Idolization of Official Sources


Newsweek published an article by Kurt Eichenwald today that is a shocking example of reliance on official-source reporting,(not to mention the construction of a false narrative around events without direct association). Titled “How Edward Snowden Escalated the Cyber-War with China,” the piece angles its sources and quotes with an obvious agenda: to create a direct link between the Snowden revelations and harm to American enterprise (because if this thing has economic consequences, that hurts everyone). Eichenwald paints a picture of American business secrets being stolen on a mass scale by Chinese companies to be used to make them more competitive.

“If an American business invests hundreds of millions of dollars in developing an industrial product only to see the work stolen…it will eventually die,” Eichenwald writes.

“Now, though, with the world raging about the NSA secrets exposed by Snowden, the threat to American companies by Chinese hacking is being ignored once again, opening up the possibility that the threat that for so many years raised so much concern behind closed doors in Washington could now grow more destructive than ever.”

Other than citing heads of security-contractors who obviously share US government interests, Eichenwald only quotes an unnamed government official: “Snowden couldn’t have played better into China’s strategy for protecting its cyber activities if he had been doing it on purpose,'”

Where are the conflicting opinions that offer at least a challenge to this broad assertion? If the connection were as direct as Eichenwald would have us believe, and if US trade secrets are being stolen at such a rate, then how come this hasn’t been a larger issue before the Snowden leaks, and why have others not raised it post-leaks as a reason for NSA spying to continue?

Of course, Eichenwald will never be accused of creating a false connection between Snowden’s actions and non-existent adverse effects on American businesses, let alone bias for only referring to those with an interest in saying the Snowden leaks had been harmful. May the mainstream idolization of government and business officials continue.


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