Conservatives and liberals, alike, are reacting to the United States government’s snooping on American citizens. From support for controversial phone and internet data mining — to overt angst — the responses have been fascinating to see.
Below, find just six of the most popular commentators’ stances on the Verizon phone scandal and PRISM:
This morning, radio host Glenn Beck spoke out about the controversy surrounding the government’s phone and internet data mining. In addition to warning that the scenario is reminiscent of the book “1984,” he spoke out fervently about the civil rights abuses that are, in his view, unfolding.
“It is a brave new world. It is 1984,” Beck proclaimed, going on to note that, regardless of how the snooping started, that it is time to stop it.
“Now is the time to stand up because if you do not — if you want to play the game that this all started with George W. Bush — I don’t care if it started with Jesus … I don’t care,” he continued.
Watch his passionate response, below:
Among those who oppose the Obama administration’s national security actions is Ann Coulter. While the conservative commentator, as Mediaite notes, doesn’t oppose looking at phone patterns for important meta data, she has an issue with this particular White House doing so.
Considering much-publicized recent scandals (i.e. IRS, AP and Fox News targeting), Coulter maintains that the Obama camp cares more about “harassing Americans” than tackling terror. This dynamic in mind, the administration’s use of phone data, in her view, is concerning.
Coulter first commented on Eric Holder‘s involvement in the James Rosen snooping case, declaring the national security claims to be “nonsense.” On the NSA collecting Americans’ phone records, she made it clear that the NSA is just looking for patterns and not the content of phone calls, which is perfectly fine “under an honorable Democratic administration, if you can think of one.” But Coulter said people just “can’t trust” Obama at this point, because “they don’t care about terrorism, they want to spy on their political enemies.”
She claimed that unlike the Bush administration, the current one does not take terrorism seriously, and prefers “harassing Americans” and their political opponents. Hannity brought up legal precedent establishing protections for the content of phone calls. Coulter decided that since this “unbelievably corrupt administration” can’t be trusted with such personal information, she suggested Congress should pass a law preventing the government from accessing those records until January 2017.
See Coulter’s comments, below:
Following Coulter comes television host Bill O’Reilly, who seemed more-than-concerned with the government’s snooping. He, too, connected the IRS scandal to the current cell phone records debacle.
In speaking with Megyn Kelly, he made his angst over the scenario known, taking a more pointed tone than Coulter.
“Did you hear about the IRS scandal? Did you hear about the IRS taking personal information and feeding it out to left-wing websites?,” O’Reilly said. “You’re telling me that can’t happen here? It absolutely can happen! So, for example, some conservative senator calls Trixie at the Hot Licks Massage Parlor, alright, guess who knows it? And guess who can put it out any time they want?”
Watch his response, below:
As TheBlaze reported this morning, conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer likely stunned some political observers on Thursday when he appeared on “Special Report,” noting that he has no major problems with the government’s controversial collection of phone records (read the full report here).
“I’m not surprised when he becomes commander-in-chief and they come about the threats out there and his hair stands on end and he says, ‘Well, perhaps Bush was on the right track,’” the conservative commentator said. “So, it’s not surprised, it’s good for the country that a conservative does it and then a liberal. And then the people understand this is required.”
He continued: “I’m not at all upset by what was revealed today about the phone program. It is meta information. And what you get ‘a’, you have to go to a judge. ‘B,’ it’s sifted by a computer looking for patterns. It’s data mining.”
Watch it, below:
This morning, former congressman and “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough sounded-off against the government’s phone data collection and PRISM.
“It’s not an all-or-nothing thing,” he said of the national security scenario. “We should keep this country safe without the federal government having access to everything 300 million Americans do online.”
This comes after yesterday’s excoriating commentary that was already offered by both Scarborough and former George W. Bush staffer Nicolle Wallace.
Radio host Mark Levin also didn’t take too kindly to the government’s snooping. During an appearance on “Your World,” he told host Neil Cavuto that the elements of a “police state” are now visible present. Recognizing that some may see this claim as an overreach, he added, “and I’m not overstating it.”
“That’s not how national security works … I don’t care what the Supreme Court said 30 years ago or what some judge said 15 minutes ago,” Levin continued. “This is America, and our government is collecting way too damn much data on we the private citizens!”