Last night, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired its long-awaited report on Alabama’s incarcerated former governor Don Siegelman, featuring allegations that Karl Rove personally told a Republican operative in the state to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife.
Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted in 2006 for conspiracy, bribery and fraud. But observers from all sides of the political spectrum are now questioning whether his prosecution “was pursued not because of a crime but because of politics.”
Watch the report:
Though the report aired last night, it was not seen by everyone who may have wished to view it. In several Alabama locations, “the show was blocked – black screen – during the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes only.” Harper’s Scott Horton, who has investigated the Siegelman prosecution and was interviewed for the segment, reports:
I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama–from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down–that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee.
WHNT originally claimed last night that the blocked segment was due to “a techincal(sic) problem with CBS out of New York.” But that claim was contradicted by CBS in New York, who told Horton, that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19.”
WHNT now has a different explanation on its website:
NewsChannel 19 lost our program feed from CBS. Upon investigation, WHNT has learned that the CBS receiver that allows us to receive programming from CBS failed. WHNT engineers responded as quickly as possible to restore the feed at 6:12 p.m.
WHNT says it “will re-air the broadcast of that segment.”
UPDATE: A CBS spokesman brushed off concern about the blackout, telling the New York Times’s Lede blog that it just “an affiliate issue.”