If you haven't had a chance to read it, head over to National Review Online and check out this article by former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy on The New York Times false reporting on the recent FISA fix.
So, have you heard the latest? Your business records can now be taken away by Big Brother without a warrant, thanks to that Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-reform bill Darth Bush — an unstoppable force of nature with 30-percent approval ratings — just slammed through the notorious wallflower also known as the Democratic Congress. Yup, all the government has to do is pretend it needs your records — or your phone calls, or even your person — for a national-security investigation of someone overseas and — Presto! — your privacy rights are shredded.
The Times is engaged here in the worst kind of journalistic abuse. Risen and Lichtblau sprinkle their story with the names of several experts, but not a single one is identified as standing behind the explosive claims quoted above. Those are attributed to “experts” — unnamed. And unnamed for good reason: What the Times represents as a respectable, mainstream interpretation of the new law is actually a fringe construction unsupportable by any coherent reading.
All the very narrow reform bill really accomplished was a return of FISA (and only for the next six months) to its original design, stripped of the gloss recently imposed by the imperious FISA court.
Once upon a time I'd say this sort of thing was unbelievable. I wouldn't have thought this sort of willful misreporting would occur outside of some kook scaremongers who publish pamphlets in their basement or some of the less-responsible corners of the blogosphere.
The Old Gray Lady? America's "newspaper of record?" It would never succumb to willfully publishing easily disproven lies ... but I obviously was wrong. This is agenda journalism at its absolute worst -- on the front page, not the editorial page.
And the mainstream media's respect and credibility continue to circle the drain.