NSA’s Tucker Carlson targeting was no joke and other commentary

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Leftist: NSA’s Carlson Targeting Was No Joke

The National Security Agency’s inspector general announced a probe into allegations that the NSA wrongly intercepted the communications of Fox News host Tucker Carlson — which, argues Glenn Greenwald at his Substack, shows that Carlson’s claim is far from “frivolous.” IG Robert P. Storch “is a long-time ­executive-branch functionary” and “a widely ­respected bureaucrat in Washington” who has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, including a stint as the Justice Department’s deputy IG in the Obama era. When Carlson first aired his concerns, “corporate media outlets largely sided with the NSA, mocking Carlson for being conspiratorial and even accusing him of fabricating a story.” But the IG probe gives good reason to worry that NSA operatives unlawfully targeted him and sought to “weaponize the intelligence against him.”

Libertarian: GOP Joins in Sham Spending Bills

“The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is a sham” that only “sets up a much bigger round of explicitly partisan spending later,” roars Peter Suderman at Reason, noting sarcastically that it includes “essential infrastructure provisions like, er, requiring unproven new drunk-driving-prevention technology” and “reporting requirements for cryptocurrency.” Yet 19 Republicans voted for it anyway, claiming the bill will be deficit-neutral, though the Congressional Budget Office puts the net cost as at least $256 billion. They say it will restrain Democrats’ bid to shell out $3.5 trillion on another “big government, progressive-agenda spending bill,” but it does “no such thing.” In fact, Republicans are backing a “two-bill deal.” Why? To show that “Congress can get things done” — but they’re “big, terrible things.”

Eco desk: Greens’ Apocalypse Porn

“The green movement is a doomsday cult,” declares Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill. “Apocalypse porn is everywhere,” with “images of fire and floods” meant to raise awareness “about man’s self-made apocalypse”: “Change your ways or people will die.” It lets lawmakers off the hook: “Treating every disparate natural event as proof of the existence of an all-seeing, all-punishing global monster called ‘climate change’ absolves local politicians of responsibility for tackling natural crises.” Worse, this worldview “explicitly demotes what ought to be the great, galvanizing goal of ­humankind — the liberation of every human being from poverty — in favor of insisting that progress has gone too far, economic growth must be ­reversed, and we must all settle for less.” Those who believe this “when 3 billion people still live in extreme poverty” scare “me far more than any wildfire.”

From the right: Lightfoot’s Unequal Indignation

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot “can occasionally if inconsistently work herself up into a lather over COVID protocols, but she is far more reserved in her public comments about Chicago’s violence problem,” points out Jack Dunphy at PJ Media. She was “somber and measured in her remarks about the death of Chicago Police Officer Ella French,” calling out “the common enemy” of “gangs and guns.” But her remarks lacked “the moral indignation she brought when she excoriated people who were so depraved as to throw parties last summer,” whom she threatened with citation or arrest. These “hollow words from the mayor” confirm for Chicago cops that when “confrontations go awry, as some always will, Mayor Lightfoot and the media and the racial-grievance industry will rush in to demonize” police.

Media watch: Journalism’s Cuomo Problem

“Collateral damage in” Gov. Cuomo’s “political implosion” includes “the reputation of his brother, Chris Cuomo, the CNN host — and the integrity of the industry in which he works,” warns LZ Granderson in the Los ­Angeles Times, slamming “last year’s love-fest between the two, in which Chris repeatedly interviewed Andrew on CNN.” With Andrew “a high-profile face of the government response” to the pandemic, having his brother interview him “was a completely avoidable, self-inflicted wound that has come back to haunt all involved.” Public trust in the media is ­“impossible if we cross clear lines with stunts like presenting the Brothers Cuomo as a news segment.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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