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.

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  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 24 Jan 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.

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