NBC’s Investigation of Patriot Act

There was some Congressional debate over extending certain parts of the Patriot Act last week– this Institute for Public Accuracy release is a helpful guide to some of the criticisms of the Act.

But don’t let anyone tell you there wasn’t much coverage of this. On Friday, NBC Nightly News skipped reporting on what was at stake and went right for what really matters:

May 27, 2011 Friday


Back in D.C., a four-year extension of the revised Patriot Act passed by Congress was signed into law minutes before midnight last night. You would be correct to ask, with the president overseas, how exactly did he sign the bill in Washington. Well, by machine, the so-called autopen used by about the last dozen U.S. presidents. They sign their name initially by hand onto a template, then the machine recreates it countless number of times exactly, and in this case the signature had the force of law.

Civil liberties? No thanks–I just want to know about the President’s magic pen.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.