A Scandal of Bias and Fact
Over the past few years the NSA (National Security Agency) has been collecting massive amounts of phone call data from Verizon without the public’s knowledge. This information has just come to the public’s attention earlier this year, and has been covered by many news sources. Some sources stick strictly to the facts of the story and nothing more. However, other sources tend to focus more on their own bias rather than talking about the actual events that happened. There are many ways that reporters can cover a story, two of the more influential factors are the bias, or lack thereof, and the accuracy of the factual information. Therefore, two of the most significant ways to critic articles are by the bias shown and how impactful and truthful the factual information is. In the article, “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” there is a lot of fact with a slight amount of bias. Throughout the entire article, from the British news source The Guardian, there are many quotes of professionals and politicians to support the claims of the actions that resulted in the NSA scandal. For example, there is a point in the article where the author claims that there was a wide scope data gathered by the NSA. This assertion was immediately followed by a quote from a surveillance expert with the Cato Institute, Julian Sanchez, who said, “We’ve certainly seen the government increasingly strain the bounds of ‘relevance’ to collect large numbers of records at once” (Greenwald). This exemplifies how the author uses actual support from credible people to back up his claims. Each author has his/her own opinion which cannot be helped from leaking into their articles, therefore, a good criteria to judge an article by is the extent the author’s view shows through or not. This bias is often connected with the factual information of an article because the author has the ability to only present the facts of his/her side of the discussion. Therefore, if an author shows bias, he/she will often only present the information that supports their own opinions. This however, is not the case in this article. The author does a fair job of presenting all the information on the NSA scandal, especially presenting both political views. Glenn Greenwald addresses the fact that Bush had issues with the NSA as well, but he then goes on to say how the new scandal effects Obama, also Greenwald says, “Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.” Greenwald stays in the middle by not inputting his own opinion and weighing the magnitude of each of their scandals. The only biased that can be noticed is Greenwald’s personal opinion in the very last paragraph. To end the article he uses the quote of Frank Church, “The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.” This last statement leaves the reader with the thought of a government monitoring every detail of their life, suggesting that Greenwald is very much against the NSA and the scandal. However, this seems to be the overall consensus of the entire nation, therefore this opinion cannot be thought of a being too biased. Greenwald writes a very informative article about the NSA scandal for The Guardian that is also able to stay mostly neutral. Similar to the last article, “NSA Phone-Records Spying Said to Violate Rules for Years” shows very little bias and is quite factual. This American article, from Bloomberg, takes the reader through a chronological story of numerous events in the NSA scandal, covering many violations and the legal action...
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