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December 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS reporter John Miller has defended his 60 Minutes report on the NSA’s intelligence-gathering activities that has been widely criticized by media commentators as an infomercial for the agency. “I fully reject the criticism from you and others,” he told New York Times columnist David Carr. “As we constructed it, the N.S.A. was a story about a debate, not a villain, and we added to that debate with important information. I fail to understand how a shrill argument for the sake of creating televised drama would have accomplished anything.” But Carr, in a column headed “When 60 Minutes Checks Its Journalistic Skepticism at the Door,” pointed out that the day after Miller’s report aired, a federal judge ruled that the agency’s program of collecting phone records was most likely unconstitutional and that only last week a panel appointed by President Obama recommended that the NSA halt its collection of phone records of virtually all Americans. Carr concluded: “The DNA of 60 Minutes is adversarial, investigative and most of all accurate. … [It] is a calling, not an assignment, and the program should not be the kind of outfit that leaves its skepticism at the door to get inside.”