By Brad Friedman

Reminder: Fox News And The Right Don’t Actually Care About ‘Big Government’ Intrusion

June 7, 2013 11:32 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 31 Comments A+ / A-
Originally posted at The Brad Blog

Since the latest round of “Scandalmania” began, and long before it, we’ve been writing about how Fox “News” Republicans have been suddenly been pretending to care about “Big Government” overreach.

In truth, they’ve never given a damn about any of it, unless it seemed to be something they could use to hurt Barack Obama and Democrats in some way. But, even then, the fake outrage was extraordinarily selective.

With the revelation by Glenn Greenwald at the UK Guardian, exposing the Obama NSA’s secret FISA court order to obtain blanket access to months of records from “all telephone calls in [Verizon’s] systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries,” one might be dumb enough to think that Fox and the Republicans and, especially, U.S. House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Darrell Issa, would be in an absolute uproar upon learning of the president’s tyrannical Big Government overreach and invasion into the private lives of American citizens.

But, of course, we’re not that dumb.

Other than Sen. Rand Paul, apparently, few on the right could care less about any of it. That is, of course, because they never actually cared about Big Government or tyranny or invasions into the private lives of American citizens in the first place.

Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon explains it well, noting that between the time the story broke and about 2pm Eastern Time Thursday, Fox News and Fox Business, together, had mentioned the story only three times. “Two were quick straight news segments, while the third was a little riff from the Fox & Friends crew.” At the same time, he writes, “Fox and Fox Business have mentioned the nine-month-old Libya scandal over 25 times.”

This is why conservative scandalmongers cant have anything nice. When they’re handed a real scandal that should confirm all of their worst suspicions about government overreach, they fail to take the bait and fall back on a stale non-scandal that cable news has chewed over for months already. They know Benghazi is safe territory for them and that their viewers like it, but it’s too bad the most popular cable news network isn’t doing a better job of informing their viewers about legitimate Obama administration problems.

This afternoon, WorldNetDaily, the birther news website, blasted out an email to readers: “Mother of all scandals: Obama’s war on Christians.”

“This should be a litmus test for Republicans: either take action against this program, or never invoke liberty or limited government again,” Conor Friedersdorf  tweeted, regarding the NSA story.

And, of course, that was all before Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill’s arguably even more alarming story (also confirmed by the Washington Post) revealing a massive, previously undisclosed, confidential NSA program named PRISM, which now affords the agency “direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other U.S. internet giants, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Guardian.” The program, they report, allows “officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats.”

Fox and friends are, no doubt, scrambling, even now, to ignore that story as thoroughly and as quickly as possible as well. Because, ya know, Benghazi! Or something… Or, maybe it’s the fact that both programs were begun under George W. Bush, back when Fox and friends didn’t even pretend to give a damn about Big Government overreach —other than when they were calling for more of it.

Reminder: Fox News And The Right Don’t Actually Care About ‘Big Government’ Intrusion Reviewed by on . Originally posted at The Brad Blog Since the latest round of "Scandalmania" began, and long before it, we've been writing about how Fox "News" Republicans have Originally posted at The Brad Blog Since the latest round of "Scandalmania" began, and long before it, we've been writing about how Fox "News" Republicans have Rating:

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  • montanabill

    Apparently, Friedman doesn’t care about ‘big government intrusion’, either. He’d rather make suppositions about what someone else thinks or does rather than illuminate us on his position.

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      What about all those unsolicited offers you receive through the mail, via telephone or e-mail? How did they get your name, address, phone number (mine’s unlisted) and e-mail address? One of the companies you did business with sold your information to another company. Where is our privacy than? Criminals hack into programs to obtain information to use for Identity theft, companies sell our data, and than we are outraged that the Government is doing it legally via the Patriot Act.
      If we do not like this, than we must demand Congress repeal or change the American Patriot Act.

      • JDavidS

        Good call, sir! And the “Patriot Act” is anything but “patriotic”…It’s a fascist piece of dross from start to finish. It’s sole purpose is to give legitimacy to the governments’ covert spying on the American people. Simply a manifestation of Republican paranoia and a giant step forward for “Big Brother”…Orwells’ “1984” was only off in its’ time-line.

        • montanabill

          Renewed by Obama with his signature and greatly expanded by him. Are you as incensed about the IRS actions, EPA actions and DOJ actions?

          • JDavidS

            As incensed about them as I’m sure you were about the plethora of RepubliCON misdeeds and misdemeanors. But then, I’m sure you don’t want to go into them, now do you?

          • montanabill

            Why not? Government is government and it should be accountable to all of us and not used against any of us. The only reason conservatives support Republicans is that they claim to be for smaller government. Unfortunately, they rarely live up to their promises. On the other hand, Democrats say they want bigger, more intrusive government, and they do live up to those promises.

          • JDavidS

            That’s one pretty broad brush you’re painting us all with, there Bill. I don’t necessarily want a bigger, more intrusive government. I want one that works… apparently something the Repubs don’t right now.

          • montanabill

            The bigger any organization, the less well it works. At what point have you ever been convinced that Democrats have ever made government work any better than Republicans?

          • JDavidS

            Your first premiss is plainly false. For example, Walmart is the largest in the world and functions quite well. As to your question…at the point the Tea Clowns co-opted the Repubs and the main-line Repubs submitted and essentially the government has ground to a halt. The fact that clowns like Paul Ryan hold any sway in that party speaks volumes as to the deoth that the Repubs have sunk.

          • montanabill

            FYI: Walmart is 15th. The rest is not well founded nor knowledgeable opinion.

          • JDavidS

            Fine…15th…are you disputing that it is functioning well? Your first premiss is wrong. As to the rest of what I assert…open your eyes.

          • JDavidS

            …Or open a newspaper.

          • JDavidS

            That’s it? That’s your rebuttal? Wow…what a compelling argument…”I don’t agree with your points so I’ll pronounce them ‘not well founded'”. Pretty profound. And obviously so well thought out. Let me guess…You weren’t captain of the debating team were ya, Billy-boy.

          • Mikey7a

            Hey Bill, I know it drives you Right wingnuts crazy to actually look into facts. To answer your question on the IRS actions, I’d ask you to read something from 1983. If I’m not mistaken, this was smack in the middle of your Idol Ronald Reagan’s reign. Before I post the link, here is just a tidbit.

            “The IRS is a reactive creature, vulnerable to criticism and the wrong sort of publicity. When the heat is on, it will often back off. One of the most chaotic periods for the IRS was during the Watergate period. The outrage over the discovery of Nixon’s IRS “Enemies List” forced the IRS to pull in its horns for several years.”

            OK, here is the whole article from 1983 Titled Confessions of an IRS Agent! http://www.unclefed.com/TxprBoR/JWWade.html

            My point to all this, how can you fairly, reasonably, and logically hold President Obama personally responsible for what some IRS Peons were doing? It would be like holding the President of Walmart directly accountable for what a entry level employee was doing in the Candy Aisle, here in Crestview(POP 800K)Florida!

          • montanabill

            The ‘Enemies List’ was Nixon era. I certainly won’t hold Obama responsible until we know for sure that the directive came from the White House. Right now I don’t know and neither do you. What we do know is:
            1. Obama is certainly capable of dirty politics. He has proved that in every race he has run, including against Hillary.
            2. Obama is more than willing to lie.
            3. Obama is more than willing to obstruct investigations. (See ‘Fast & Furious’ and Benghazi)
            Here is what I do know about being the head of an organization. When or if one of my employees is accused of violating company policy, validation is immediate, and if substantiated, that person will be escorted to the door along with anyone who tried to cover it up.

          • Mikey7a

            Same old Rhetoric and Republican talking points. You also missed the gist of my example, so I’ll try and speak r e a l s l o w, for you. Until the IRS situation made it’s way all the way up the line to the President, how in the world could he have known about it? Also, as soon as he did learn about it, he condemned the action, and fired people responsible.

            No way is PRESIDENT Obama, please at least respect the office, and say his title before his name…trying to cover up anything about Benghazi. Spinning a breaking news story until all the facts are known, has been going on since George Washington was President. How about you folks stop trying to get that BLACK man outta the WHITEhouse, and start worrying about real issues? Jobs, Jobs, infrastructure, education, oh, and did I mention jobs???

          • montanabill

            Would you please identify the people who got fired? I know you believe that the President didn’t know about it until the news story just recently broke, but you have to suspend belief for that since a few of his staff knew over a year ago. Surely they must talk to him now and then.

            By the way, the color of the man in the office seems to matter only to the left since they are the only ones who continually mention it.
            This President has been talking jobs (along with a lot of other stuff) for over four years but since neither he nor anyone on his staff has ever created anything but a government job, and many have never had real jobs, don’t expect miracles.

        • Allan Richardson

          I agree partially, but the sales-force snooping is not connected with government snooping. The private sector does that all by themselves (didn’t they say WE BUILT IT?).

          Conservatives are in favor of THEIR presidents doing unlawful surveillance on LIBERALS, but when the shoe is on the other foot …

  • charleo1

    I’ll share something about myself, that I’m sure many readers will not find very interesting. And my government will not either. I like who done its. Not the fictional
    kind a writer makes up. Like Agatha Christie, or, “Murder she wrote.” But the real
    ones. On the reality show, “The First 48.” on the A&E channel. Where the viewer
    follows real homicide detectives, as they go about their duties. First identifying the
    victim. Interviewing relatives, and friends, of the deceased. Gathering forensic
    evidence, And finding anyone willing to talk, that may have witnessed the event.
    But, often their best tool for cracking the case, and finding the guilty party, is the
    cell phone they find at the crime scene. The detectives quickly get the warrant they must have. Then, those cell phone records can tell them who the victim was talking
    to, right before they were killed. The length of the call, and often, most important,
    the location of both parties at the time of the call. So the cell phone is a highly
    effective crime fighting tool. Without which, the crime may very well have gone unsolved. So this is our dilemma, as we try to balance our Rights to privacy.
    And still have an effective tool to uncover, and foil terrorist plots, before they can
    kill Americans. As no one wants Big Brother, gratuitously combing through our
    every E-Mail, or listening in on our intimate conversations. It doesn’t seem to me,
    that neither should we seek to remove effective tools from the hands of those
    charged with the enormous job of keeping a Country the size of the United States,
    with our 300, plus million population, safe. Remember, the good guys must be right,
    every time. The terrorist, only once.

    • Allan Richardson

      When the majority of Americans say aloud to their elected officials, AND MEAN IT, that they are willing to FORGIVE a president who fails to stop a major terrorist attack if it is CLEARLY PROVEN that it could not have been stopped without violating their privacy, then the Patriot Act will go away. But we want to have it both ways: don’t spy on me, but spy on the terrorists (before they know who the terrorists are). Or to use another analogy, we want to live near an airport if we make frequent trips, but we don’t want the noise of airplanes flying over our houses.

      • charleo1

        Sure. Those are my feelings as well. And I say feelings, because
        on this subject, my general preponderances, are all I have to
        work with. Because, I know nothing of tracking terrorist, the
        NSA, and the rest. What I do know, if and God forbid, we were
        to suffer another 9/11, or worse. Those making a case today,
        that the government security apparatus has gone too far. Or
        our 4th Amendment Rights are being trampled. Would seem like
        small potatoes, in the aftermath. And something else I think.
        A number of these publications took offense at the investigation
        of an internal leak, where DOJ perused through several of these reporter’s E-Mails. in an attempt to see if there were other leaks, other people, etc. And Holder did use a bit of hyperbole, in
        obtaining the warrants. Calling Rosen, an unindicted co-conspirator. Then, admitting in the Congressional hearing, that prosecution was not the goal. Getting the warrant was. Not a crime, But, a fudge.
        That did piss these guys, and their editors off. And, you know what
        they say about getting on the bad side of people who buy ink by
        the barrel?

        • Allan Richardson

          The journalists might get more readership by encouraging the public to weigh in on the details of the debate. One good way to start would be a thoughtfully worded polling question such as:

          In view of the logical inconsistency between complete privacy and the desire to prevent terrorist attacks, do you feel that:
          (a) catching the bad guys is worth any amount of loss of privacy and personal freedom
          (b) some surveillance in public is justified without a warrant, but privacy of phone calls and internet messages trumps safety from attacks
          (c) I would be willing to take my chances with regard to any terrorist attack that was not prevented, and would not hold the President responsible for the attack if there was no way to catch the terrorists first without spying on Americans generally.

          Even better, the question could be asked with a 1-10 scale between the (a) and (c) extremes. In any event, this issue should be EXPLICITLY discussed by the public, so that future officials have the sense of the country to go on. But we also need for voters to understand that some political leaders do NOT want an open and honest debate; they only want to trash the party in power when they are not in power, for doing what they would have done themselves.

          • charleo1

            I think you’re call for a public testing, and fact enlightening,
            public conversation, is a great idea! As it would bring light
            to the balance between our safety, and the Right to privacy. Especially when the individual has an expectation of privacy.
            I had a thought the other day. That if, as a young boy I had been taken to a fortune teller. And she, (they usually are, a she.) She said, I see you living a good portion of your long, and prosperous life in front of a camera. I would have thought,
            fantastic! I’m going to be a movie star! Instead, I’m just a simple, average person, going about my business, in 21st
            century America.

  • WhutHeSaid

    People already know all about Bigot News (Fox) and their phoney concerns about government intrusion. Aside from all of the slack-jawed goobers who actually rely on Bigot News for their misinformation, there are real people (non-bigot, non-goober) with real concerns about government overreach, but the endless lies and hysterical conspiracy theories from the black-President-hating redneck goober Tea Bigots will only serve to nullify any real concerns because people are just plain tired of trying to sort through all of the Tea Bagger crap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    The only reason the Tea Party is now criticizing the policies and actions of our intelligence community, and policies that infringe on our constitutional rights, is not because they changed their minds and decided to abandon the policies and institutions they have favored for decades, but because a man they love to hate has not challenged them and because of the need to demonize him.

  • Mikey7a

    This whole loss of Privacy thing is a huge joke to me. J.Edgar Hoover, at the behest of The Kennedys, were wiretapping anyone and everyone associated with MLK! JFK feared that some of MLK’s associates had ties to Communism, and didn’t want to risk anyone accusing him of being one.

    For petes sake, in every major city, on any downtown street corner, you are being recorded from every angle. As Jeanita said above, type your name into any search engine. Today, if you expect even a modest amount of privacy, you better unplug, and move to the sticks!

    As for me, I have nothing to hide, and do NOT mind my Government attempting to get a jump on these crazed sons a bitches who want me dead, simply because I’m an American.

    • plc97477

      I agree with everything you said.

    • Allan Richardson

      Hoover got a report from a spy in the doctor’s office that Lucille Ball was pregnant with Desi Jr. and called Desi personally to congratulate him BEFORE Lucy had a chance to tell him the news! And that was in the days of dial phones and paper medical records, long before the internet!

  • plc97477

    I think if repugs want us to take their scandals serious they need to let Obama put his staff into play. Since most of the scandals take place under people put in by baby bush because Obama isn’t allowed to fill his positions with his own people.

    • Mikey7a

      Exactly right. I’m just hoping that at least one, or in a perfect world two of the Supreme Court Justice, retire before 2016. If not by then, we better ALL vote for, and get everyone we know to vote for Hillary Clinton. OK, it could be Elizabeth Warren just as well!

  • Allan Richardson

    Now it has turned out that a low-level IRS auditor ADMITS he started the idea of going after “tea party” or “patriot” groups, and HE IS A CONSERVATIVE. The question he did NOT answer is: did he do this because, as a conservative, he has a sense of ethics to which he holds his OWN side just as much as the other side? Or was his motive to GIVE GOP POLITICIANS AMMUNITION AGAINST OBAMA? That’s one thing that inquiring minds really WOULD like to know!

    By the way, there two types of tax exemption here, which are often confused because they usually go together. One is whether the organization ITSELF has to pay taxes and file tax returns (it is good, in a way, that churches do not have to keep tax records since the small ones, at least, depend on volunteers to run for treasurer and serve on their own time). The other is whether the DONATIONS are tax deductible to donors. I have given to political organizations and I am OK with the fact that they are NOT tax deductible (not that I can afford enough donations to outweigh that magical Standard Deduction). With these “non-political” non-profits, donors of multi-million dollar gifts get to write off huge amounts of “donations” that ought not to be tax deductible. Thus, YOU AND I who may or may not agree with the mega-donors on issues and candidates are SUBSIDIZING those political acts of speech. This is so wrong it is disgusting.

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