AP Tries to Frame NSA Surveillance Issue as 'Far Left and Right' vs. Everyone Else -- Part 2 of 2

In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration, as I demonstrated in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked.

This post will further show that polling data Babington cited near the end of his report contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."


What Babington cited really proves how wrong his story's early statement is (letter tags added by me):

A CBS News poll conducted June 9-10 showed that while (a) most approve of government collection of phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity and Internet activities of foreigners, (b) a majority disapproved of federal agencies collecting the phone records of ordinary Americans. (c) Thirty percent agreed with the government's assessment that the revelation of the programs would hurt the U.S.' ability to prevent future terrorist attacks, while (d) 57 percent said it would have no impact.

Translations:

(a) -- "Most of us are okay with NSA doing only what it's supposed to do."
(b) -- "Most of us are not okay with NSA doing what it has been demonstrated it is doing," i.e., "collecting the phone (and other) records of ordinary Americans."
(c) and (d) -- "Most of us don't believe you when you say that detailing how you have been 'collecting the phone (and other) records of ordinary Americans' would hurt national security -- because it obviously won't."

It's a complete mystery how Babington can possibly believe the polling data he cited supports his contention.

Additionally, there's an Item (e) which appeared after Babington's babble.

A Rasmussen poll published on June 14 reported that "57% Fear Government Will Use NSA Data to Harass Political Opponents":

There is little public support for the sweeping and unaccountable nature of the National Security Agency surveillance program along with concerns about how the data will be used.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters nationwide believe it is likely the NSA data will be used by other government agencies to harass political opponents. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 30% consider it unlikely and 14% are not sure.

Sorry, Team Obama, Team Hillary 2016, and dual-purpose cheerleader Charles Babington. The "Obama's the reasonable moderate" trial balloon won't fly for two reasons: As shown in Part 1, mainstream politicians of both parties are speaking out against the NSA's dragnet, and, as just demonstrated, the polls aren't telling us what Babington says they tell us.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.