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Spying on Americans? Called 'The Program' By Fox

Reported by Donna - December 19, 2005

On Studio B with Shepard Smith today, Fox referred to the secret process of President Bush spying on American citizens as 'The Program.' Does that sound better than 'President caught Spying on American citizens?'

Smith went to correspondant, Greg Kelly for a report on the issue of the possible illegal spying done on Americans at the direction of President Bush.

The following is my transcript (paraphrased but pretty much verbatim):

Shepard Smith: For the second day in a row, President Bush explaining exactly what happened and why it is that for 30 times, as the president put it, he's allowed agencies to spy on Americans who were making phone calls from the United States overseas. Many questions about whether this should have been done by the secret courts that have been established just for that.

The president, defending his action saying he's defending your freedom and in addition, defending your security.

Smith then went to correspondant, Greg Kelly.

Greg Kelly: A spirited defense from the President of the United States of this program,(my emphasis) that, just a week ago, was a secret. This wire tapping of terror suspects communicating potentially with people overseas, plotting terror attacks in the United States. (Comment: Shouldn't that be 'alledged terror suspects' and 'alledged or possible terror attacks' in the United States?)

The problem, according to many on Capitol Hill, the program (my emphasis) does not require court sanctioned warrants for the program (my emphasis) to go forward. Now, the president said the program (my emphasis) is legal (Comment: By who's definition?) in keeping with the constitution but it's unveiling, damaging to national security. (Comment: Ok, it's alright to spy on American citizens but it's not alright for the people to be informed about it?)

Now, for the secret wiretapping program (my emphasis) the president dismayed (his emphasis) that it became public. (Comment: I guess so) Calling the leak shameful (his emphasis) and the president said, quote, "The fact that we're discussing this is helping the enemy." (Comment: Please explain how?) But, according to the president, Congress was kept informed and the program (my emphasis) is very important to prevent future attacks. (Comment: How many have been prevented so far?)

Switch to video of George Bush.

President George Bush: (smiling) We have been talking to members of the United States Congress. (Comment: And this makes it legal, why?) We have met with them over 12 times. (Comment: So?) And it is important for them to be brought into this process. Again, I repeat, I understand people's concerns, but I also want to assure the American people that I am doing what you expect me to do which is to safeguard civil liberties and at the same time protect the United States of America. (Comment: Wait a minute, he's protecting our civil liberties by spying on us, his own citizens?)

Greg Kelly: Now, the president repeatedly brought up the Patriot Act. He is extremely frustrated that the Patriot Act, which is up for renewal at the end of this month is being filibustered by a minority in the United States Senate. (Comment: Why would a majority need to filibuster? Make sense, please) Deeply frustrated the president said this is another vital tool in the war on terror that the country can't do without for even a moment. (Comment: Sorry, I can't help it - but how about 45 million Americans doing without health insurance all the time?)

Switch to video of Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wisconsin)

Senator Russ Feingold: I don't know why the president is concerned about the Patriot Act when he apparently believes that he can do all this stuff by himself anyway.

The Patriot Act is important. All of us want to reauthorize it. All of us believe it has to be reauthorized but the president has stated a doctrine that he can just make up the law and create whatever other powers he wants on his own.

This segment ended shortly after this statement with no remarks made about Senator Feingold's statement.

Comments: I think Fox knows exactly what it is doing by referring to the spying on American citizens as 'the program.' It softens it, it makes it sound, hey, not so bad. But let's call it what it is -- spying on our own American citizens at the direction of the President of the United States. That's what it is. He's admitted to doing it at least 30 times.

Fair and balanced this segment was not. As you can see, Kelly's segment was mostly used as him being an apologist for the president and video of the president saying he's protecting our civil liberties. Yes, we did get to hear Senator Feingold say three sentences, but it was not balanced in as far as time and content goes. It was largely slanted toward the president.

I'd love to hear some real hard hitting questions right now of the Republican and the Democratic leadership. However, what do we get? Some more of 'the Democrats knew, too' and fear mongoring 'this revelation will hurt the safety of the American people.' This fear mongoring is used largely around the world by dictators when they want to curb civil liberties. Why is it happening in our 'Democratic' society?

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