Here CBS goes again. Today, with the aid of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on President Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, CBS’s The Early Show was able to once again focus on "domestic spying." Three times in the first 9 minutes of the 7:00 half hour, there was a mention of "domestic spying."
Harry Smith led off the broadcast at 7:00 with the following tease:
Harry Smith: "Good morning, I'm Harry Smith, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be on the hot seat today defending President Bush's highly controversial domestic spying program at a Senate hearing, we'll have details."
At approximately 7:02, Hannah Storm introduced a segment from Thalia Assuras:
Hannah Storm: "We want to get right to our top story and that is Senate hearings on the President's controversial domestic spying program. Senators want to find out if the White House is breaking the law.
Finally at 7:08, Harry Smith introduced an interview with Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL):
Harry Smith: "As we said, the Senate holds hearings on the President's controversial domestic spying program today."
And to reinforce the message, the graphic "Domestic Spying" was displayed on the screen. Though, to his credit, Smith seemingly conceded the point that the American people don’t object to this program,
Harry Smith: "Senator Grassley, let me start with you. There are plenty of Americans wake up this morning they're thinking they want, they want the United States government to do whatever it takes to make sure that no more terrorists attack this country. Why should they care about what happens in the hearings today?"
The point that was missing, and seems to have been missing from many stories on this subject, is that there was no mention of the national security implications of the terrorist surveillance program being leaked to the press. Instead, Thalia Assuras alluded to a new report:
Thalia Assuras: "And you can bet Senators will jump on a new report that says almost all overseas wiretapped phone calls have been dismissed as having any connection to terrorists."
The key word here being "almost." But more importantly, who released the report? What other findings, if any, did the report contain? Aren’t these questions that we as a viewer are entitled to have answered? Apparently not.