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Following her much-discussed interview with President Donald Trump, longtime 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl reportedly had a death threat called into the home of one of her immediate family members. In response, CBS has hired twenty-four hour security for her and her family. They’re reportedly maintaining watch over her home and those of her family and going with them every time they leave.
According to TMZ, the death threat occurred on Thursday at around 9 AM. The caller reportedly talked about Neo-Nazis and threatened Stahl and other family members. Police are reportedly investigating the incident, though they have not announced any developments, suspects or persons of interest. Those involved have not spoken on the record, and the threat does not seem to have altered any media plans, as 60 Minutes went ahead and released the interview as scheduled on Sunday evening.
The interview was part of a larger series of conversations that also included Vice President Mike Pence, Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris. Not a ton was made about the sitdowns when they were first announced. There’s a long history of Presidents and Presidential Candidates going on 60 Minutes, but once news of President Trump ending the interview early broke, interest in what happened soared. The White House eventually decided to release its own copy of the interview prior to the broadcast. It did not hurt the ratings, however, as the episode was the most watched non-sports program since the Oscars (which had its own ratings problems), at least if you don’t count the debates which were broadcast across multiple channels and in totality, put up higher numbers.
Lesley Stahl has been reporting with 60 Minutes since 1991. Her career first rose to prominence in the early 1970s when she covered the Watergate burglaries for CBS. Initially considered a random news story, the case eventually grew into a massive conspiracy that reached all the way to the federal government and caused President Richard Nixon to resign. She later served as a White House correspondent under Presidents Carter, Reagan and Bush and hosted several major television shows before settling into her longtime role on 60 Minutes.
Like with almost everything political, what exactly happened during the interview is entirely dependent on who you ask. Some in the conservative media have argued President Trump’s interview was a lot tougher and featured more direct questions than the one Joe Biden received. Others have argued everything she asked was in bounds and it was on the President for taking it personally. It’ll ultimately be up to each individual viewer to decide for themselves.
The Presidential Election will take place on November 3rd. Expect near constant media coverage of everything the candidates do or say for the next week.