KING: To most Americans out there, and to a guy like me who's spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign, this is highly detailed stuff that's pretty hard to follow.
Still, it's pretty extraordinary that CNN -- the most trusted name in news -- would invite a high government official onto its news program to invoke his authority and claimed expertise to scare Americans into believing that we're all going to be killed by Terrorists unless President Bush gets what he wants, and have the "journalist" conducting the interview admit upfront that he knows nothing about the topics. What's the point of the exercise? Why allow a government official to come onto your show and make statements that the interviewer -- due to total ignorance about the subject -- has no ability to analyze, scrutinize, or subject to critical inquiry? Providing a platform to government officials to make controversial claims with no scrutiny is (by definition) called "propaganda," not journalism.
It's so revealing that King's excuse for knowing nothing about the FISA debate is that he's "spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign." Just as King suggests (unintentionally), "covering a presidential campaign" is mutually exclusive with knowing about any actual substantive issues, precisely because the media's coverage of our campaigns (and, thus, to a large extent, the campaign itself) is bereft of any actual substance