In much of the coverage of this issue, there is an enormous amount of straw manning. A Straw Man is a fallacy in which one intentionally distorts or misrepresents an opponent's position. We can see an excellent example of this in CNN's coverage of the Supreme Court refusal to review the issue. The headline for the article reads:
And the first paragraph of the article says:
Court upholds U.S. gov't immunity in terror eavesdropping
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a law that allows the Justice Department to stop suits against telecommunications companies for participating in wiretaps of potential terrorists.Both the headline and the opening paragraph completely distort the issue in question. Literally no one has ever suggested that the US government not spy on suspected terrorists. The issue here is that the government was not spying on suspected terrorists, it was spying on everybody regardless of any suspicion or evidence that the people being eavesdropped on were terrorists. To claim otherwise as CNN does in its article is to straw man opponents of illegal wiretapping as terrorist sympathizers when nothing could be further from the truth. The Supreme Court was not upholding the right of the government to eavesdrop on suspected terrosists, it was upholding the right of the government to eavesdrop on anyone for no reason. This is why this case is such a big deal because it demonstrates the further erosion of civil liberties that has occured since the terrorist attack of 9-11. That CNN so grossly misreports this issue is another telling sign of how broken the media system in the US really is.
Here is Glenn Greenwald discussing the issue and providing his, as always, insightful analysis.