Allied Trouble

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, received reports that her cell phone had been intercepted by American officials on Thursday, Oct. 24.  The Chancellor and other German officials had heard reports of the alleged phone tap days prior, but disregarded them.  Documents which proved of the intelligence tap were confirmed and scrutinized on Thursday.  The documents were obtained and distributed by the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden.  Snowden was responsible for releasing dozens of classified information regarding the surveillance of other countries.  He is currently living under political asylum in Russia.

Upon learning of the phone tap, our ally and German chancellor became enraged at the news.  Merkel and President Obama have exchanged several heated phone calls regarding the invasion of privacy.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal covered this issue on October 24.  New York Times writer, Alison Smale, published: “U.S. Envoy Is Summoned by Germany Over Spying Report.”  Wall Street Journal writers, Anton Troianovski, Siobhan Gorman, and Harriet Torry, published: “European Leaders Accuse U.S. of Violating Trust.

New York Times journalist, Smale, certainly covered the anger and disappointment expressed by Merkel.  Smale makes sure to include the sequence of events which Merkel expressed her emotions toward the press and U.S President Obama.  Smale even incorporates quotes from other international officials.  She states: “If that is true, what we hear, then that would be really bad,” Mr. de Maizière told ARD, Germany’s leading state television channel. America is Germany’s best friend, he noted, adding: “It really can’t work like this.”  Thus, the emotional response is prevalent, but the facts and details of the actual report are lacking.  Furthermore, there is a lack of alleged citizen and American reports.  This article covers one side: the German politicians.  The beginning and middle of the article state that there are angry German citizens.  “Leaders and citizens in Germany, one of America’s closest allies, simmered with barely contained fury.”   Yet there is no proof (AKA quotes) that these “citizens” are angered or are even aware of the phone tapping.  Also, I found it interesting and misleading that Smale’s uses the word “spying” in her title, but neglects to mention the word anywhere else in the article.  Instead she uses words like “monitoring” and “tapping into.”

The Wall Street Journal writers’ introduction states: “Outrage over alleged U.S. spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone spread across Europe on Thursday, threatening to complicate an array of America’s trans-Atlantic interests.”  This is a strong lead; however, I feel that certain things need to be altered.  First, I like that the writers used the word “alleged.”  Additionally, the use of this word makes me question the accuracy of the NY Times article.  Second, the introduction states that this incident has threaten to complicate foreign matters.  If that’s the case, I would like to know how it has threatened to complicate matters.  This is a reasonable and logical statement, but it needs to be followed with some sort of evidence and/or quotes.

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