Associated Press staff writer Katherine Shrader again used the White House's preferred terminology -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
In her February 17 article, AP staff writer Katherine Shrader again used the White House's preferred terminology -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program. Media Matters for America previously noted that Shrader used a similar term in a February 9 article without pointing out that it is one promoted by the Bush administration to cast the controversial program in a way most likely to secure the public's support. In fact, reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post make clear that the term far understates the huge net cast by the program: Far beyond "terrorist surveillance," the program has monitored the communications of thousands of people with no relationship to Al Qaeda.
While the term appears to have originated on December 22 with the right-wing news website NewsMax.com, the White House first adopted it in a January 22 backgrounder on Bush's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept communications of U.S. residents without court warrants. Bush first used the term publicly in a January 23 speech at Kansas State University in which he said of the NSA's activities, "It's what I would call a terrorist surveillance program."
On January 24, Shrader contributed to an article on Bush's speech written by AP staff writer Nedra Pickler that clearly identified the term "terrorist surveillance program" as a "new label" promoted by the president:
With congressional hearings set to begin on this issue Feb. 6, Bush kicked his administration's new intensive public relations effort to win support for the program run by the National Security Agency. As part of that, he gave it a new label -- the Terrorist Surveillance Program.
But in a February 9 article, Shrader used the term without informing readers of its origins:
At least one Democrat left saying he had a better understanding of legal and operational aspects of the anti-terrorist surveillance program. But he said he still had a number of questions.
And in the February 17 article, "Spying Program Prompts Political Jitters," Shrader continued her use of the use of the term:
Polls show approval for Bush's U.S.-based terrorist surveillance program is growing. An AP-Ipsos poll last week showed that people are now evenly divided on whether the administration should be required to get warrants before monitoring domestic calls overseas.