Tuesday, December 17, 2013

60 Minutes NSA Puff Piece is Another Black Eye for CBS


While it would be rational to believe that CBS and especially the vaunted 60 Minutes franchise would use a bit of discretion after the now infamous fraudulent Benghazi story affixed an indeliable blight upon the network less than two months ago the network is now having to do damage control on another self-inflicted wound. On Sunday night in a two-segment puff piece that basically amounted to an infomercial for the rogue NSA, an agency that only yesterday was found by a federal judge to be conducting programs that are likely unconstitutional CBS set a new standard for state propaganda. The segment provided General Keith Alexander with a national forum to dissemble, obfuscate and engage in fear-mongering without having any sort of adversarial stance or input allowed from civil liberties or privacy groups. Worse yet the 60 Minutes story conducted by interviewer John Miller who is a man who formerly worked in the office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) which is the same agency that pathological liar James Clapper heads up. CBS boasted that Miller was the "ultimate insider" which is ironically true but the network that is now hemorrhaging credibility didn't bother to consider that Miller has a serious conflict of interest problem and that his "ultimate insider" status actually calls into question his sympathies for the unconstitutional programs as well as his objectivity.

For all intents and purposes John Miller might as well have been Dylan Davies/Sergeant Morgan Jones because when it all comes down to a so-called journalist providing a national forum for yet another liar with an agenda. Granted that Lara Logan's self-immolation over a mercenary who just happened to have a (likely ghost written) book being peddled by a CBS publishing subsidiary never should have aired given the poor vetting and lack of accountability but didn't the network learn anything? After all, there was outside of the notorious crank Senator Lindsey Graham was widely derided and the network had to not only issue a public apology but recall the book in question. 60 Minutes, really the skeletal remains of what used to be one hell of a good news show before the corporate arm of the company began meddling in the news division should have been far more careful after the Embassy House fiasco. The NSA infomercial now threatens to become an even bigger blot on 60 Minutes and while the competition is pretty close Miller's "ultimate insider" piece may turn out to be a corrupt state-corporate media outlet's magnum opus of bullshit.

The criticism was practically pouring in before the final credits rolled and this morning the piling on has begun. Today there are stories from diverse websites/media outlets such as The Guardian: "NSA goes on 60 Minutes: the definitive facts behind CBS's flawed report", liberal weekly The Nation: "The Sad Decline of ‘60 Minutes’ Continues With This Week’s NSA Whitewash", tech journal PC Magazine: "NSA's Snowden Snow Job on 60 Minutes Reveals Nothing New", website Mediate: "Journalists Rip Apart 60 Minutes for ‘Embarrassing’ and Uncritical NSA Report",  at the liberal blog Firedog Lake "NSA-Approved Propaganda: ’60 Minutes’ & the Revolving Door Journalism of John Miller", firebrand Alex Jones' Infowars "NSA Director Alexander Has to Ask Permission to Answer a Question" and the ultra-conservative website Newsmax: "Greenwald, Others Denounce CBS "60 Minutes' Story on NSA". I have yet to see much if any such sentiment in the 'mainstream' media but it is still early.

Monday's court ruling by Judge Richard Leon on the unconstitutionality of the NSA telephone surveillance program -which will be fought hammer and tong by the Eric Holder Justice Department and the rest of the criminal government and it's tentacles - brings up a very serious question. With the massive violations of the constitution that have been piling up on NSA activities and the yet undisclosed stuff that is going to make what we already know look like petty crime is it not proper to begin to bestow upon General Alexander, James Clapper, Senator Feinstein, Congressman Mike Rogers and the rest of the defenders of unconstitutional, unlawful activities by the moniker that they really deserve which would be criminals? It should also be pointed out that the media which has fully enabled the criminality would also be guilty just as it should be for the war crimes associated with the unprovoked and illegal attack on Iraq and the subsequent torture and murder of tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher stood alongside the rest of the war criminals at Nuremberg where he was found guilty of crimes against humanity for it was his contribution to the national mindset that led to carnage and destruction, should there not be similar standards applied to those in the corporate-state media if the day ever comes where there is a restoration of the law in The Homeland?