Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Exchange of the day: Mary Katharine Ham explains the difference between spying and surveillance to CNN panel

This exchange between Mary Katharine Ham and a CNN panel on the differences between spying and surveillance is a few days old, but as Mollie Hemingway says below, we’re still “chuckling” over it.
In summary, there is no difference between the two words “because they’re synonyms”:
I keep chuckling over this exchange:

FINNEY: But why spying instead of surveillance if you know the difference.


MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because they're synonyms. That's why. 

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HAM: Surveilling Americans is indeed a very large and scary deal... And it remains one now just as it was then.

FINNEY: ...again, in using the word spying, he was trying to throw a negative connotation on --

HAM: There's a negative connotation on spying on American citizens.

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Bonus exchange:
Listening to @mkhammer having to explain to the @CNNSotu table what the word "spying" means was comically tragic. Looking @jaketapper in the eye and saying, "If you're surveilling someone, you're spying on them." Jake graciously conceded the point. LOL
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This, naturally, triggered Resistance warrior Seth Abramson, who asked MKH to apologize:
4/ What @mkhammer could do, as could anyone who makes a mistake on TV, is go on social media and say, I made a mistake and said the Attorney General was talking about authorized surveillance when he was talking about unauthorized surveillance. And that apology should be accepted.
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Er. . ., yeah. That’s not going to happen:
He clarified & said that’s what he was referring to; there is an open question & IG investigation into whether there was improper use of FISA here; & I’ve always been VERY wary of gov’t surveillance of American citizens bc there’s plenty precedent for abuse, even when authorized.
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I fail to see how that makes me a dissembler. You think “spying” has negative connotations? Good, govt surveilling American citizens w/o their knowledge, esp through FISA Ct, should have negative connotations. It could just be that I...disagree with you.
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And, if that puts me on the opposite site of the issue from someone like Clapper, who lied under oath to Congress about *spying* on American citizens by dragnetting our data, I’m okay with that.
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