Sunday, May 26, 2013

How big is media surveillance under Obama

I'm as unhappy as the next guy about government surveillance on journalists and private citizens but I sure wish the media had been this focused when the Bush administration was doing it illegally. Even the NYT is verging on scaremongering about Obama's DoJ. I mean the hed screams US Leaks Inquiries Show How Wide a Net is Cast. About midway through the article it admits, "It is not clear how often the government has obtained reporters’ communications records."

The only person they could get on record for the story is one government guy whose life was ruined under the Bush administration for allegedly leaking about warrantless wiretaps -- on everybody. Meanwhile here's an interesting twist to the Rosen saga.
On Saturday, a Fox News executive said that the notice had gone to News Corp., its parent company, on Aug. 27, 2010, but that Fox News was not told until Friday. The executive said they were still trying to sort out how the notice fell through the cracks.
You might have thought this would be something the parent corp would have brought to their news station's attention right away. Kind of convenient they suddenly discovered it after the AP got all sorts of steam out of their surveillance. And again, in these Obama era cases it's not about wholesale spying on the population or the media. As the government states, "law enforcement officials said the leaks were alarming because someone had shared information while overseas intelligence operations were still under way."

If somebody can show me where any of these stories exposed government misconduct, I'm happy to join in the outrage but so far all I see is a few journos outing active counter-terrorism operations in countries that do pose a danger to our national security, effectively shutting them down because of the exposure. I don't feel so well served by that kind of traffic baiting journalism.

I have to agree with Kevin Drum about this hue and cry over this.
Something about the Rosen case just doesn't add up. But a lot of people don't seem to be taking the possible outing of an intelligence source very seriously. They're acting as if the DOJ prosecution is over a completely meaningless story. That might be, but I think a bit less circling the wagons, and a bit more serious questioning, might be in order here.
I often watch these big journos on the twitter. They hate Obama, not for his politics but because he doesn't treat them with the respect they believe they deserve. Sadly, I don't believe the vast majority of them deserve the respect. They aren't informing the public. When he does hold a presser, they leap to find a single phrase out of hundreds of words and manufacture some kind of fauxtroversy out of it. They skip most of the salient points he makes about policy. Too boring. Doesn't bring in the eyeballs. Maybe if they showed the POTUS the kind of respect he deserves, they would get some in return.

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