Glenn Greenwald NSA The Daily Banter

The Top 10 Most Inaccurate and Exaggerated NSA Stories (So Far)

My Friday column begins like so:

As we enter the third month of The Story of the Summer, the Edward Snowden NSA saga, I thought it might be a good time recap some of the most ridiculous and inaccurate claims made by various reporters covering this beat.

I hasten to note that I’m leaving out anything from Alex Jones or other well-known conspiracy theorists, though it appears as if there’s a new litter of leftie conspiracy theorists emerging, some of whom will be mentioned below. I’m also not including self-debunked stories: for example, the posts that make outrageous claims as the lede or headline, then clarify (usually about the existence of court oversight and warrants) deep within the belly of the article itself. Furthermore, some of these items follow the 24-hour Rule: once a wild claim is made, it’s often clarified within a day or so, but only after the misleading claim has circumnavigated the internet several times over. That’s exactly what happened when it was reported that…

10) Legendary civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), “praises” Snowden.

On Wednesday, The Guardian‘s Paul Lewis posted an article in which the reporter misrepresented what the congressman said when asked in an interview about the Booz Allen Hamilton leaker. Lewis appears to have merely speculated that Snowden himself believes he acted in good conscience and in the tradition of others who engaged in “civil disobedience.” But then, in keeping with our 24-Hour Rule, the congressman released a statement on Thursday in which he emphatically denied The Guardian‘s framing: “I never praised Mr. Snowden or said his actions rise to those of Mohandas Gandhi or other civil rights leaders. In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word “praise” from its headline.” As of this writing, the reporter has yet to post an update to include the congressman’s statement… [CONTINUE READING]