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Bob Schieffer Roasted For Unbalanced NSA Panel

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"Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer drew fire Monday for hosting what critics said was a deeply unbalanced forum on the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.

Schieffer, who has been vocally critical of leaker Edward Snowden, brought together three people who supported the NSA: its former director, Michael Hayden, Peter King, a Republican congressman, and Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat.

An example of the exchange:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well-- well let me just cite an example and let's say that the NSA runs across something that they think an attack on the country is imminent--

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN: Right.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --and they want to go into the court and say, "We got to do this right now."

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN: Right.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Is it feasible? Is it practical? Is it even possible to say, "Well, wait, let's-- let's argue this a bit?" I mean it would seem to me that time was of the essence.

The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald blasted Schieffer for the way he conducted the interviews:

Yesterday, Schieffer led another NSA discussion and invited on three of the most pro-NSA individuals in the country: Hayden, GOP Rep. Peter King, and Democratic Rep. Charles "Dutch" Ruppersberger, whose district includes the NSA and who is the second-largest recipient in Congress of cash from the defense and intelligence industries. No criticisms of the NSA were heard. Instead, Schieffer repeatedly pushed even Hayden to go further in his defense of the NSA and in his attacks on Snowden than Hayden wanted to[.]

He also called Schieffer "a more slavish, shameless spokesman for the NSA than anyone actually employed by that agency."

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan said Schieffer's "performance was an embarrassment to journalism."

"What he and his producers did was to give a cushy platform to close NSA allies to present their talking points unchallenged, helped along by occasional murmurs of support from Bob Schieffer," he wrote.

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