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Fox News Takes Brief Pause on International Financial Spying

Reported by Judy - June 28, 2006 -

After blasting The New York Times all week for publishing an article about a Bush administration program that spies on international financial transations, "Dayside" on Wednesday (June 28, 2006) took a different tack on the story.

"Dayside" co-hosts Juliet Huddy and Michael Jerrick interviewed Harlan Ullman, author of America's Promise Restored, who argued that while the government has a right to conduct surveillance, it also has a duty to protect civil liberties.

"What we need here is oversight and the fundamental problem is how do you put oversight that protects the public and protects the government. The Bush administration has really not done that, and if we had proper oversight, a lot of these issues I think would not be so politicized," he said.

Ullman urged the government to follow the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and establish a commission on national security and civil liberties that would have the authority to oversee surveillance measures.

Ullman was on without any right-wing opposition, but Huddy and Jerrick did their best to undermine his message themselves.

In a promo at the top of the show, for example, Jerrick asked whether The New York Times committed treason by publishing the story. (Guess he forgot to ask whether the Bush administration committed treason by leaking the identity of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame, but why expect consistency from Fox News on such matters?)

And during the interview, after Ullman noted that the system of checks and balances that requires Congress to check presidential power was not functioning, Huddy challenged him on whether it was The New York Times' responsibility to take over that role.

Still, it was a change of pace from the usual Fox News line attacking the press for reporting news. Maybe somebody at the Fox NEWS Channel figured out it was advocating restricting its own freedom to report the news.