Greenwald: Our story is that there is a discrepancy between the relationship that these, that the private sector and the government has, in terms of what the NSA claims and what the technology companies claim.Greenwald says the slides he published demonstrate that the NSA has direct access to Facebook, Google, etc. company's servers and just goes in and grabs private data at will. The tech companies deny that happens. So we need to get to the bottom of who is lying.
Chris Hayes not only didn't challenge him, he ran with that characterization in other stories later in the show.
Trouble is - prior to that interview I had also been reading folks like Bob Cesca and Little Green Footballs. So not only did I know that the New York Times had debunked the whole idea that the NSA had "direct" or "backdoor" access to the servers of the tech companies, they:
...described a process whereby the various tech companies, after receiving a FISA court approved request from the NSA and vetting it through their legal departments, gather the information and post it in a virtual “mailbox” for the NSA to retrieve: “It is not sent automatically or in bulk, and the government does not have full access to company servers. Instead, they said, it is a more secure and efficient way to hand over the data.”I also knew that even the Guardian - where Greenwald works - had walked back his claims about the NSA having direct access.
This is a great example of how the internet - despite all its issues with privacy - has broken down the hold commercial media has on what we know. As I watched Chris Hayes last night, I recognized that I knew more about this part of the story than he did. And that means his credibility is damaged.
The major networks have moved on from this story. They all had Greenwald on to make his outrageous claims and then got bored with the whole thing. Cable networks like Fox News and MSNBC are running with their spin on the story. But if you really want to inform yourself beyond the sensational headlines - the information is out there. And the more you get it - the less you trust what they're selling. That's one of the big reasons why they're in trouble.