Scandal Du Jour
It is getting harder and harder to keep up with the mainstream media's current 'scandal du jour' -- since they are coming at us so fast one hardly has time to fully absorb the breath-taking dishonesty of the report that came before.
From the Koran-flushing Newsweek story to the alleged 'outing' of Valerie Plame, they've been cultivating an atmosphere of 'us against them' with the administration since it assumed office in 2001.
Wait, let me rephrase that to better reflect the truth. . . they've been cultivating an atmosphere of 'us against them' with THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA since the current administration took office in 2001.
Indeed, look at how many Americans view 'the Bush administration' as some kind of adversarial force, as if 'the Bush administration' were somehow NOT the government of the United States of America. Think of how many leftists have repeated the slogan, 'it's time to take our government back' -- as if some foreign government now occupies the Oval Office.
If, as the Left would have us believe, 'our government' is not the current administration, then there is nothing left to 'take back' -- since the current administration won the election, fair and square. Or, at least, as fairly and squarely as any other administration elected under the Constitution in US history. Therefore, if the Bush administration isn't 'our government' -- we don't have one to demand 'back'.
Is this not actively working to subvert the legally elected government of the United States of America by leaking national security secrets in time of war? Is there another way to read it?
That isn't to argue that the Bush administration is doing such a great job, but in fairness, it is difficult to fight a two-front war -- especially one in which your political opposition seems to be rooting for the enemy.
The Washington Post commissioned a poll in which it found, to its disbelief, that two-thirds of Americans were NOT outraged over the NSA analyzing phone records to look for terrorist calling patterns.
The Post expressed its shock and surprise at the ignorance of its readers, noting, "The survey results reflect initial public reaction to the NSA program. Those views that could change or deepen as more details about the effort become known over the next few days."
To make sure nobody took the results too seriously, the Post said of its own poll, "A total of 502 randomly selected adults were interviewed Thursday night for this survey. Margin of sampling error is five percentage points for the overall results. The practical difficulties of doing a survey in a single night represents another potential source of error."
In other words, this poll can't be trusted, since the mainstream media doesn't agree with the findings. When was the last time a newspaper criticized its own poll?
True to their word, the very NEXT day, the Post's sister company, Newsweek, crafted a poll that gave exactly the OPPOSITE numbers. Two-thirds of Americans in Newsweek's poll opposed the NSA program, and only one third supported it.
It wasn't that public opinion reversed itself overnight. Pollsters only get the answers to the questions they ask.
(That's what the Post meant when it spoke of the "practical difficulties of doing a survey in a single night represent[ing] another potential source of error." In the rush to be first, they didn't spend enough time crafting the questions. Newsweek simply rephrased the questions to get the answers they wanted.)
The mainstream headlines are all over the map; the Lowell Sun (MA) headlined its story, "DOMESTIC SPYING" in all-caps, subheaded, "Mass. reps question government collection of phone records; Meehan says Bush should cooperate on probe". Whew! Domestic spying?
All that because the CIA is analyzing phone records to see what phone numbers are calling the phone numbers of known terrorists?
You won't find out in the mainstream media, but THAT is what the fuss is about. The government is analyzing lists of phone connections in the US (just the numbers) against lists of phone connections to suspected al-Qaeda terrorists.
It is more like standing in a public place and watching to see who goes into a particular restaurant. That is hardly the same as eavesdropping on their dinner conversations.
To the ordinary American, it means this: If you are regularly phoning somebody who is plotting to destroy the United States, then your phone records might get pulled for closer examination. If an al-Qaeda terrorist is regularly phoning you, the same thing will happen.
It is worth noting that this story 'broke' three times. The first time, when it was leaked to the New York Times and splashed all over the front page of the New York Times. It 'broke' again in the Boston Globe a few months later, but it never really caught on.
The story 'broke' a third time on the front page of USAToday, by this time, so spun and dried that it sounded like the NSA was engaged in a major violation of 'ordinary, law-abiding' Americans' privacy rights.
How many 'ordinary law-abiding' Americans are having innocent conversations with al-Qaeda terrorists abroad?
Said liberal California Democrat Dianne Feinstein: "I happen to believe we're on our way to a major constitutional confrontation on Fourth Amendment guarantees of unreasonable search and seizure."
Because the government has access to what phone numbers I call? (Anybody can buy that same information on the Internet)
"That the government may be secretly collecting, and using data mining to analyze the phone records of millions of law-abiding Americans, as reported in the press today, is a frightening prospect. ... It is time for the administration to come clean with Congress and the American people," thundered Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a member of the Judiciary Committee.
"A frightening prospect?" What is FRIGHTENING is the indelible images of Americans covered with concrete dust fleeing the collapse of the World Trade Center. And that there are people out there actively planning to do it again.
(Now, THAT'S "a frightening prospect"! That the NSA has a computer analyzing my calling patterns doesn't even crack the level of 'boring'.)
The network news broadcasts teased it as "Seismic" "Shocking" and "A Bombshell."
NBC's "bombshell" fizzled when Lisa Myers slipped one by NBC's propaganda police, reporting, "One intelligence source tells NBC News that two dozen members of Congress have known about this program for years and have been completely uninterested until today." (Well, what do you know?)
So what's all the hubbub about? It's about power. The Left is desperate to take back the House and Senate, and if it means risking another September 11 by leaking classified secrets to create a useful political scandal, that is evidently not too high a price to pay.
That is what is truly 'shocking', 'seismic' and 'a bombshell' -- and deliberately overlooked by the mainstream media. And it's something else.
Email Author: Hal Lindsey