The Washington Times-Herald


December 21, 2013

Two stories put focus on First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If everyone remembers their U.S. history class, the previous text is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Adopted in 1791, the amendment is part of famous Bill of Rights, one of the first pieces of legislation in the world to guarantee civil liberties to its citizens.

This week, there were two stories in the news that had people invoking the most sacred of amendments, but some missed the mark on what the amendment means.

The first story was last Sunday, as the decorated CBS news show 60 Minutes took us inside the National Security Agency, the agency under fire after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked part of the agency’s far-reaching spying program to reporter Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.

I’m a fan of 60 Minutes. When I was a kid, it was kind of sad because I knew when I saw that ticking stopwatch, I knew I had to go back to school the next day. Later on, I came to appreciate the interesting stories it provided. I studied the program and it’s history in college when I was training for my current profession.

But the piece on the NSA Sunday, led by correspondent John Miller, was rife with problems. Like many journalists watching the two segments, I did not see the good reporting I have come to expect with 60 Minutes.

In its place was what we call in newspaper land a puff piece, or fluff. Sometimes people like the fluff and sometimes you need to be hard.

There’s a whole laundry list of issues I could go into, but the biggest problem I had with the piece was Miller himself. This so-called insider was hand-picked by the NSA due to his previous roles for the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence. In fact, it was reported that Miller will be heading to the New York Police Department for a job soon. Correspondent Steve Kroft would have held NSA’s collective feet to the fire and done a better job than Miller.

Text Only
  • OPN - WT082314 - BrunsonMug - NBS New will give readers more ways to enjoy Starting Monday, our desktop web and mobile site will launch with a new design which we believe will enhance your reading and interactive experience. The under construction phase has not been easy. Change is never stress-free.

    August 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • OPN - WT082114 - McMurtryMug - NBS Update on Oak Grove Cemetery situation On July 21, a meeting of concerned citizens, hosted at the request of Mayor Joe Wellman, was held in the City Council chambers. Present at the meeting were representatives from city and county government, Daviess Community Foundation, local funeral

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER: Salaries are a matter of perspective Salaries are a matter of perspective Editor:The Indiana Hospital Association and Daviess Community Hospital were disappointed to read a recent story in the Washington Times Herald brandishing the salaries of hospital employees for all to see. Publish

    August 13, 2014

  • Snails do have some issues Go on a hike with kids and one of the things they always look forward to finding are snails. There is something about a snail that seems to attract children. After finding a snail the first thing you hear is, “Can I take it home?” I usually say it is

    August 12, 2014

  • Melon time is the best time of the year I love the month of August. The produce is bountiful, the sun is bright and there’s nothing better than a slice of juicy watermelon straight from the field. Some of my most vivid memories come from the field in the form of the extra-large 80-plus-pou

    August 9, 2014

  • Back to school marks time for politicians to keep their hands off of education Back to school time here in Southern Indiana. While the high school football season may be just around the corner, the game of using education as a political football never seems to end. There is a constant wrestling match between Indiana Governor Mi

    August 2, 2014

  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014