How the media covers NSA spying

June 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Recently the Obama administration came out and admitted, after weeks of denying and leaks, that the NSA collects millions of Americans phone, email and other communication records. As was the case under the Bush administration, this invasion of privacy is done under the name of protecting us as part of the War on Terror. After 9/11, congress gave the executive branch unilateral power to do whatever necessary, including Gitmo, FISA and secret courts and various privacy intrusions, to combat against future attacks, again, as part of the enduring War on Terror.

The media reaction to the NSA data collection has been predictable both then and now. MSNBC, mainstream news main outlet for leftist views, seems to be in support for this “new” information. And Fox, by no surprise, is playing both sides of the field.

From 2003 to 2008, Fox was in full support of Peeping Sam (Peeping Tom and Uncle Sam’s love child). Cheney appeared on Fox several times to air his views, with the hosts in full support.

9 years later, Fox is sometimes for and against NSA’s action now under a Democrat.

These measures are necessary for our safety. These powers won’t be abused. The Constitution is still the supreme law but can be compromised sometimes. We can trust them, the politicians. Liberty and privacy must sometimes be sacrificed for safety and the such.

That is the mainstream news and government lines.

As usual, if not mimicking, they rarely stray from each other. And this line is the baseline; anything which strays from the baseline is kooky, out of touch, etc. In effect the mainstream news ceases to be news (an outlet offering analysis, alternative views and debate) and becomes the government’s news carrier.

It must be OK since both Fox and MSNBC says it is. When such issues are echoed, in agreement, by two sides of the political spectrum is when the regular person should worry. Something so massive and intrusive requires a cooperative effort, it must be bipartisan in nature to fool the people.

Finally, after years of heated debate and divisive language there is an issue we can agree on; compromise, alas, has been reached. Let us come together as a nation and combat this evil, and sacrifice, collectively, whatever necessary. You should have nothing to hide, anyways, and we mustn’t be soft on terror; I would “move heaven and earth” to keep America safe, to quote a Fox Business host.

To anyone with an eye and ear, it is apparent now more than ever that the mainstream news purpose isn’t to provoke thought or expose government but rather to peddle on the Democrat vs Republican dichotomy. Left with this you have a “debate” between a side which supports it (sometimes) and another side which supports it.

Even personalities identified as libertarians are not up in arms about this. John Stossel says he isn’t worked up over NSA spying.

Again, this is the baseline–to keep America safe. Anything other than moving heaven and earth, including spying and surveilling the populace and deleting the 4th amendment, is contrary to keeping America safe, so one who is against this is against America and keeping her safe.

No I prefer my privacy and don’t trust Peeping Sam. Regardless if I had nothing to hide, that doesn’t give them a right to, say, put cameras in my home. A compromise on the 4th amendment opens doors to an array of intrusions as we have recently seen.

On another similar topic, when minorities have their 4th amendment rights violated and are seized and searched by the NYPD with no probable cause, all sorts of charges are laid against Mayor Bloomberg. Many of these same voices, sudden, convenient constitutionalists, are no where to be found or lost on the NSA spying issue. Take Al Sharpton for example who say he is against “government overreach” and the likes, yet says in the same sentence he trusts President Obama. To his credit he does say this sets precedent because the man he trusts, the President, will not always be in power. This is a basic liberal idea, that regardless of what happens we should sit back and trust benevolent politicians, for they always best deal with matters. Sharpton errs in many places.

For one, if politicians could be trusted, there would have been no use for, say, the Magna Carta, or in this case the Constitution. But they can’t therefore we place hope in documents to limit their power. Secondly, precedence is everything in government. A law doesn’t become good or bad contingent on whose in power–a bad law is a bad law. For example, hypocritical conservatives trusted Bush with unilateral powers but now complain, calling the President a dictator. The President simply picked up where his predecessor left off. Thank you, conservatives, for paving the way; you reap what you sow.

Did Sharpton trust Hoover, the FBI, LBJ when they surveilled him and MLK? Did racist whites trust Hoover? I think my point is clear.

New polls show Americans are generally divided over the issue. Reading through the numbers, the polls reveal the country is divided over liberty and security, half valuing the latter over the former. The numbers can shift either way in the near future but is a fine enough example of how Americans feel about being spied on.

Lastly, with the lack of reaction from both sides, who knows what Creeping Sam has in store. Perhaps the freedom of expression and “hatred” and controversial speech will be halted to prevent riling up the Muslim world; perhaps freedom of movement and trade to certain regions would be restricted. In any case, it would be for our safety.

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