Time Lies for Big Brother

Time Magazine has written an irresponsible article that manufactures indifference.  Via Slashdot, Glenn Greenwald has the scathing lowdown:

No matter how corrupt and sloppy the establishment press becomes, they always find a way to go lower. Time Magazine has just published what it purports to be a news article by Massimo Calabresi claiming that “nobody cares” about the countless abuses of spying powers by the Bush administration; that “Americans are ready to trade diminished privacy, and protection from search and seizure, in exchange for the promise of increased protection of their physical security”; and that the case against unchecked government surveillance powers “hasn’t convinced the people.” Not a single fact — not one — is cited to support these sweeping, false opinions.

Worse still — way worse — this “news article” decrees the Bush administration to be completely innocent, even well-motivated, even in those instances where technical, irrelevant lawbreaking has been found, as it proclaims:

In all the examples of diminished civil liberties, there are few, if any, where the motivating factor was something other than law and order or national security.

Does Calabresi or his Time editors have the slightest idea how secret, illegal spying powers have been used, towards what ends they’ve been employed and with what motives? No, they have absolutely no idea. Not even members of Congressional Intelligence Committees know because the Bush administration has kept all of that concealed. So Time just makes up facts to defend the Bush administration with wholly baseless statements that one would expect to come pouring out of the mouths only of Dana Perino and Bill Kristol — the “motivating factor” for secret, illegal spying was nothing “other than law and order or national security.”

This goes beyond simply making false assertions.  A claim like this actively influences our domestic policy.  If enough papers uncritically picked up on this story suddenly any idea of public pressure on domestic spying would be met with ridicule.  Weak politicians who would only support efforts to fight the repeated violations of our rights by the Bush administration would find no pressing need to do so.

It is not surprising that this is the view of Bush followers, but it’s also the predominant view of our ornery watchdog journalists as well. The Founders envisioned that the media would be the watchdog over government deceit and corruption, but nobody is more aggressive in dismissing concerns of government lawbreaking and deceit than the Time Magazines of our country. That’s their primary function.

That function is antithetical to Democracy and the proper role of the press.

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