The AP Spins the News

Here is how the Associated Press headlines the controversy over the NSA intercept program: “Bush Vigorously Defends Domestic Spying.” The AP story begins:

Accused of acting above the law, President Bush forcefully defended a domestic spying program on Monday as an effective tool in disrupting terrorists and insisted it was not an abuse of Americans’ civil liberties.

“Domestic spying” is a phrase we’re going to be hearing a lot; it conjures up images of agents going through your trash. But intercepting phone calls made to terrorist leaders in places like Afghanistan and Iraq is not “domestic spying,” even if some of those calls happen to originate in the United States–or, in any event, on phones that have American area codes.

The AP quotes a number of critics of the NSA program, but no defenders:

Despite Bush’s defense, there was a growing storm of criticism from Congress and calls for investigations, from Democrats and Republicans alike. “Where does he find in the Constitution the authority to tap the wires and the phones of American citizens without any court oversight?” asked Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Bush’s interpretation of the Constitution was “incorrect and dangerous.”

And the reporter engages in this flight of Democratic wishful thinking:

The spying uproar was the latest controversy about Bush’s handling of the war on terror, after questions about secret prisons in Eastern Europe, secrecy-cloaked government directives, torture allegations and a death toll of more than 2,150 Americans in Iraq. As a result, Bush’s approval rating has slumped as has Americans’ confidence in his leadership.

Actually, the President’s approval rating slumped because of a number of factors, of which the price of gasoline was probably the most important. The current resurgence in his poll numbers is being driven partly, I think, by the far-left positions the Democrats have been taking lately on issues relating to the war, treatment of detainees, and so on.

UPDATE: For even more bald-faced AP bias, check out this post on Little Green Footballs.


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