Media Critic: CBS’ Miller Had A Conflict When Reporting On NSA Data Gathering


This month’s “60 Minutes” piece on the National Security Agency is part of a trend of “significant lapses into credulousness, when reporters have been more “gee whiz” than “what gives?” says New York Times media columnist David Carr, who adds that, “More than once this year, the show has traded skepticism for access.” Singling out CBS reporter John Miller, who formerly worked for the FBI, Carr asks, “On what planet is it fine for someone like Mr. Miller, a former federal law enforcement official, to be the one to do a big segment on a major government security agency?”

“No matter how the deal was brokered, the optics were terrible and the N.S.A. got its hands on a megaphone with nary a critic in sight,” Carr writes. Miller tells Carr: “We went there, we asked every question we wanted to, listened to the answers, followed up as we wished, and our audience can decide what and who they believe.” Carr’s conclusion: Miller “is a highly respected reporter, and stand-up enough to come on the phone and defend his work…But I'm pretty sure that the credentials that make him valuable on a mass shooting are the same ones that create a conflict on the N.S.A. segment.”

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