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The Sad Decline of ‘60 Minutes’ Continues With This Week’s NSA Whitewash

NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander. (Screen grab)The sad decline and fall of 60 Minutes has been a long time coming, but now it is nearly complete. Just in recent months: the horrid hit on Americans with disabilities, the Lara Logan affair, and now tonight’s whitewash of NSA (and bonus slam vs. Edward Snowden), hosted by longtime FBI/police/NSA propagandist John Miller.

Here’s the complete transcript of tonight’s show. It’s got something to offend everyone. All that’s missing is an NSA drone delivery a package of listening devices to an agent in the field. Good review at The Atlantic’s Wire.

The response on Twitter and elsewhere on the Web was swift and savagely negative. Glenn Greenwald tweets: “60 Minutes forgot to ask about how James Clapper & Keith Alexander routinely lied to Congress & FISA courts—just ran out of time.” And: “60 Minutes producer gushing about his NSA access: ‘It was like Star Trek…. My favorite room was the Black Chamber!’ ”

From other key media observers. Dave Itzkoff of the NYT: “NSA Doing Great Job, NSA Says—60 Minutes.” Ryan Lizza: “Wow, the 60 Minutes piece about the NSA was just embarrassing. Kudos to the NSA communications staff. You guys should get a raise.” Jeff Jarvis: “For shame, , for shame…. CBS just *bragged* that John Miller is ‘the ultimate insider.’ Yes, he just demonstrated that!”

Marcy Wheeler: “60 Minutes: From terrible journalism to National Security State stenography, in just a few weeks.” Carne Ross: “Hadn’t realized now does infomercials…. Where the hell is Lowell Bergman when u need him? Oh yes, he quit at the end of the movie.” Jay Rosen: “This ‘60 Minutes’ report on the NSA is… TV. That’s not a compliment.”

Andy Greenberg: “This 60 Minutes episode has been a pretty good infomercial for the NSA so far. Did anyone catch that 1-800 number so I can order?” Xeni Jardin: “Remember when 60 Minutes was where people looked for quality journalism?” The official WikiLeaks feed: “60 minutes and NSA pair up to strike back on leaks; character assassinate .”

I’ll add more commentary as it develops… tick, tick, tick.

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