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Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the except-the-ones-you-wish-would-self-censor dept.

The Media 376

binarstu writes "Suzanne Nossel, writing for CNN, reports that 'a survey of American writers done in October revealed that nearly one in four has self-censored for fear of government surveillance. They fessed up to curbing their research, not accepting certain assignments, even not discussing certain topics on the phone or via e-mail for fear of being targeted. The subjects they are avoiding are no surprise — mostly matters to do with the Middle East, the military and terrorism.' Yet ordinary Americans, for the most part, seem not to care: 'Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free. Americans have long protested the persecution and constraints on journalists and writers living under repressive regimes abroad, yet many seem ready to accept these new encroachments on their freedom at home.'"

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376 comments

Deluded ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599155)

Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free

Continuing to believe that is a sign you're delusional, not 'free'.

Re:Deluded ... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 months ago | (#45599257)

Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free

Continuing to believe that is a sign you're delusional, not 'free'.

Ah, but they have the freedom to be delusional in any way they wish...

Re:Deluded ... (0, Flamebait)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 5 months ago | (#45599403)

Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free

Continuing to believe that is a sign you're delusional, not 'free'.

Ah, but they have the freedom to be delusional in any way they wish...

So, which country do you live in that is more free? Or have you just given up and all you have left to offer is snarky cynicism?

Re:Deluded ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599707)

I normally choose odd pictures as my avatar on Facebook. Yesterday I was about to zero in on one of the spies from Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy holding a bomb, and I decided against it. I'm middle eastern and live in the U.S. I shouldn't have to worry about such things, yet worries of surveilance coupled with my background swayed me otherwise.

Re:Deluded ... (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 5 months ago | (#45599749)

If you live in the same America I live in and you think yourself to be free, you are delusional. I'm old enough to remember what living in "FREE AMERICA" was like.

Re:Deluded ... (-1, Troll)

truthsearch (249536) | about 5 months ago | (#45599865)

Please list some of the things you would like to do but can't because you are not free. I can't think of any.

Re: Deluded ... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599975)

Fly to Pakistan one way with a cash ticket. Carry a rifle in a pickup truck. I can go on....

Re: Deluded ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600121)

If I had a Pickup I would carry a Rifle in there, As of Now I carry it in my car and have had no problems, Also I carry a Hand gun while driving. again no problems. as for one way ticket, in cash, you can still do it as long as you dont mind getting strange looks.

So please do go on.

Re:Deluded ... (5, Informative)

AIphaWolf_HK (3439155) | about 5 months ago | (#45600023)

Not get molested at airports. Protest without being required to have a permit or sent off to a free speech zone. It's not something I'd personally like to do, but there are many drugs that are illegal. The fourth amendment is being consistently ignored. There are constitution-free zones around the border. Those are just some things that are a problem at the moment. You obviously didn't try very hard if you couldn't think of one problem.

I'd also like to not have my communications spied on by the government.

Re:Deluded ... (5, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 5 months ago | (#45600073)

Carry a pocket knife into a government building. Ride the subway without being searched. Keep my fucking shoes on at the airport. Apply for a job without having to prove my citizenship. Not buy health insurance. Go to Canada without having to carry my passport like we could do for 99% of American history. Write DRM-cracking software. Smoke a joint if I feel like it (I don't actually want to do that, but many do, and who am I to deny them?)

Shall I go on?

Re:Deluded ... (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 months ago | (#45600133)

How about the simplest and yet most important one?

Being able to have a conversation with a couple of people about highly controversial topics without fear of the government recording your conversations, creating files on all of you, and adding you to watch lists that strongly curtail your freedom of movement?

I seem to remember the Founding Fathers being pretty fucking excited about getting that one into the framework of the country....

Re:Deluded ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600107)

Pick up my kids on foot [theurbancountry.com]...

Re:Deluded ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600151)

Please list some of the things you would like to do but can't because you are not free. I can't think of any.

I had two guys say they represented my cable company knock on my door and ask to see my modem. I had several friends visiting at the time so I knew I was not in any danger, plus I know I have nothing to hide. I let them in and kept a VERY close eye on them. I noticed one of the guys constantly looking around as though he was trying to spot something. They investigated my modem and then said they would send a technician to come replace some wiring the following week. When the technician came he said the wiring was fine and had never had an incident where the cable company shows up unannounced. He was so confused that he called his boss. I am involved with some legal activist groups, such as the EFF, and I would never associate with groups doing illegal activities. I am confident that these guys were from the government even though they had the clothing, tools, and truck representing my cable company. I would say that I am not "free".

- Posting Anonymously

Re:Deluded ... (5, Interesting)

mwehle (2491950) | about 5 months ago | (#45600067)

I'm old enough to remember what living in "FREE AMERICA" was like.

Uh, just how old is that? I'm old enough to remember Kent State, being kicked by a middle-aged stranger because I didn't stand for the national anthem at a 4th of July fireworks display, and discussions with the school principal about my right to refuse swearing fealty to the US flag. I'm old enough to remember Eugene McCarthy and the Chicago police riot. Are you old enough to remember Joe McCarthy? HUAC? The Palmer Raids? When exactly were you living in "FREE AMERICA"? What was it like?

Re:Deluded ... (5, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 months ago | (#45600153)

Unless you are a few years older than I am, I doubt that you remember living in a "FREE AMERICA". During the McCarthy days, you were "free" to associate with card carrying communists, of course, but the moment any of the McCarthyites found out about it, you would be dragged through an ugly media trial. After your character had been thoroughly destroyed, you were then free to actually join the party. A lot of black folk might chime in here, to remind you of the many ways that they were "free". In my lifetime, black people were denied service in white restaurants, denied seating at the front of buses, and denied access to necessary public spaces such as restrooms.

I believe that what you actually mean is, you can remember a time when you were completely unaware of civil rights violations all around you. I also remember such a time. Life was wonderful when I was five years old, and my greatest achievements included learning to ride a two-wheeled bike, and passing the test to get into first grade.

Re:Deluded ... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#45599829)

So, which country do you live in that is more free? Or have you just given up and all you have left to offer is snarky cynicism?

I think the point is that the US used to be a fine example of what freedom should look like.

When the US starts down this road, it's terrible news for everyone else on the planet as all of the other governments say "fuck it". And, in many cases, at the request of Americans, they've made the rest of us markedly less free as we get spied on more in order to give the US a sense of security.

America used to be one of the few free places on the planet, and was what we all hoped for. Now, not so much.

Sadly, America has almost become an impediment to everyone else's freedoms. Because they're sure as hell undermining them.

Re:Deluded ... (3, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 5 months ago | (#45599611)

Continuing to believe that by self-censoring one can evade being the subject of government surveillance is a sign of being truly delusional.

Re:Deluded ... (0, Flamebait)

alexhs (877055) | about 5 months ago | (#45599725)

a country that prides itself as the world's most free

Continuing to believe that is a sign you're delusional, not 'free'.

No, it's just a misunderstanding, in that they understand "freedom" as "the right to bear arms".
Which, by the way, is itself a misunderstanding about an amendment whose goal was to ensure a militia roughly in the same sense as the Swiss army.
The delusion would be about thinking that a gun gives you a good chance against an armoured tank.

Re:Deluded ... (2)

neoritter (3021561) | about 5 months ago | (#45600079)

Because a standing military is necessary to the security of a country, the civilian populace must therefore be armed in order to prevent a military coup or government tyranny. That's what the 2nd Amendment means. It's not about ensuring a military. It's about ensuring that the American people can protect themselves from their own military if necessary. Regarding tanks, you do know that there are private citizens who own (legally) weapons capable of incapacitating a tank right? You do know that you can own a demilitarized tank as well right? The armor is still there, but the gun(s) is not operational. It's not prohibitively difficult to get those guns working again.

Government is too powerful (-1, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 5 months ago | (#45599223)

We need to strip government of unneeded power and put ourselves back into proper Constitutional governance. The problem is, progressives need the power of the Police State to enforce their progressive policies. But they are the first ones that complain about the police state.

Re:Government is too powerful (0, Troll)

blue trane (110704) | about 5 months ago | (#45599471)

I'm complaining about the War on Drugs, started by Nixon, which made US law subservient to UN drug policies.

Re:Government is too powerful (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45599769)

C'mon man. Nixon is long gone. It's silly to even give him some of the blame. You should always be blaming the people who continue it and refuse to exercise the power to stop it. Stop living in the past.

Re:Government is too powerful (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#45600169)

I'm complaining about the War on Drugs, started by Nixon

No.

Nixon might have ramped things up a bit, but the War on Personal Freedom (thank you, Bill Hicks) technically started with a man named Harry J. Anslinger, [wikipedia.org] America's first drug czar.

Re:Government is too powerful (3, Insightful)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 5 months ago | (#45599491)

By voting for which party in our political duopoly? The whole American political system is a mess because with the two entrenched parties, there is almost no ballot space for new ideas.

Re:Government is too powerful (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45599793)

People used to think there was no ballot space for a black President as well. And then they voted for one, twice. It's not difficult, you just do it. When the right candidate comes along, it will happen.

Re:Government is too powerful (3, Interesting)

some old guy (674482) | about 5 months ago | (#45599565)

And the fascist corporatists need the police state to ensure the continued vassalage of the underclass.
I'll take Bob LaFollette or FDR over Mussolini any time.

Re:Government is too powerful (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45599813)

Obviously you have never researched the links between Progressivism and Fascism.

Stop it. (5, Insightful)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | about 5 months ago | (#45599621)

Once again, you're plowing your way though the comments with a reckless lack of perspective. There's no need to run a police state in order to institute universal healthcare, expand education programs, or build on welfare mechanisms. Nor does running a progressive agenda inevitably give way to the construction of a police state. There is nothing inextricable about the two ideas, and as usual, you don't even attempt to back up your flamebaiting claim. Knock it off.

Re:Stop it. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 5 months ago | (#45599895)

Ah but it is a police state, just not one in which you're likely to be dragged from your bed in the middle of the night.

How about the summary IRS audits http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/cancer-patient-who-spoke-out-against-obamacare-now-being-audited/ [frontpagemag.com]

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/15/exclusive-prominent-catholic-prof-claims-irs-audited-her-after-speaking-out-against-obama-and-demanded-to-know-who-was-paying-her/ [theblaze.com]

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/02/dr_ben_carson_irs_targeted_me_after_i_spoke_out_against_obama.html [realclearpolitics.com]

You can of course argue that the audits were scheduled anyways, but you will probably dismiss it. http://godfatherpolitics.com/13418/obama-orders-irs-shutdown-non-profits-speak/ [godfatherpolitics.com]

No the rich are too powerful (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599709)

And then "conservatives" like you claim to want a small government but then turn around and regulate a woman's body and people's sexual preferences with an iron fist. Your "less powerful government" would simply push the poor off a cliff so that the idle rich can buy a more influence over the government.

Re: No the rich are too powerful (0, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#45599837)

It's not so much as regulating a woman's body as it is to protect innocent -growing- unborn life.

Re: No the rich are too powerful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600127)

What about protecting a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body? Why is some baby growing in her body somehow more important? That's not freedom; that's garbage. Far as I'm concerned, a woman should be able to get an abortion whenever she wants. People who claim to be pro-choice and then turn around and say that women shouldn't be able to get abortions after a certain amount of time are merely hypocrites, just like people who claim to want small government but support things like banning abortions are hypocrites.

Re:Government is too powerful (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | about 5 months ago | (#45599791)

If your statement were true then Germany, Norway, Belgium, and lots of other countries would be police states. If you want to argue for smaller government you're doing it wrong.

Why should I care? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#45599225)

CSI is on TV right now, can this wait?

Re:Why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599447)

It's not primetime you fucking dolt...CSI is not on at 2:46PM.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Holi (250190) | about 5 months ago | (#45599505)

are you sure. I thought it was like Law and Order, if you flip through the channels I am sure you'll find an episode playing.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Altus (1034) | about 5 months ago | (#45599513)

There is always at least one episode of one of the CSIs on somewhere.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599485)

CSI is on TV right now, can this wait?

Ironically, this shit started back when we were all wondering who shot JR.

So, yeah, it can wait...if all you want it to do is get worse.

And stop fucking asking how it can possibly get worse already, for that is the easiest way to guarantee it will.

Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599227)

How many Americans even know? Any how many Americans give a shit about anything outside of their job, football, and beer. Feel free to replace those last two things with video games, art, wine, assorted other drugs, etc.

American talk a big game when it comes to freedom (5, Insightful)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | about 5 months ago | (#45599243)

... but their actions tend to contradict what they say.

Torture and the taking of political prisoners are touted as flaws of third world dictatorships and communists v. waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay and attempts to arrest Snowden and others who have taken a political stance they don't like.

Re:American talk a big game when it comes to freed (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#45599305)

Torture and the taking of political prisoners are touted as flaws of third world dictatorships and communists v. waterboarding

But, but ... they got a legal opinion that said it wasn't torture, so it's all above board, right?

Of course, I'm sure the people putting that opinion forth never actually tried it themselves.

That the US might now be exerting a little extra muscle around people for simply disagreeing with them is definitely scary. When your press starts to self-censor, you are rapidly becoming anything but free.

Re:American talk a big game when it comes to freed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599489)

When my father was a Luftwaffe Soldier/POW in US custody, he saw a German POW's foot being overrun by a US Army (or Army Air Force) truck on purpose. "To make the POW confess the killing of a downed US airman.

So, torture is NOT new for U.S. forces.

Re:American talk a big game when it comes to freed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599677)

If Snowden were arrested, it would be for the obvious offense. The one he was well aware he was committing.
Nothing to do with politics.

Watching watchers (5, Insightful)

mrex (25183) | about 5 months ago | (#45599249)

The other three out of four were too fearful of their survey answers being logged by the NSA...

Re:Watching watchers (1)

Rufty (37223) | about 5 months ago | (#45600085)

I was going to mod, but couldn't decide between "Funny" and "Insightful".

Ahh, the fresh air (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599255)

Of the liberal "Freedom" promised by the Obama administration....

We've turned a corner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599269)

Many people now see government as the organizing force in their lives, the primary pursuit of civilizations, and the primary provider of comfort and security in their lives. They no longer look at it as the organization that does the menial work that the people otherwise organize spontaneously to do. They dare not question the font of all that largess.

Because it doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599313)

American journalists have long since proven to be lying sacks of crap anyway, so who cares anymore? Oh, they're lying about fewer subjects now? Well whoopdefriggindo.

Suggested Slashdot Poll (5, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 5 months ago | (#45599317)

Have you ever self-censored a comment on Slashdot due to fear of government surveillance:

1) Yes. I wanted to share my improved tin foil hat design but fear that it might be compromised if it goes public.

2) No. I have nothing to hide and I'm quite certain that the shadowy government agencies spying on me are sufficiently restrained by secret and democratically unaccountable courts. They all have my best interests in mind.

3) I choose to self-censor this response.

Re:Suggested Slashdot Poll (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599383)

4) No. If you're not on at least one secret watch-list, you're not living.

Re:Suggested Slashdot Poll (1)

DFDumont (19326) | about 5 months ago | (#45599387)

4) I'm not engaged in any activity that even the most bored NSA spy would find interesting. Although, perhaps that tin (Al) foil hat design.....

Re:Suggested Slashdot Poll (1)

qbzzt (11136) | about 5 months ago | (#45599619)

If I am engaged in attempting to get NSA spies to commit suicide out of sheer boredom, is that something the NSA would find interesting?

BTW, Nancy from the NSA, you know I like you and won't ever do that to you. Don't worry, this is just a joke.

Re:Suggested Slashdot Poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599647)

Maybe. I'll let them figure out which one I did, or if it was something completely different.

Sometimes random noise is just random noise, and it isn't being generated to cover something up. And that's what the spooks truly fear: nobody needing them. Allow me to cast the first stone here: I don't need them.

Re:Suggested Slashdot Poll (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 5 months ago | (#45599969)

4) Fuck the NSA, SUCK IT BITCHES!, FUCK the IRS AUDIT MY BUTT HAIR, and FUCK OBAMA lying piece of shit.

US Gov COME AT ME BRO!

Wrong Analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599353)

People are not accepting the encroachments. What they do accept, and accepted a long time ago, is there's next to nothing meaningful you can do to combat it. They are hopeless and helpless. Don't confuse that with complicity.

Re:Wrong Analysis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599713)

This is correct. For the most part, we can vote for two dumbasses controlled not by constituents needs and requirements but by untenable political platforms and lobbyists for money interests. Both candidates are bad. We would need something like an armed rebellion to get past where we are stuck today because the unwashed masses just don't give enough of a shit about it to coordinate and change things. Not likely to happen anytime in my lifetime.

Censorship and Journalism (1)

windwalker13th (954412) | about 5 months ago | (#45599381)

As one editor of the New York Times once said,

"The New York Times is not 'All the News That's Fit to Print' but all the news 5 people in a room think is fit to print."

So while not censorship the capital business model under which these papers are run also semi dictates their content. For example if the editors of the paper think an article is going to disturb their advertisers too much and make them pull out, then the article won't be run. Is this censorship, no just self interest. The freedom of the press is tied to profit from publishing the material. If the US government suddenly makes it much more complicated for them to do reporting and investigating then as business they won't be interested in actually covering those stories. The freedom of the press is only freedom so long as they continue to make money and be able to continue printing.

Zion Owns Media (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599427)

Not a new revealation actually.

You Americans allow your country to be screwed up by NY.

Come to the UK and learn about real journalism (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599439)

Tell them to come to the UK and they can see _real_ journalism in action.

In America, you have Ferengi style capitalism and call it "freedom".

In the UK, we are certainly not perfect, but we also have capitalism, but with a social conscience, because we understand that in the long run, our way of doing things leads to more freedom for a greater number of people

We also have a habit of telling people who would harm us to go and procreate with themselves. In America, a few thousand people are sadly killed and you cower in terror and throw away everything which made you so respected.

In the UK, we have 7/7/2005 and then the citizens of London rode the tube in a large display of defiance sending a giant f***-you to the terrorists. Your journalists need to come over here and experience _our_ way of life.

Oh, and Edward Snowden, a true American hero, trusted a _British_ newspaper to reveal the truth.

That fact makes me proud to be British.

Re:Come to the UK and learn about real journalism (4, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 months ago | (#45599567)

Maybe it's time for you freedom-loving Brits to rise up and overthrow the tyranny of American imperialism.

Re:Come to the UK and learn about real journalism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599613)

Not denying any of your points, but you arrest people for being rude.

Just wanting to remind you of that.

Journalists have been self-censoring a long time (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45599443)

Journalists have for years been censoring information - roughly 90% of them are Democrats (really statists), and many are loathe to present any Democratic official in a negative light. Stories negative to Democrats or the expansion of federal government are usually buried, any chance to pillory a Republican (or non-statist like many libertarians) is sized with glee.

So it's not hard to imagine that people already heavily censoring work would expand what they decided to censor. It's also hard to be sorry for them.

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (1)

Holi (250190) | about 5 months ago | (#45599559)

Yes, it's all the Democrats fault. The republicans are pure and never do anything wrong.

Nothing at all, like ending the war on poverty and replacing it with the war on drugs. Which has had no consequences to the populace as a whole. Nope none at all.

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (2, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about 5 months ago | (#45599659)

He's not talking about the politicians, he's talking about the journalists themselves (who only skew public opinion, rather than shaping public policy.)

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#45599703)

Journalists have for years been censoring information -

That's why using "censorship" in the new, modern meaning has made it just a flame triggerword useful only to push people's hot buttons. It retains its pejorative connotation but none of the pejorative meaning. Under the current popular definition, as used in this story in particular, "censorship" means "any decision not to say something".

Journalists "censor" themselves every day they write an article. What did they say vs. what didn't they include? Editors censor the journalists, and then the public as a whole when they decide what letters to the editor to publish, how much of each to publish, and any "fixes" they apply for style or grammar.

Librarians censor every time they decide not to buy a certain book for the library. Bookstore owners censor when they choose which books to stock. Magazine/news dealers censor. Slashdot moderators commit censorship when enough of them collectively vote an comment down below the regular reading thresholds. Slashdot posters censor themselves every time they think twice about saying something here for fear of losing karma.

Men in the workplace censor themselves on a regular basis, assuming there is any woman in the same workplace who looks halfway decent. "You look hot today" isn't something they are allowed to say, so most of them censor that kind of comment from their speech. And if they forget, then someone else will happily censor them.

Yawn. Journalists are censoring themselves. News at 11.

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599757)

Journalists have for years been censoring information - roughly 90% of them are Democrats (really statists), and many are loathe to present any Democratic official in a negative light. Stories negative to Democrats or the expansion of federal government are usually buried, any chance to pillory a Republican (or non-statist like many libertarians) is sized with glee.

So it's not hard to imagine that people already heavily censoring work would expand what they decided to censor. It's also hard to be sorry for them.

OK.What is your data?

Personally, I go outside of the US media for my information on US politics. And I find that we're pretty right wing - even Obama is right wing by the rest of the World's standards.

You know, I have a bunch of personal political interests. And when I see anything labeled as "conservative" or "liberal", I conclude that the author is an idiot. Reality has NO political bias.

Tl;dr: parent is an idiot.

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599807)

Hell yeah, like when that Republican president was caught havin' sexual relations in office, the news was EVERYWHERE, damn liberal media putting a negative spin on good Republicans!

Not to mention some other percentages
30%, 64% and even more startlingly a record 92%!

My god

Re:Journalists have been self-censoring a long tim (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 5 months ago | (#45599979)

Do you have a study or statistics to support your claim? Sounds more like an ignorant anecdote. In my news browsing I see plenty of stories negative to Democrats.

Done their job in the first place (5, Insightful)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 5 months ago | (#45599453)

Maybe if the so-called press had done their job in the the first place over the last 20 years we would be in this mess.

[DISPLAY OF GRATITUDE] (5, Funny)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 5 months ago | (#45599469)

Man, this is some [GOOD NEWS]. I hope congress quits [WORKING TOO HARD FOR THEIR OWN GOOD], pulls their [HARD WORK AND COURAGE] out of their own [LOVE FOR THEIR COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE] and finally [TAKES THAT PAID VACATION THEY ALL WELL DESERVE].

Perhaps everyone is worried about it (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 5 months ago | (#45599519)

Yet ordinary Americans, for the most part, seem not to care...

It may only seem that way. Ordinary Americans are worried about suveillance too.

I'm even wondering if I should post this comment anonymously.

Re:Perhaps everyone is worried about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599891)

I'm even wondering if I should post this comment anonymously.

You think that would make any difference if the majority of domestic traffic was repeated to an NSA datafarm?

Link to the thing, not the post about the thing! (3, Informative)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 5 months ago | (#45599531)

nearly one in four has self-censored for fear of government surveillance

That's not exactly what the report said, and I'm just skimming the thing here.

http://www.pen.org/sites/default/files/Chilling%20Effects_PEN%20American.pdf [pen.org]

28% have curtailed or avoided social media activities, and another 12% have seriously considered doing so;
24% have deliberately avoided certain topics in phone or email conversations, and another 9% have seriously considered it;
16% have avoided writing or speaking about a particular topic, and another 11% have seriously considered it;
16% have refrained from conducting Internet searches or visiting websites on topics that may be considered controversial or suspicious, and another 12% have seriously considered it;
13% have taken extra steps to disguise or cover their digital footprints, and another 11% have seriously considered it;
3% have declined opportunities to meet (in person, or electronically) people who might be deemed security threats by the government, and another 4% have seriously considered it.

Boiled down: about one-third of the American press are chickens, about two-thirds are not.

.

Re:Link to the thing, not the post about the thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599945)

This seems like a good strategy to avoid getting in trouble with one's employer, or potential employers. Keeping a low social media profile is just common sense for anyone who works or might someday want to work for a company concerned about their public image (and more importantly about preserving their precious access to politicians and other business leaders).

I'll be damned if I censor myself (3, Interesting)

qbzzt (11136) | about 5 months ago | (#45599539)

It is too easy to eavesdrop on communication. There is no way to avoid it happening, whether by corporation, the government, or a criminal gang.

We could decide to keep ourselves safe by self-censorship and accept the loss of freedom of speech. Or, we can continue to act normally. If the government has to contend with 0.1% of the population who are loud malcontents, the malcontents have a problem. If the government has to deal with 90% of the population who are loud malcontents, the government has a problem. They can't put us all in jail or shoot us.

I'll be damned if I let freedom of speech slip away. We didn't get it because of government benevolence (see The Old Issue by Kipling [fourmilab.ch]), and we won't keep it by being timid.

Re:I'll be damned if I censor myself (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599991)

North Korea proves that it's possible for a small group, less than 1%, to control an entire nation of millions of people and essentially run the entire country like one big permanent, 24/7, cradle-to-grave, prison camp. The peasentry in the DPRK vastly outnumber the ruling party but they don't rise up. It used to be that at least you got fed and clothed by your oppressive government in exchange for your souls--they don't even give them that anymore; yet still they don't rise up and revolt. It's often said that Americans are two missed meals away from revolution. N.Korea is going on two whole generations of starved, shrunken, people still toiling away for the machine which starves them.

Re:I'll be damned if I censor myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600119)

They can't put us all in jail or shoot us.

Nor do they need to. There are very few people who care enough to be a threat, and these are easy enough to silence when they don't manage to escape to Russia.

I'd love to know how many (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 5 months ago | (#45599617)

Were on the anti-Bush bandwagon, yet happily jumped on the pro-Obama bandwagon once it rolled into town.

I can't believe how short sighted the media is, scratching at the feet of the President wanting approval.

The USA a free country ? (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 5 months ago | (#45599635)

"The world's most free" ?? That is a joke. If and when the journalists of a country - the journalists, for crying out loud - stop to mention certain topics on the phone because their government might be interested in the conversation, then that country is by all standards modern NOT free.

No we don't like it... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 5 months ago | (#45599719)

But what choice do we have? We speak out or they speak out instead of the death squad you get notified the IRS is going to audit you for however many arbitrary years they now changed the time limit for audits to. Last I heard instead of the 7, it was raised to 10, who knows what it is today or will be tomorrow.

Fp ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599721)

= 36440 FreeBSD [anti-slash.org] filed countersuit, lead developers charnel house. The

Obama's war on journalists is officially a success (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599827)

So now if US govt decides to bomb, say, Iran for profit of several corporations, journalists will either spew pro-war propaganda or be silent. Journalism keeping politicians in check was virtually non-existent in the US and This - coupled with hugely oversized army and ultra-agressive politicians, so keen to start new wars, so they cronies can make big bucks - makes an extremely dangerous combination, even more dangerous than Nazi Germany used to be as it spans whole globe, not just limited area.

Is anyone here going to step up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599839)

This surveillance and tracking was initiated by the Bush administration, and brought to full use by the Obama administration. There is simply no reason to vote for a Republican or a Democratic candidate any longer. They have abdicated their responsibilities and deserve to be pushed out of government completely.

If you're wondering why things don't change, and seem to get worse, please remember that next time you mark the box on your ballot. If you picked the R or D candidate you are just prolonging the problem and must accept blame for your actions.

U.S. News and Propaganda (1)

Erik Bird (2972117) | about 5 months ago | (#45599849)

If the the major U.S. news organizations promoted journalists for writing insightful, well researched articles on U.S.-middle east relations there would be plenty journalists writing about it whether or not they were surveilled by the NSA. The mainstream media (propaganda) organizations are more to blame for censorship in the U.S. than the NSA. Take a look at the problems faced by Harvard and University of Chicago professors publishing their work on "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N294FMDok98 [youtube.com]

I'm more fearful of the IRS than the NSA (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about 5 months ago | (#45599853)

We already know they are playing politics in who they audit.

The War on Terror is Over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599893)

The Terrorists won.

To be honest, they won as soon as the PAT-RIOT act was approved and signed into law.

Posting AC for the obvious reason.

The terrorists have won. (2)

alx512 (194670) | about 5 months ago | (#45599903)

It just kills me that those in power with their jingoistic cries of "they hate our freedom" are the ones stripping us of our freedom. It kills me even more that we, as a nation, keep electing them. It's as if we are actively doing this to ourselves.

bitcH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45599963)

too, can be a When IDC recently downward spiral. In time wholesome and are attenDing a for membership. And help us!

A good journalist is like a good woman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600065)

Quiet about bothersome topics.

Commager's 1947 takedown on conformity and taboo subjects is an excellent read.

http:// www. commager.org/dev/pdfs/ Who_is_Loyal_to_America.pdf

Raising their children to hate America (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600075)

Yet ordinary Americans, for the most part, seem not to care: 'Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free.

America, land of the free, home of the brave.. Inviting every Tom, Dick and Harry from all corners of the globe to come join America's way of life wasn't such a good thing afterall. It has politicians back peddling like crazy to shore up the borders now. Now that we have clearly let some of those who would love to destroy America move on in.. Why is everyone so surprised by the survellance taking place now being that we are really threatened by these unknown foreigners emigrating and raising their children to hate America?

What you failed to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45600199)

the press consists of obama bots, both communist and socialist, and they are happy to leave "details" to their "dear leader." At least McCarthy was correct about the danger of communism in America. They all sit with hands over their ears, eyes and mouth hoping that their multiculturalism and perversity wet dream comes to "fruit"ion.

The First Amendment is for telling the government what they will do.
The Second Amendment is for closing the loop on the first.

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