ‘Trump confidant’ against Republicans in the Senate who dared to defy the president.
“A Trump confidant tells CBS News senators have been warned — vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,” Cordes said.
The report triggered denials from several key Republican senators, including Maine Senator Susan Collins and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.