As NewsBusters has been reporting, it's been a hoot watching typically anti-surveillance liberal media members support the President's program of having the National Security Agency look into everyone's phone records.
Count MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski amongst them, for on Wednesday's Morning Joe, the co-host struck back at any suggestion that leaker Edward Snowden was a whistleblower (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
After some chitchat about a number of things, Wednesday’s Morning Joe began with a discussion about the most recent scandal plaguing the White House.
With a picture of Snowden on the screen, co-host Joe Scarborough said, “Look at that guy. Guy’s a weasel. Can we not put his face up on the screen anymore? He looks like a weasel.”
“Are we allowed to say that?” Brzezinski asked
“We should just be clear not to call him a whistleblower,” responded Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations..
“That’s right,” agreed Brzezinski. “See, now that’s I think actually an intellectual true analysis of the definition of what he is.”
Scarborough pushed back saying, “This is not an ideological thing. It’s like ObamaCare - you call it ObamaCare, everybody does.”
“He is not a whistleblower! Okay?” objected Brzezinski. “And, and, and it's actually been very misleading the way this story's been covered, even by the reporter himself - I’m sorry – who’s super, super close to the story.”
Brzezinski might still have been smarting from the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald on Monday accusing her of reading White House talking points.
“Speaking of misleading,” countered Scarborough, “the government’s been misleading us all along.”
“Okay,” answered Brzezinski, “but let's also make sure that we analyze everybody involved, including the press, which isn't perfect either.”
Does anybody believe Brzezinski would say Snowden wasn’t a whistleblower if a Republican – say George W. Bush – was in the White House?
As NewsBusters has been reporting, it’s indeed been fascinating to watch typically anti-surveillance liberals in the media contort themselves in order to support a program they certainly wouldn’t have if a Republican was president.
The Pew Research Center released a poll on Monday showing how 56 percent of the public actually supports this NSA program.
Most interesting was how this differed when George W. Bush was president, and, in particular, how this changed somewhat along party lines.
This shows how much more partisan and sheep-like Democrats - including media members such as Brzezinski! - are compared to Republicans.
Consider that in January 2006, 37 percent of Democrats favored Bush’s NSA surveillance program. Now 64 percent of them approve what Obama’s doing.
Quite a dramatic shift!
Yet when you look at the change in Republican attitudes, it’s not as disparate when you consider the environment.
In 2006, 75 percent of Republicans approved of Bush’s program. This was less than five years after 9/11 when terrorism was still very much on our minds.
Now 52 percent of Republicans approve Obama’s program.
BUT, remember: this isn’t in a vacuum. Obama now has multiple scandals facing him that have eroded the nation’s trust in government – especially Republicans’ trust.
On top of this, Osama bin Laden is dead, and Obama told us for two years that al Qaeda has been decimated. That means the public in general should be feeling less threatened by terrorism and therefore less willing to have their privacy invaded for national security purposes.
As such, even without the recent revelations from Snowden, the Republican approval of any surveillance program would likely be down, maybe even to 52 percent.
Yet despite all of these scandals, bin Laden’s assassination, and a significantly diminished terrorist threat level, Democrats – who are typically very distrusting of surveillance to begin with – are far more approving of this new NSA program than both Republicans and Independents.
That tells me that Democrats - including media members such as Brzezinski - are FAR MORE partisan and sheep-like in their beliefs, and that Republicans are more likely to weigh issues without reflexively supporting their Party or opposing the other.
Think about it: despite it being almost eleven years since 9/11, bin Laden being dead, a significantly diminished terrorist threat level, and numerous scandals facing the White House, 52 percent of Republicans still actually approve a surveillance program ushered in by the dreaded Obama.
If Republicans were as partisan and sheep-like as Democrats - including media members such as Brzezinski - there’d be a far smaller percentage of them supporting this.
And, if a Republican was in the White House today, a far larger percentage of Democrats - including media members such as Brzezinski - would be opposing this exact same surveillance program.
As such, Brzezinski is possibly the last person to be complaining about the press not being perfect.