Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Slippery Scale of Whistle-Blowing

The recent events of Edward Snowden and the disclosures of NSA monitoring of emails and other communications has produced different types of reactions: many extreme.  Is he a hero, or a traitor?

Actually, this is the usual reaction to any kind of whistle-blowing: it depends on whose ox is getting gored.  For example, Time and the NY Times both emphasize that it was legal, but unfortunate that Snowden made it all public.  Fox News and CNN took different positions.

Would these media players reacted similarly had these NSA disclosures occurred under the Bush administration?  Or, to use an example from history, weren't different tunes being sung when the Pentagon Papers were disclosed by Daniel Ellesberg.

This is the same with corporations.  Some corporate wrongdoing might be ignored by the press, had they the means to control the news.

Maybe part of it is that the Obama administration made noises that they would not give into the abuses allowed by the Patriot Act that the former administration allegedly (and probably) did. 

It could be simply a manifestation of the unwillingness to give up options regarding power, although they might have been interpreted differently at an earlier time.

Or just plain, old-fashioned hypocrisy.


  1. There's a lot of this going on with the media, especially the print media.

  2. I might have a definite opinion on this, maybe.

  3. Sliding scales as to official snooping and meddling is just the American way!