June 16, 2013

CNN Originally Calls IRS Targeting ‘The Forgotten Scandal,’ Wipes ‘Forgotten’ Away in Revisions

Either CNN’s Tom Cohen, his headline and subheadline writers, or both thought it was a bit over the top to describe the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party, conservative, and religious groups as a “forgotten scandal” in a Friday story. Evidence that the subheadline originally read “Republicans try to keep the public focused on the forgotten scandal of IRS targeting of conservative groups” is here and here.

As will be seen after the jump, Cohen tries to make the case that there’s nothing to see, that everyone who matters agrees with him, and that forgetting about the scandal would be defensible (bolds are mine):

(more…)

The Obvious Question No One Will Dare Ask (UPDATE: Is It Possible He Misunderstood NSA?)

… is what does the Obama administration have on Jerrold Nadler?

Story:

NadlerOnFBInsaSpying

In the video at the link, Nadler said in public exactly what CNet reported about NSA’s ability and discretion to listen phone calls and retrieve the content of other communications at will without FISA court intervention. He did this when he interviewed Mueller. “We heard precisely the opposite the other day (in a then-secret Capitol Hill-NSA briefing).”

Given how clueless Mueller was about the FBI’s investigation of the IRS, I’m on the side of him being clueless about what the NSA is really doing.

_____________________________________

UPDATE: The walkback would indicate that Nadler might have misunderstood what he heard in the secret Capitol Hill hearing. Writers here and here (scroll down to update) believe that’s what happened. Unless we see the transcript of the NSA hearing, we’ll never know.

That still leaves the James Clapper-Wyden exchange, which hasn’t been so neatly explained away. The dragnet is real.

AP, Politico, Others Ignoring CNET Scoop: ‘NSA Admits Listening to U.S. Phone Calls Without Warrants’

In a four-paragraph “Big Story” item time-stamped 10:48 a.m. (“CURRENT, FORMER OFFICIALS BACK SECRET SURVEILLANCE”), Stephen Braun at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, names several Sunday news program guests who he writes are “are supporting the government’s collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs aimed at disrupting terrorist plots.” Meanwhile, the Politico is hyping former Vice President Dick Cheney’s characterization of Edward Snowden as a “traitor.”

Both outlets, and thus far most of the establishment press, are ignoring a report by CNET’s Declan McCullagh Saturday afternoon which I believe would be dominating the news by now if anyone except Barack Obama were President. It directly contradicts an assertion Obama made — “Nobody is listening to your phone calls” — shortly after the NSA-Snowden story broke, and one of Congress’ most liberal Democrats is the source (links are in original; bolds are mine):

(more…)

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061613)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Harley-Davidson enthusiasts roll into Rome For Papal Blessing

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 14, 2013 / 04:30 am

The low rumbling of hundreds of Harleys is overtaking the buzz of scooters and cars in the streets surrounding the Vatican, and on Sunday it will even be present in St. Peter’s Square.

The first Vatican-related Harley-Davidson event was with Pope Francis himself on Wednesday afternoon, following his weekly general audience. Accompanied by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the Pope received the unusual gift of a biker jacket and two of the famous motorcycles.

The City of Rome expects up to 35,000 Harley-Davidson aficionados to arrive for the 110th anniversary celebration of the iconic American street machines.

Although the celebrations will include a beach party in the nearby port town of Ostia and a music festival, there is also a spiritual aspect to some of the events.

This morning, for example, some bikers were able to participate in an 8:00 a.m. morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Afterwards they gathered in the Pius XII Square, across the street from St. Peter’s, and took in the sights.

On Saturday morning, the motorcycle enthusiasts will begin lining up for a massive parade from Ostia to downtown Rome.

The spiritual capstone of the anniversary celebration, which is the biggest in Europe, will be on Sunday, June 16, when Pope Francis blesses about 800 bikers and their rides in St. Peter’s Square.

The crowd in the square for the blessing will be decidedly eclectic, since the Pope will be celebrating a Mass for pro-life movements right before he prays the Angelus and blesses the crowd. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP Tries to Frame NSA Surveillance Issue as ‘Far Left and Right’ vs. Everyone Else — Part 2 of 2

babingtonIn 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.”

(more…)

AP Tries to Frame NSA Surveillance Issue as ‘Far Left and Right’ vs. Everyone Else — Part 1 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 that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked, and that polling data he cited near the end of his report (to be covered in Part 2) 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.”

You can tell that Babington’s effort was something out of the ordinary, because the self-described “Essential Global Network” actually used the term “far left” in the story’s headline and content. In a U.S. story, that almost never happens unless a reporter is quoting a far-leftists’ conservative or moderate opponent. Usually, the only time you see “far left” used in U.S. AP content is to identify a person’s placement in a photo. Excerpts from the story follow the jump.

(more…)