On Wednesday, NBC's Today devoted a nearly four-minute segment to promoting a fawning interview that Wired magazine conducted with NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Despite introducing the story by labeling Snowden as "the man U.S. officials have called a traitor and a coward," co-host Willie Geist went on to proclaim: "Out from the shadows...in front of the flashbulbs. Appearing at times exhausted, at times defiant..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
With a musical score playing throughout the segment that made it sound like an action movie, a sound bite ran of Snowden declaring: "My name is Ed Snowden. I used to work for the government and now I work for the public." Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich explained the magazine's cover photo showing Snowden draped in an American flag: "He came in actually quite nervous to the shoot. And he said, 'I love my country, I feel like a patriot.' And it was at that moment that we knew that we had the cover."
Glenn Greenwald, the radical left investigative reporter for The Guardian who published NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s documents, called the American media “racist,” “anti-Muslim” and “ethno-centric” “cowards” in a Huffington Post Live interview with Marc Lamont Hill Monday. His strong words are unsurprising considering his defense of the terrorist front group CAIR.
Huff Po Live host Marc Lamont Hill ate up the anti-Israel rhetoric and agreed with Greenwald that far too much media sympathy was paid to Israel while Gazan civilians were being ignored. Hill asked, “In the midst of this kind of imbalance in coverage, what grade would you give the U.S. media?”
While the liberal media establishment have a thinly disguised soft spot for massive leaker Edward Snowden and his enabler Glenn Greenwald, the editorial writers at Investor’s Business Daily offered an incredible take this week on how these men are “aiding and abetting the Islamist enemy.”
They released the names of several Muslim terrorist targets under surveillance by the NSA and FBI in a new expose titled "Under Surveillance: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On." The New York Times lapped it up. IBD revealed how close Greenwald is to a terrorist-defending media watchdog:
Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast profiled former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, and suggested she’s best known for asserting “the Obama administration is the most secretive of any she has covered, and in 22 years in Washington, that covers a lot of White Houses. She got plenty of grief from President Obama’s top aides in the aftermath, and while other journalists made the same observation, Abramson’s words carried weight, coming as they did from the prestigious newspaper’s first female top editor.”
Clift added “Two months after leaving the Times, in case anyone is wondering, she isn’t backing down from that assertion, but backing it up with concrete examples and inside anecdotes."
During a live webcast on NBCNews.com immediately following Wednesday's 10 p.m. ET airing of his interview with Edward Snowden, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams wondered why the National Security Agency was not more receptive to Snowden's claims of unconstitutional spying: "Knowing that in war powers times...the Bush administration use of war powers with Bush and Cheney, isn't the general counsel at the NSA a little bit on guard for a perversion, as Snowden put it?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That question was prompted by national security analyst Michael Leiter observing: "Imagine you're the general counsel at the National Security Agency and you get an email which says, 'Listen, I think that you're violating the law here, this is unconstitutional.' And the general counsel gets this note and he says, 'Well, gosh, the Congress has authorized this over and over, the FISA court says it's okay.'"
After news broke on Thursday that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams landed an exclusive interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the network began running promos wondering whether Snowden was a "traitor" or a "patriot." First a clip played of Williams observing: "A lot of people would say you have badly damaged your country." A second clip of the exchange feature Williams asking Snowden: "Have you performed, as you see it, a public service?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday, The New York Times defined as “news” a hard-left award to Edward Snowden. The headline was “Snowden to Receive Truth-Telling Prize.” There was no leftist label as they explained the award came from The Nation magazine’s Nation Institute.
"It's the latest honor for the reporting based on the top-secret material leaked by Mr. Snowden, who was a contractor for the National Security Agency,” Noam Cohen wrote. “While the public and Congress debate whether Mr. Snowden should be considered a hero, a criminal or both, journalism and public policy organizations have heaped praise on the reporting based on the disclosures.”
Leftists and libertarians who join them in their “national security state” rhetoric love Edward Snowden for leaking thousands of classified documents to leftist journalist Glenn Greenwald and to The Washington Post, exposing and compromising U.S. surveillance programs.
On Monday night, the public radio show “The World” – distributed to NPR stations across America by Minneapolis-based Public Radio International – oozed online that Snowden was “bigger than a rock star” in his appearance at an ACLU event at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. That same line was announced by anchorman Marco Werman:
A few weeks ago, PBS host Tavis Smiley got in some hot water for comments he made about Edward Snowden. On January 19, Smiley appeared as a guest on ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos and argued that, “Edward Snowden might be on a postage stamp somewhere down the road.”
Despite the controversy surrounding Smiley’s extreme comments, the PBS host took to his nightly program on February 4th to double down and argue that someday Snowden would be viewed not as a traitor but rather an “American hero.” [See video below.]
Tavis Smiley is known for making extreme statements that make even his fellow liberals cringe in fear. Whether he is comparing the Tea Party to Jihad or saying Republicans only oppose ObamaCare because they hate the president, the PBS host never stops making inflammatory comments.
Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on January 19, Smiley asserted that, “I think very quickly that in the long run, Edward Snowden, we were joking earlier, Edward Snowden might be on a postage stamp somewhere down the road. How history is going to regard what Mr. Obama has done in this moment is an open question.” [See video after jump.]
On Thursday, the New York Timescalled for the Obama administration to enter into a plea bargain or offer clemency to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in order to bring him back to the United States.
On PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan observed during a discussion about this issue, “There is an inherent conflict of interest between journalists and so-called whistleblowers” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
President Obama's narcissistic hits just keep on coming. Yesterday, we noted that in his interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, President Obama cast himself as the victim of the ObamaCare mess, complaining that "I've been burned" by the bad website.
In a new clip from the interview, aired during today's Daily Rundown, President Obama bragged "I can guarantee you that I have been more deeply involved in our intelligence operations on a whole set of areas where there real threats against us than just about any President." As with his victim whine, the prez caught himself and amended his remark. But once again, his true feelings were clear. View the video after the jump.
Liberal radio talker and ex-"Crossfire" host Bill Press has awakened from his half-decade long slumber when it comes to dubious actions by the Obama administration.
The longtime Obama butt-kisser complained on his radio show yesterday that it's bad enough for Americans to learn the NSA has been eavesdropping on foreign leaders long considered allies of the US. Even worse, Press complained, is the claim that Obama was unaware of the spying, since this leads to the unavoidable conclusion that it was authorized by others without the president's consent. (Audio after the jump)
Showing more concern for President Obama's popularity than the national security implications of the latest leaks in the NSA spying scandal, on Monday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell lamented: "When he was a candidate, Barack Obama was a rock star in Europe. That was then, this is now. As Europe reacts angrily to news that the U.S. spied on 35 leaders..." [Listen to the audioor watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, Mitchell continued to worry: "How did the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize just months into his presidency become the subject of Europe's scorn?" She denounced the leaks, but not the spying itself: "The White House can thank NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who's latest revelations have forced President Obama to apologize to France's President Hollande, Germany's Chancellor Merkel, as well as current and former leaders in Mexico, and Brazil's President Rousseff, who even cancelled a state visit to Washington she was so angry."
While much of the political world is focused on the fraying of the solid front that Democratic Senators have been putting up in defense of President Obama’s healthcare law, there’s another area where Obama’s base is beginning to defy him: the massively widespread spying operation on American citizens that the National Security Agency has been conducting.
Actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, and Will Wheaton and director Oliver Stone, are among several others appearing in a new video promoting a march in DC this weekend under the tagline “Stop Watching Us.” Even more interestingly, congressman-for-life John Conyers (a prominent Democrat) also appears in the clip as he and others compare the NSA’s spying on Americans to the Watergate scandal.
CBS This Morning on Tuesday allowed a scant 21 seconds to the newest revelations about the National Security Agency. The government organization has been secretly collecting millions of internet address books and instant message accounts from around the world, including Americans. In contrast, ABC and NBC highlighted the story in full reports and news briefs. [See video below of ABC's Good Morning America coverage. MP3 audio here.] None of the three network morning shows made any reference to Barack Obama or speculated on what the President's responsibility might be.
In the briefest of summaries, This Morning anchor Charlie Rose explained, "The agency is pulling the information from address books and buddy lists accounts on instant message accounts worldwide." He reassuringly added, "But a government spokesman says NSA is not interested in personal information about so-called ordinary Americans." However, the same morning show devoted three minutes to the not-so important story of President William Taft's attempts to lose weight.
President Obama held a press conference Friday in which he called for stricter controls over the government’s domestic surveillance system and commented on his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But to ABC’s Good Morning America, those developments were not the primary news. Their main takeaway was that the president showed personality.
Seriously, that was the angle that Saturday's GMA took on this story. Anchor Dan Harris set ABC's premise right at the top: “Switching gears now to all the chatter this morning about President Obama showing a different and very interesting side of his personality in a high-profile moment in front of the assembled White House press corps on Friday afternoon.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ted Koppel made a fascinating observation about terrorism and the recent embassy evacuations that certainly won't please President Obama or his supporters in the media.
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Koppel said, "With a conference call, Al Qaeda has effectively shut down 20 U.S. embassies around north Africa and the Middle East...The terrorists have achieved more with one phone call than we have achieved with all our response" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the Wednesday edition of his program, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, not known as any sort of conservative, attacked the government for being dishonest and witholding critical information from Americans while at the same time also undertaking highly invasive surveillance programs.
“I don’t believe much of anything they say anymore. Because I can’t figure out which parts to believe, so I choose not to believe any of it,” Smith said in an interview with Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin.
As moderator David Gregory hyped a "feud" over national security between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Senator Rick Santorum called out a stunning media double standard: "...the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough similarly noted Democratic divisions on matters of national security and surveillance: "Well, but it's not just the Republican Party....there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party."
A former senior producer for MSNBC came out with harsh words for his former network Sunday.
Writing at the far-left AlterNet, Jeff Cohen - the former senior producer of MSNBC's Donahue show - said, "When it comes to issues of U.S. militarism and spying, the allegedly 'progressive' MSNBC often seems closer to the 'official network of the Obama White House' than anything resembling an independent channel":