Rep. Peter King's Office Suggests NPR Producer Lied About Being Detained At Border By DHS

from the gotcha-moment dept

We’ve written a few times now about how a producer for On the Media, Sarah Abdurrahman and many of her friends and family (all of whom are American citizens), were detained by US customs and border patrol (CBP) officials at the US Canadian border for many hours with no explanation. Their treatment was horrific, and worse, no one at DHS seems to have any interest in explaining what happened or why. On the Media then created a cool crowdsourcing tool asking people to call their Congressional representatives to try to get answers.

The latest report involves some of the people who have called and what sort of response they got back. Not surprisingly, so far, not much has come of the effort, as no one in Congress seems particularly interested. However, I did want to call out one particular interaction, involving Rep. Pete King’s “new media guy” who a caller reached. The caller, Philip Elmer-Dewitt, explained Sarah’s story, and King’s staff apparently got confrontational. According to the caller:

And he said:

“Why should I believe this just because someone reported it?”

And I kinda got my back up and said:

“So, are you calling the NPR producer a liar?”

And he said:

“Oh! So you got your ‘gotcha moment’ now!”

And he was a little hostile, so I backed off a bit and said:

“No, it’s a journalistic experiment. We’re trying to elicit information. We’re trying to learn what the policy is.”

But, basically his answer was that Sarah should call her representative and that’s all there was to it.

Of course, it’s worth remembering that Rep. Pete King famously was very supportive of IRA terrorists, but now argues that Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald are “traitors” and even that Greenwald should be prosecuted (based on completely false claims that King appears to have made up himself). He’s also claimed that calling the NSA’s activities “snooping” or “spying” amounts to slander. Now, apparently, his staff are getting confrontational with constituents asking rather basic questions about how DHS is treating American citizens at the border. Makes you wonder whom Rep. Peter King actually thinks he’s representing.

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Comments on “Rep. Peter King's Office Suggests NPR Producer Lied About Being Detained At Border By DHS”

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Pragmatic says:

Re: Re:

Have I not been saying this for months? The trouble with taking a partisan stance is that you risk condemning a sizeable portion of the populace as criminals and terrorists for merely disagreeing with your politics, not for actual criminality or terrorism.

What I specifically said was that characterizing Democrats or moderates as liberal socialists (“OMG the enemy!”), etc., pits us against them as enemies, and therefore enemies of the state, to some minds.

When they come for the anti-capitalists and Greens, no one gives a damn. What’ll happen when liberals, libertarians and moderates get hammered for not being part of the program?

We’ve got to stop letting them divide us. We’ll always disagree on some things, but there is a lot we have in common. Let’s focus on that and unite to get them voted out.

Not That Chris (profile) says:

"gotcha moment"

“Oh! So you got your ‘gotcha moment’ now!”

This phrase bothers me, especially the follow up “I backed off” part. To me, trying to portray a called out BS response as a “gotcha moment” with the facts of the situation is a crappy attempt at deflecting the BS response you just threw out. If that was your legitimate answer, it’s not “gotcha”, it’s your stupid answer. If that wasn’t your legitimate answer, why did you answer it in the first place?

To me, the caller should have called out the staffer for their comment, though their response is understandable since most people don’t like confrontations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The problems arise when it’s “less government for me, more for everyone else!” Like, for example, women’s rights. There are no less than 16 abortion bills, a number of which ban abortions in cases of rape. All of which were co-sponsored in state legislatures.

Or in defunding programs for the very poorest people in the US. Which are heavily from deprived families. And then they blame the families for ‘Not having enough faith.’

And that’s an actual quote from a high-up Tea Partier. So I would argue that, whilst I agree in principle with reducing governmental intervention, I realise that it is absolutely fundamental for certain things to have money spent on by government. There is so much victim-blaming in the US political discourse that it is actively about as toxic to a person’s outlook as nuclear fallout.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There you go, Tyson, this person is an example of thinking for yourself.

More freedom? Where? We’ve got mass surveillance, curtailment of women’s rights and lower wages in real terms since the Tea Party got their people in.

Who, pray tell, is that freedom for? It ain’t us.

Stop carrying their water and think for yourself.

Tyson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The Tea Party is not in power, or did you not notice who occupied the Houses of Congress and the White House during these events?

The Tea Party has less sway than the Black Caucus. “We’ve got mass surveillance, curtailment of women’s rights and lower wages in real terms since the Black Caucus got their people in. ” See what I did there?


Re: Re: Re:3 You can always speak your mind.

The Tea Party doesn’t have to be in power to stand up for what is really right. Instead, they are more like the American Taliban. They’re a bunch of scared racist religious extremists that perceive the demographic shift in the US but aren’t quite bright enough to fully understand it.

If the Tea Baggers were true to their name, they would be all clamouring for the dismantlement of the entire NSA right now and calling Snowden a PATRIOT.

They don’t even seem to understand the event they want to associate themselves with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 You can always speak your mind.

“Baggers, scared, racist, religious extremists.” That’s a lot of hate from you.

Where do you get your idea of the Tea Party? You are wrong, and you are intentionally offensive.

To get back to reply that you completely misread, @Pragmatic blamed the tea party for not stopping mass surveillance. It’s true, they have not. Have you? The Tea Party does not get their message out because they are rarely allowed to do so without Chris Matthews having a say. The Tea Party consists of regular citizens, it’s an idea without a real political arm. We don’t have any actual delegates or official structure, but you lay blame on the a group that is the least to blame on any of your problems? If a rep wants to attach themself to the Tea Party because they share some of the same ideals, they may. That does not mean the Rep is a 100% accurate portrayal of the Party’s beliefs and purpose.

A lot of DNC operatives are successfully distracting you, causing this divide, calling us racists. That’s unfair and unsubstantiated.


Re: "Which is hilarious..."

They may or may not be “neutral” but they seem interested in presenting more detailed information. Given enough information, you can make up your own mind. So a more comprehensive approach is STILL more useful even despite “bias”.

The biggest problem in journalism is not “bias” but leaving out (important) information.

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