January 12, 2006

If a tree falls in the forest, and the NSA hears it...

Here's more on the terror-plot you didn't hear about [Emphasis mine. Thanks to PowerLine]

AINA: The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.

News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.

Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S....

....The arrests were a major coup for Italian anti-terror forces, and the story was carried in most major newspapers from Europe to China.

"U.S. terror attacks foiled," read the headline in England's Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, "Three Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S."

Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog groups are saying that is no accident.

"My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.

"If you remind people that terrorists actually are planning to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush. They will ignore any issue that shows that this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror."...

Think about this. How many newspapers would be sold if the headline was TERROR PLOT AGAINST U.S.! Or how many people would tune into the network news if the teaser was "New 9/11 plot may have been foiled." The news media are in the business of selling news, but here they have refused to sell their product. Because that would have also helped the President. That's pure partisanship.

The media can publish whatever they want to publish (though if I were a stockholder, I'd feel like I'd been robbed by my employees). But I would say that they have forfeited any right to any special status as "guardians of the public," or "watchdogs," or "protectors of whistle-blowers."

Posted by John Weidner at January 12, 2006 8:10 AM
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