The Cato Institute's Julian Sanchez has been following the debate on PATRIOT Act renewal, and has publicly despaired about the quality of coverage devoted to the matter:
It's nice to see that some media outlets are starting to pay attention to deliberation in the Senate over the reauthorization of expiring PATRIOT Act provisions. It's less nice when, as in this FOX News report, "paying attention" means "peddling outrageous falsehoods." To be sure, the issue can be dauntingly complicated, but these are enormous howlers that the most elementary fact checking ought to catch. Many of the false claims appear to echo this Wall Street Journal op-ed by former attorney general Michael Mukasey, which is similarly misleading.
Well, Sanchez went out and did something about it. Rather brilliantly, I might add! In a fantastic vlog, Sanchez offers up a critical fisking of a Fox News report that may lead one to "believe that Americans are going to have to make a choice between security and their civil liberties." Sanchez ably should assuage that fear, and replace it with the strong concern that Fox News literally does not have even the faintest grasp of the facts regarding the use of the various PATRIOT Act provisions. Says Sanchez: "There's folks on the left that would say that all of this is evidence that Fox News is lying to viewers. But I don't think that's true. There's so many weird mistakes in this report, so many strange, random inaccuracies that I think it shows they just don't know what they're talking about."
It goes without saying that this is a complicated subject matter. Yet Sanchez is able to break down the details and explain it all in a way that anyone can understand. It can be done! But you have to want to, don't you?
Misleading on PATRIOT Reauthorization [CATO@Liberty]