Thursday morning on the Fox News Channel’s morning show “Fox and Friends,” the three hosts responded with alarm to news that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone records of millions of cell phone customers wholesale and with no regard to accusations of wrongdoing.
The trio were clearly alarmed about the spying, saying that it might be a violation of the PATRIOT Act.
“What is the objective of getting these numbers and collecting all these numbers from all the millions of Americans?” asked co-host Brian Kilmeade. “Are they overseas calls? Is there terror activity? Is there reason to be suspicious? Or is this abuse of the PATRIOT Act?”
Steve Doocy, suddenly a legal expert of PATRIOT Act violations, said that this kind of data seizure is a violation of the Act’s section 215, which “said that you could go after people based on individual investigations,” but forbids data collection from average citizens. He went on to call it a “gigantic overreach” on the Obama administration’s part.
However, in 2006, Doocy and other Fox hosts were saying the exact opposite about NSA wiretaps.
Media Matters reported that in the wake of revelations that the NSA might be conducting wholesale data-mining on U.S. citizens, the hosts of “Fox and Friends” openly nixed the term “warrantless wiretapping” in favor of calling the spying “the terrorist surveillance program” and went out of their way to justify the practice.
On January 25, 2006, Kilmeade said, “Let’s call it the terrorist surveillance program. That would be a lot easier.”
Doocy concurred, “And more accurate.”
“Yeah, more accurate too,” Kilmeade said. “If you’re for the NSA wiretapping without going to the FISA court, I guess warrantless, then most likely you’re Republican. If you are against it, you most likely are a Democrat.”
Watch the video, embedded below via Mediaite: