“60 Minutes” does the NSA a real big favor

60 Minutes Does NSA PR
One-sided report excludes agency critics

FireShot Screen Capture #059 – ‘NSA speaks out on Snowden, spying – CBS News’ – www_cbsnews_com_news_nsa-speaks-out-on-snowden-spyingThe National Security Agency has been the source of major controversy, thanks to the journalists writing critical stories based on files shared by whistleblower Edward Snowden. But the agency got a very different media reception from CBS correspondent John Miller, whose lengthy December 15 60 Minutes report looked more like PR than journalism.

Miller explained at the top of the segment: “Full disclosure, I once worked in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, where I saw firsthand how secretly the NSA operates.” (As with most “full disclosures,” this is hardly full; Miller has spent much of his career inside government, with roles ranging from serving as a spokesperson for the NYPD to directing public relations for the FBI.)

The first part of the segment was based heavily on interviews with NSA director Keith Alexander–beginning with Alexander saying that the NSA is “not collecting everybody’s email, we’re not collecting everybody’s phone things.” This is at best questionable; the New York Times (8/8/13) reported that the NSA copies and sifts through most emails sent into or out of the country.

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