Am I a 'conspiracy nut' for mistrusting pop media coverage of Snowden?

Every story I see in mainstream media about Snowden seems to focus on ‘how was this person able to disclose so much information?’, and ‘Are officials lying about the effectiveness of the prism program?’, while ignoring things like ‘how is this data collection legal?’, ‘how was this spying allowed to happen?’, and the like.

So, am I a conspiracy nut for thinking the media outlets are being pressured to favor the governments story? (by threatening the small handful of media conglomerates), as a sort of understanding between news agencies and the government (i.e. 'if we don’t play along with the gov. on this one, they’ll clam up about all the other news stories, through some sort of backroom negotiation, or something like that?

It’s not illegal, or hasn’t been so far. So until it’s illegal, it’s not illegal.

I would think it’s more because of poor journalism. It’s like the quote “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

It seems like there’s been many news stories that play out the same way. Some big story breaks that could raise a lot of important pertinent questions, but instead the media focuses on a few minor things. It could be because they think the public is more interested in the minor things. Or it could be that the big things would be hard to sum up in quick newsbites, unlike the minor things.

You aren’t a conspiracy nut until you start believing in a conspiracy. Distrusting the media is a rational thing to do. It’s not conspiracy related unless you think the media is in on it somehow.

You might be a conspiracy nut. But good for you for spotting bad personality-driven journalism. If you want policy-driven journalism, you have to dig a little. Try the Economist, the economics and legal blogosphere, Wonkbook at the Washington Post and even the New York Times on occasion.

TV news is for boobs. AP is superficial, but fast and free.

Journalists, well bad journalists, are interested in PEOPLE, not ideas. They talk about Snowden because he’s a person. They don’t talk about privacy abuses and/or the acceptable reach of government data collection because it’s an idea.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

As somebody with social issues which make discussing people extremely difficult and a philosophy degree which makes discussing ideas pretty easy, this is my new favorite self-applauding quote.

Yeah, that’s a conspiracy theory. And no, that’s not how it works. It’s unfortunate that there’s been so much reporting on the trivialities of Snowden’s life but you can find reporting about the legality (or illegality) of PRISM and these other issues if you look for it.

The delightful irony of this quote is that it is about people. :slight_smile:

But, yes, definitely: Snowden is the “human face” of the issue.

However, to the OP, the idea that media outlets are “being pressured to favor the government’s story,” no way. Hogwash. Both right-wing and left-wing activist media are all up in arms over this, interminably declaring it a massive violation of the Constitution. If there is a conspiracy, it certainly isn’t a pro-government one!

It was allowed to happen because the Constitution permits it, Congress passed and the president signed legislation authorizing it, and the people elected and re-elected those congressmen and presidents and continue to do so.

No it isn’t. It’s about ideas. Sure, people are mentioned, but there are pigs in Animal Farm too.

I’m pretty sure mass surveillance of this sort is blatantly unconstitutional. It just hasn’t been tested in courts (real courts, not secret rubber stamp spy courts) because all the evidence is classified and no one can prove they have standing. That will eventually change, thanks to Snowden.

Well, I can tell you that outside the US the only stories are about Prism and secret American agencies with gagillion computers spying on us ie. the rest of the world. That makes many people feel uncomfortable and indignant.

Snowden himself is merely mentioned to tie the story down and is no personal interest at all. Oh - apart from him roaming Moscow airport like a bewildered Tom Hanks. :smiley:

I’m sure the Snowden movie is coming out soon, now that there’s a “happy ending”. Hanks might be too old to play him though. :slight_smile:

Meh, a government attempt at silencing a news organization is big ratings news and its never worked before. Personal drama is catchier than legalese that doesn’t directly affect the common man, I think that’s all there is to it.

Media report the unfolding narrative, if that narrative is in the control of one side then that’s what gets reported e.g. Axis of Evil/Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction/killing “his own people”, etc, etc. Even the tone and actual phrases used are often created by gov.

The problem in the US in particular is few if any media outlets seek other than the dominant US gov contribution to the narrative. Hey, corp media has much invested in the status quo.

Not only do some accept the gov narrative wholesale, they wrap it in a flag and characterise it florid war-like language. It’s imperial media, perhaps not unlike the Times of London in the late 19th century.

Fwiw, to pretty much the rest of the world this is borderline lunacy, but there you are.

Snowden? He told te US people its Gov was lying to them, and that the Gov is collecting mass surveillance data on everyone. Of course he’s an enemy of the state.

I’m unaware of anything in the Constitution that makes it illegal for the government to monitor your internet communications after acquiring a warrant.

From the link I posted:

Seems like a warrantless search to me.

Also, my understanding was that FISA warrants are issued (when they are issued – we can see from my link that they aren’t required) in order to search existing databases of indiscriminately collected data. The data is collected and stored without a warrant however, and the NSA contends that is fine as long as they get a warrant to “look” at the data they have already collected. To my knowledge this reasoning has not been tested in court.

As a human being, I feel spied on when I am actually spied on – not simply when some NSA agent gets around to sorting through the data.

I’m not sure a warrant is needed. Certainly there’s no expectation of privacy on the Internet, except when specifically required (banks and whatnot).
One could argue that the contents of an email is similar to a phone call, but pretty much anything else you do online is public activity.

If this were the Chinese gov conducting systematic mass surveillance on its people and lying about it, I sense a different response …