TV News Programs Seem Focused On Making Sure NSA Defenders Get Nearly All Air Time

from the of-course-they-do dept

Remember back when CBS's John Miller defended his laughably bad propaganda piece for the NSA on 60 Minutes by claiming that "the NSA story has been a fairly one-way dialogue..." in which only critics are having a voice?

Right. About that. Fair & Accuracy in Reporting is noting that the big Sunday talk shows seem to be dominated by NSA defenders, very rarely allowing NSA critics to even appear. On NBC's Meet the Press, nearly all of the time was taken up by some of the NSA's biggest defenders, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers. David Gregory also had on Newt Gingrich and Harold Ford, who both more or less supported the NSA. The only critic was a very brief appearance by Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, given very little time compared to everyone else. On CBS's Face the Nation, a similar pattern played out. Mike Rogers made another appearance, along with Obama advisor Tom Donilon who attacked Snowden. Then there was former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell, who's been spouting a lot of nonsense about how the metadata program could have stopped 9/11 -- a claim that has been debunked so many times it's barely worth discussing any more. The only person interviewed who was critical of the NSA was Senator Marc Udall, who was, again, given much less time than the others. (CBS News, by the way, has also now hired Morrell, where we expect him to take over John Miller's role as the intelligence community's mouthpiece now that Miller has returned to the intelligence community.)

We've seen similar things going on pretty much every Sunday. The idea that the NSA doesn't get to have its side of the story told is a complete joke. When it comes to network news, it's pretty clear that the reverse is true.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:05pm

    "the NSA story has been a fairly one-way dialogue..." in which only critics are having a voice?

    Of course is seems one-way when you are only monitoring the calls of the people complaining about the monitoring.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:07pm

    Glenn Greenwald

    Not to mention that whenever Glenn Greenwald joins a televised debate, the NSA defender(s) ALWAYS get the last word. Due to the time zone delay, it must be frustrating not to be able to properly defend yourself in real time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:13pm

    Don't tell me anyone still believes in an independent press!!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:14pm

    Its kind of funny because you flip on the news and you hear, Snowden should hang! and you go on the internet and its The NSA should hang!

    There is such a divide between the people and the government mouthpieces on the old style media. If it wasn't so sad it would be comical. Both of us cant be right.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Fair & Accuracy in Reporting is noting that the big Sunday talk shows seem to be dominated by NSA defenders

    This is what happens when corporations are allowed to buy up all of the press and consolidate it to where a few corporations own all of the news.

    A commenter on another post stated "We need a revolution." He's right but the revolution we need isn't like any revolution we have seen before. We need a systematic dismantling of all corporations, on a global scale, breaking every single one of them up into smaller pieces until we eliminate the crony capitalist system that prevents us from solving any problem, big or small. Only then will we truly be free. This is what the younger generation understands more so than any of us. This is what is coming.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    be fair. the opinion is still the one that if it is said often enough, then even if not true, people begin to believe it. the truth, however, is far less interesting and brings fewer watchers etc

     

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  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:32pm

    It appears that you just discovered the obvious.

    Couple close enough related to media control (the foucs on television is itself a rather oddly limiting choice), that you were too busy excusing copyright infringement to bother with:

    The CIA Invests in Narrative Science and Its Automated Writers

    http://allthingsd.com/20130605/the-c-i-a-invests-in-narrative-science-and-its-automated-write rs/

    Where Does Facebook Stop and the NSA Begin?

    http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/10/facebook-personal-data-online-privacy-social-norm

    "New media" outlets are just like "old media" outlets except aren't yet known to be Establishment outlets, but that's the way to bet. Don't trust anything you read.

    08:31:51[j-962-6]

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:33pm

    Because only those stupid bigoted tinfoilhat guys believe that the government has any controll over the media...

     

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  9.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    The main difference is that television news is the mouthpiece of government and corporation, but that on the internet you can hear the opinions of ordinary people.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    It's not the government that has control over the media. It's corporate America that controls both the media and the government. It's just that both entities are controlled by the same group that it appears that one is controlled by the other.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    And at this point it's not that the NSA hasn't been able to tell their side of the story in the media, it's that they haven't been able to sell their side of the story in them media, so they keep repeating it over and over with hopes that if they keep saying it eventually people will believe it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    No surprises here. It's why most of lamescream media is failing.

    Ever since the passage of the NDAA last year, which has made the releasing of government propaganda into the nation's news legal, more and more of this has shown up.

    For some mysterious reason, a whistle blower like Snowden is faced with espionage, theft and conversion of government property charges. Yet an un-named official can release info on a CIA under cover and break their cover with no repercussions whatever, despite it putting that agent's life in danger. Or more recently, after the passage of the NDAA, you see all these pro-spying claims, one after another. If anyone else has info and tries to counter it with hard facts, they are not a supporter and can and will be charged with national security implications for the audacity of telling the truth.

    Still, the government is fooling itself on pulling the wool over the eyes of most citizens who get it. Sooner or later this is going to come to a head. How bad the public reaction to it is depends on how long they stretch it out, hoping to over come the disgust and at the same time they are firmly establishing their trustworthiness as public and ex-public officials. I don't think there are as many in the population as the government thinks is being fooled by all this.

    It tells you where we are today and it's not pretty when the government can flat out lie about its intentions and results of what it achieves. It really sounds to me as if the government is extremely scared of the tiger it is riding getting out of the cage.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Their nonstop spew of propaganda on old media has only reinforced everyone's (largely correct) perception of old media as no longer being relevant.
    Hopefully, after a month or two of wasting millions of tax dollars exploiting old media, they'll decide to try their hand at new media, and get torn to shreds 24/7 by angry mobs.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    This blatant bias in the media is increasingly common

    This is unfortunately a common thing for the big TV news organizations to all show their bias by almost all of their guests having the same opinion on some controversial issue. A few examples of this over the years.

    -In 2009 when discussing the economic stimulus, the news media invited far more critics of the stimulus then supporters on programs. CNN invited 7 opponents of the stimulus for each supporter of it.

    -When Scott Walker was pushing his controversial anti-union bill, all the Sunday morning political talk shows invited anti-union people on their show. Only after being shamed into it when people pointed out how blatantly biased the guest selection was did one of those 5 shows, Meet The Press, invite a pro-union person on that Sunday, but they still had 3 times as many anti-union guests as pro-union guests on the most 'balanced' show.

    -Aereo stories about the lawsuits over reboarding free over the air footage, and a lot of other IP and such stories are almost always heavily biased in favor of legacy industries. The TV news media organizations also have a strong financial interest in supporting the legacy industries, as they're typically a part of the legacy industries.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:24pm

    Re: they can't tell their side

    LOL, of course they can't tell their side: it's classified don't you know.

    But because the NSA is full of wonderful folks just like us, they would never abuse their positions. LOL, LOL, LOL!

     

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  16.  
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    Seegras (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: This blatant bias in the media is increasingly common

    Totally. And if the case is clear cut in the other way, they always manage to find some nutcase to argue it, in the name of "unbiased reporting".

    Happens in the US with evolution or global warming.

    To the point where actually a majority thinks the nutcases are right, in spite of all science.

    It's starting in Europe too, but the public is not yet that indoctrinated. Most people here think creationists and global warming deniers are total wackos (about the same as people believing in UFOs).

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    "... they haven't been able to sell their side of the story in them media, so they keep repeating it over and over with hopes that if they keep saying it eventually people will believe it."

    That's how advertising works, right?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 1:55pm

    News media seems to operate under the Pareto Principle

    "80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

     

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  19.  
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    krolork (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    We need a revolution.

     

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  20.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Which makes me wonder why anyone bothers turning on the television news.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    Hey, NSA monitors everyone so they know who is getting the most coverage. They have to be the people with the best data and therefore the people to ask!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Repetition just makes the message stick in your head. It doesn't convince you to accept it. It takes a good message (something they don't have) and/or a good presentation (something they apparently suck at) that you have to combine with the repetition to make the advertising work.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Maybe it's someone's idea of 'fairness' and 'balance'; they're getting torn a structurally superfluous new behind everywhere on the Internet, so the mainstream media is giving them an opportunity to tell their side of the story unmolested.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    Funny choice of words (ie. "unmolested") you have there implying that the NSA is somehow being abused by the public on the Internet, when the entire issue stems from the systematic, repeated, and ongoing abuse of the public by the NSA. Irony.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 4:10pm

    when do we get to make it illegal for politicians to knowingly lie to the public?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I've wondered that for a couple of decades now. TV news makes people stupid. That's not hyperbole, it's literally true.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 4:19pm

    it would be so funny to see someone like Masnick up on TV trying to defend his claims in support of Snowden. He can get away with is non-existent arguments here on TD (it is after all not read by anyone and a backwater), but live Masnick would get destroyed, (like last time he was on 'telly') looking all sick and pasty, and just about to pass out, falling apart as soon as someone asks you to justify your claims. Does not make good viewing, and does not help you cause.

    So they only put relevant people on TV, and btw all the coverage I have seen show the US TV to be very balanced (far more than here) taking comment from both sides of the argument.

    They just done allow (or want) crackpots who make stupid and unsupported claims.

    Maybe one day you get asked to appear Masnick, (when you do,, please decline for your own good).

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 4:50pm

    Re:

    How do you manage to get through life when you have this little of a clue?

    I bet your mommy still has to hold your hand to cross the street.

    Good to see that you at least admit that you are a nobody.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 5:39pm

    Re:

    darryl just loathes it when due process is enforced.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It makes stupid people fearful, which attracts them to more news.

     

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  31.  
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    Trails (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 6:36pm

    Joke?

    The idea that the NSA doesn't get to have its side of the story told is a complete joke.

    I don't think it's funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re:

    Hmmm. Perhaps that wasn't the best choice of word, now you mention it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 3:11am

    Re:

    While I agree with you in principle, AC, the problem is that the corporations are too big and powerful to allow that and they've got our representatives in their pockets.

    Therefore this is NOT what is coming.

    Things will, alas, get worse before they get better, and they will only get better when people insist on being properly informed before deciding what to believe, then taking a more active role in overseeing the governance of the country by getting more involved in the political process.

    Until more of us take responsibility for ensuring we are governed properly instead of merely outsourcing it to corrupt politicians that we then complain about, forget it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    SkullCowboy (profile), Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Well, because...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Television broadcasters all depend on government permission to operate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And fear makes people stupid. It's a self-reinforcing cycle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Repetition just makes the message stick in your head. It doesn't convince you to accept it.


    Over 50 years of experimental and practical evidence shows that this isn't correct. Most people will begin to believe almost anything they've heard repeated enough times. It even works if you're just repeating things to yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    John85851 (profile), Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 2:53pm

    Why do we let the media get away with this?

    " how the metadata program could have stopped 9/11 -- a claim that has been debunked so many times it's barely worth discussing any more."

    We all know it's been debunked, but why are network news shows letting this get by? Where's the hard-hitting journalist who will call these people out for this nonsense?
    But this goes back to the issue of how the media has to play nice to large organizations out of fear that their press credentials will be revoked. Challenge a senator about the NSA? Sorry, you're not invited to the White House correspondent's dinner. And you'll have to sit in the back of the room during any press conference... assuming you're allowed in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    but ... but ... but ... TERRORISM!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re:

    I wonder how long it will take for Desmond to spring into action!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I know. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, though: anyone who is actually afraid of terrorism should never get into a car, since the risk to life & limb is several orders of magnitude greater when you're in a car.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: News media seems to operate under the Pareto Principle

    The Pareto Principle is just a special case of what is known as the 80/20 rule in software (80% of the work is done by 20% of the code) or engineering (80% of the cost is spent on 20% of the project). I prefer going with the more universal Sturgeon's Law: 80% of everything is crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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