Earlier today on CNN’s Situation Room, a conversation between Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer:
JC: So after Nixon was doing this illegal eavesdropping on Americans, they made this, ah, they creted this court in the Justice Department that is specifically authorized to okay these wiretaps if the Administration asks permission, is that right?
WB: In 1978 they did that, yeah. It is called the FISA…
WB: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
JC: And if my reading is correct they have turned down exactly five requests in the last 25 years out of tens of thousands and you can even get permission up to 72 hours after you have conducted the wiretap, right?
WB: That is correct.
JC: So why can’t they pick up the phone and say we want to do this?
WB: They have said that the new technology requires a different klind of process and they don’t necessarily have that standard, probable cause that would jusitify a court warrant they just need to do it to save your life.
JC: Yeah. Well you know what, he’s in big trouble, and, and I can’t wait for the hearings to start in January.
Jack Cafferty is either as thick as a brick because he can’t understand the arguemnts that are everywhere and easily available, or he’s a old lefty partisan dressed up as a talking head, or both.
Either way, he’s an embarassment to CNN. Pick up a phone? Big trouble?
Blitzer is working hard to make his show respectable, his internet reporters are carving out a good niche, and even the talking heads are improving when it comes to sophistication and balance.
But Cafferty undoes the progress on almost a daily basis. It is painful to watch Blitzer cover for Cafferty’s many shortcomings, including his unwillingness to open a book, or even a paper other than the New York Times.