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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Spying on (actual) Americans

How is it that the Democrats hate domestic surveillance when it involves Al Queda's contacts here in the United States, yet they have no problem illegally listening in on Republican leaders' conference calls?

Ace of Spades has a great piece here on the recent court decision that requires Jim McDermott (D-crazytown) to pay $700,000 to majority leader John Boehner for participating in a scheme to distribute illegally taped conversations of Republican leadership conference calls (Boehner was GOP conference chair at the time and participated in the call).

My favorite part of it:

Lawyers for 18 news organizations — including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Washington Post — filed a brief backing McDermott.

Why am I not surprised? I'm sure this is on page one of your paper today.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Full disclosure: I am pretty sure my former boss was in on that phone call too. Too bad he didn't sue.

UPDATE: Please disregard this post. I checked the last three days of the local paper here and the website and, contrary to my initial reaction, this story wasn't newsworthy. Who am I to say that a story about a member of Congress being forced to pay 700k to the majority leader of the House for distributing illegally taped phone conversations is news? Clearly it is not.

Among the stories to get section 1 (national) coverage:
1. A story on cloning of top race horses.
2. A two page story (beginning on front page) on shopping gizmos that allow you to scan your groceries yourself.
3. A 12 paragraph story on coral reefs dying.

I should note that they did have room (on p. A2 hidden next to the lottery numbers and corrections column) for a story on Cynthia McKinney assaulting a police officer. This story, which was a follow up to 1 short paragraph on the subject that was buried deep in section one yesterday, was one-half the size of the horse cloning story. The title, "House bickers over member," really does provide readers with a good indication of what this story is about. Those crazy house members and their bickering, I can't get enough of them.

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