Our Courtier Press

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

misdirectionWhile the NSA is, perhaps unconstitutionally, intercepting your electronic data, our media is focusing on whether Snowden should be charged with treason. One of reasons Snowden was charged with espionage is so the media would follow that meme. While James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, is getting away with lying to the Senate, our media is playing Where’s Waldo with Snowden. Instead of a debate on the constitutionality of the NSA programs out media is focusing on insignificant details regarding the private lives of Snowden and Greenwald.

One of the most outrageous performances of our lapdog press came on Meet The Press when host David Gregory asked Glenn Greenwald:

Final question for you…. To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

Snowden had passcodes, tank clearances, and thumb drives. To think that Greenwald could have possibly assisted Snowden in removing the classified data is pure fantasy. Nobody’s lapdog, Greenwald responded:

I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being a co-conspirator in felonies, for working with sources.

In Bartnicki v. Vopper (2001), a 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a radio station was not liable since it did nothing illegal in obtaining an illegally taped conversation. In United States v. Stevens (2010), an 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Stevens’ selling of dog fight videos should not be added to the list of First Amendment restrictions. Although Senator Dianne Feinstein, in a feat of empty threat misdirection, wants Greenwald prosecuted, the law is not on her side.

As Noam Chomsky reminds us: distract the people by allowing very lively debate on a limited spectrum of issues. So the courtier press will focus on the illegality of Snowden’s actions and not discuss the legality of the NSA’s actions.

The courtier press is also focusing on how the Snowden affair will effect US-Russian and US-China relations. Playing the leads in this drama are Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Secretary of State John Kerry. Schumer’s line was: “Putin always seems almost eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States – whether it is Syria, Iran and now of course with Snowden,” Kerry’s line was “It would be obviously disappointing if he was willfully allowed to board an airplane.”

We the people need to know the full extent of our surveillance state to make an informed decision of acceptance or rejection. Is some unverifiable and vague spin about successful preventions enough for us to make a reasoned decision to forfeit our civil liberties? Does the FISA court constitute genuine judicial oversight? Should government agencies be required to obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, before searching a citizen’s phone and internet usage? Does the courtier press serve itself or the people?

H/T: David Sirota, Juan Cole, Erik Wemple, Charles P. Pierce, Alfredo Lopez, John Cassidy, Paul Campos, Orin Kerr.

93 thoughts on “Our Courtier Press

  1. Fine, I’ll post it without the expletive.

    Nal,

    You’re not giving yourself enough credit. While I haven’t checked all the H/T’s yet, I doubt I’m going to find one similar to yours in discussing how the focus on how the Snowden story serves as a distraction.

    To wit: “We the people need to know the full extent of our surveillance state to make an informed decision of acceptance or rejection. Is some unverifiable and vague spin about successful preventions enough for us to make a reasoned decision to forfeit our civil liberties? Does the FISA court constitute genuine judicial oversight? Should government agencies be required to obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, before searching a citizen’s phone and internet usage? Does the courtier press serve itself or the people?”

    Kerry made the claim that Snowden broke his oath of loyalty. I say Snowden upheld his oath to defend the constitution by leaking information showing that the NSA, in toto, was treating the 4th Amendment like a urinal puck. The Pen Register case from 1979 is inapplicable to what the NSA is doing now since meta-data in 1979 could not be used like a GPS tracking device in real time like it can today.

    The hunt for Snowden is bread and circuses courtesy of the press serving only to distract the public from the real questions before us; just as you delineated in your last paragraph.

    Articles that take off where your last paragraph left off are what I’m looking for.

    Like I said, you did a [f’n] great job.

    Expletive deleted because of moderator thingy

  2. Bob,

    Thank you.

    Most of my posts are a mixture of the H/T’s. I try to put it in my words, but the H/T’s are far superior writers.

  3. The Press, and I capitalized the word to give it the P word significance which it deserves, is quick to mush the facts of this Prism and Metadata crime syndicate operated by your Executive and Legislative branches. Big facts which are mushed. The difference between tracking the direction of phone calls– who called who and the identify of phone number with person, And, the tracking and preserving the emails and the content of emails.

    A guy like Jeffrey Toobin will spin it off and say, Oh they are not recording your telephone calls. Answer: What about the emails. All of our email messages, complete content, is up in the Clouds and in the computers of the NSA and the Boozer companies.

    Just a little thought for the day.

  4. Silver Lining: Snowden and other whistleblowers now have solid “legal standing” to overturn federal statutes that are unconstitutional, including parts of the Patriot Act.

    The courts have abdicated their duty in protecting the targets of surveillance but the whistleblowers have also been harmed by these unconstitutional statutes. It will be harder for the courts to betray the Constitution with these Plaintiffs!

  5. What an NSA charm offensive looks like

    Although each outlet on the tour added additional reporting beyond what the duo disclosed, and each has done fine work since Snowden dropped his bomb, the stories reek of official spin, of news by press release, of a government handout, and of a coordinated propaganda push. And the unnamed duo’s disclosure was a tad redundant: More than two weeks ago, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper went on NBC News to say the Snowden leaks would “obviously give our enemies a ‘playbook’ of how to avoid detection.”

    Emphasis added.

  6. The Washington Post takes the cake. They have some schmuck named Marc Theissen who pinned a Snowden is a traitor article yesterday. This is the apogee of the Courtier Press. You can Google: Washington Post, Thiessen, Snowden. What a snake this Thiessen guy is. We had a paper copy of the paper and put the pages up in the outhouse last night and removed the toilet paper. There were no users as of an hour ago. This guy is repugnant to some of the worst asses in the state of Florida.

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