If there’s one awards-quality film that warrants a deep-drill investigation by 60 Minutes, it’s Zero Dark Thirty. Obviously. Hello? With all the sharply differing views about whether the film endorses torture or if Biggy-Boal simply included it because it happened? And yet 60 Minutes executive editor Bill Owens has told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie that the show has decided against any such inquiry.

Owens’ reasoning sounds muddled to me. He says “we’d [have to] go out and find our own Jessica Chastain character,” whatever that means. And he’s apparently grappling with some level of disappointment about the fact that ZD30 “is not a documentary.”

And yet 60 Minutes exec producer and CBS News chairman Jeff Fager has told Guthrie — this is unbelievable — that the show will run a follow-up piece on Lincoln, which will be seen as a sequel to the admiring profile of Steven Spielberg’s film that aired in October. The upcoming segment will air on 2.10 or 2.17, or right near the end of Oscar balloting.

Let’s back up and look at this again. 60 Minutes, a class act among news analysis shows with the ability to provide a huge p.r. advantage to any film looking for awards acclaim, is giving two (click) two (click) two blowjob pieces to Lincoln while turning its back on what is easily the most controversial Oscar-season film of the year — a story which could obviously be illuminated by a few probing interviews with the right people.

Methinks something stinks in Denmark. Favoritism, powerful alliances, kowtowing to the Spielberg aura…something. Eyebrows were raised a few days ago when Spielberg persuaded Bill Clinton to speak highly of Lincoln at the Golden Globes, and now a second Lincoln profile on 60 Minutes within a three-month period? What’s going on here?

60 Minutes has a sterling reputation for independence and backbone (except for the Geoffrey Wigand episode depicted in The Insider), but their coverage of Lincoln is perplexing. Because if they weren’t an honorable news show and if brown paper bags filled with cash were being delivered to Owens by special couriers in black limos, they’d be covering this film exactly the way they are now.