'Disgraceful' Indeed: Fox Crew Ambushes NSA Whistleblower

You all may remember Russell Tice, the whistleblower who recently stepped forward to reveal that the Bush administration's NSA spying program included journalists and thousands of ordinary Americans.

Bill O'Reilly says he wanted to "interview" Tice but he declined. And goodness, we just can't imagine why. So Fox sent attack-dog producer Jesse Waters and one of those crack Fox ambush crews to ambush Tice outside of his home.

You can judge the performance for yourselves. But in case Fox's producers wonder why Tice wouldn't go on their program, they need only watch Waters' performance here to realize why he was wise to refuse. Fox wasn't interested in what he had to say or what evidence he might possess -- it only wanted to score some points against Tice and try to discredit his testimony. And incidentally, since it's clear O'Reilly doesn't understand such things (since it's been decades since he's been anything approaching a real journalist in any serious sense of the word), the word of an eyewitness to such activities is usually considered sound evidence they occurred, both in the journalistic world as well as in a court of law.

Tice, for those who may not recall, was a major source on the original NSA wiretapping story, and for that he faced a right wing smear job depicting him as "mentally unstable".

One can only imagine what an interview with O'Reilly would have been like. Considering some of his recent tirades, it seems likely he'd have come uncorked in classic "Do it live!" style.

I don't know about you, but I find these ambush interviews -- particularly when they go to people's homes and harass them while they're unpacking their groceries -- profoundly disturbing. Not only are they deeply unethical, they're also so invasive of people's privacy rights that they have a distinctly totalitarian aspect -- especially when so obviously in the service of right-wing authoritarian propaganda.

So spread the word: If a Fox News ambush crew approaches you, give them a single answer, repeatedly: Andrea Mackris. Andrea Mackris.

It's the only way they'll leave you alone. Otherwise, they'll just use cheap and journalistically disgraceful tactics like these to use you so they can spew their propaganda.

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