Another alarming example of how the U.S. government works hand in hand with the mainstream media to justify its malfeasance emerged today when the Associated Press published a story about the scope of the terror watchlist in advance as part of a ploy to “spoil the scoop” and water down the impact of the new revelations.
A huge new article by the Intercept reveals how under the Obama administration the size of the terror watchlist has expanded ten fold, with nearly half of the names on the list having no link to terrorism whatsoever.
The information was provided by a source the media has dubbed “Snowden 2.0,” a new leaker who is following in the footsteps of Edward Snowden in exposing mammoth government misconduct.
However, shortly before the Intercept published its detailed exposé, the Associated Press got ahead of the game, publishing a government-friendly version of the story which pushed excuses legitimizing the administration’s colossal expansion of the watchlist.
“The government, it turned out, had “spoiled the scoop,” an informally forbidden practice in the world of journalism. To spoil a scoop, the subject of a story, when asked for comment, tips off a different, typically friendlier outlet in the hopes of diminishing the attention the first outlet would have received. Tuesday’s AP story was much friendlier to the government’s position, explaining the surge of individuals added to the watch list as an ongoing response to a foiled terror plot,” reports the Huffington Post.
Having been tipped off as to the emergence of the story, the government notified the AP. When the Intercept’s John Cook asked the National Counterterrorism Center why it fed the story to a friendlier outlet, the government representative admitted that the NCTC had been working with AP reporter Eileen Sullivan for months and that she had recently visited the facility.
“After seeing you had the docs, and the fact we had been working with Eileen, we did feel compelled to give her a heads up,” the official said, adding, “We thought she would publish after you.”
The difference in tone of the two stories is clear, with the AP version justifying the huge expansion of the watchlist by citing the 2009 underwear bomb plot (itself replete with inconsistencies and cover-ups), while the Intercept version focused on the shocking fact that nearly half of the people on the watchlist have no connection to any terrorist group or terror plot.
This is another startling indication that at the highest levels the corporate press in America functions as nothing less than state media, working directly with the government to massage stories and downplay corruption and malfeasance in order to portray the White House in a more positive light, while justifying a terror watchlist that has ensnared countless innocent people and isn’t even useful in catching real terrorists due to its bloated size.