60 Minutes Offers Thoroughly One-Sided Look at NSA Scandal. Guess Which Side.

"Your campaign has the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?"So are any of those
conservative media critics going to file FCC complaints against
60 Minutes for the 20-minute blowjob correspondent John
Miller performed Sunday evening on Gen. Keith Alexander and other
National Security Agency leaders?

For those who missed it (perhaps, like me, they had recently
discovered French horror-mystery series The
and were watching the marathon on the
Sundance Channel), 60 Minutes ran not one, but two full
segments about the NSA’s data collection and Edward Snowden
scandals, told entirely from the NSA’s perspective and with
absolutely no critical voices.

Some lowlights:

  • The poor “We are not reading your e-mails/listening to your
    phone calls” straw man is set on fire yet again. The guy is just
    ash by now. The explanation of the “metadata” the NSA collects is
    purposefully vague, giving viewers the very false impression that
    the only information the NSA gets is just literal phone numbers and
    call durations.
  • Miller brings up the Foreign Information Surveillance Court
    rulings indicating that the NSA has in the past overstepped its
    boundaries and
    collected data it shouldn’t collect
    . Gen. Alexander deflects
    the question by stating that these were mistakes and were not
    “willful.” No mention is made of other privacy violations by NSA
    agents that were indeed willful.
  • NSA officials seem to believe that they have stopped China from
    destroying the world’s computers with a virus, thereby preventing
    widespread economic chaos. While the Chinese government and
    military are no doubt engaging in all sorts of cyber-espionage,
    there’s no explanation as to why exactly China — a leading exporter
    — of all countries would try to destroy the world’s economy.
  • Edward Snowden is dismissed as some sort of weirdo. NSA’s
    investigation of him after the fact determined that he cheated (via
    hacking) to pass the test to get his contractor position, which
    you’d think was something that should mark him as an up-and-comer,
    given the agency. He also covered up his computer at home so his
    girlfriend couldn’t see what he was working on, which everybody on
    camera seems to think is crazypants and not something a person
    whose job involves looking at classified data might do.
  • At the outset Miller discloses that he used to work for the
    Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the
    NSA. Disclosing past relationships is good, but recognizing when
    such relationships absolutely ruin the possibility of your
    objectivity and therefore stepping back, is even better. But then,
    would 60 Minutes have gotten this scoop without Miller? It
    was the NSA who approached 60 Minutes to do this story,
    not the other way around. Miller is also rumored to be leaving the
    network soon to go work for the

The 60 Minutes reports can be viewed here.
The entire charade smacks yet again of the administration thinking
that all of its problems are due to poor “messaging,” not due to
any actual legitimate concerns by the populace. More criticism of
the segments may be found

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/16/60-minutes-offers-thoroughly-one-sided-l

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