By Justin Sink
Sunday morning talk shows appear as if they will be dominated this week by guests discussing the president’s proposed reforms to end the controversial government collection of telephone metadata.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” will feature Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), an outspoken critic of the administration’s top-secret surveillance programs, former National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter and Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York City during the September 11 attacks.
Earlier this week, the White House announced it would pursue legislation to eliminate the National Security Agency program that collected information about Americans’ telephone calls. Instead, the records would remain with the phone companies. Government investigators seeking to search the phone records would be required to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
At a press conference at a nuclear summit in the Netherlands, Obama said his proposal "ensures that government is not in possession of that bulk data."
"I want to emphasize once again that some of the dangers that people hypothesized when it came to bulk data, there were clear safeguards against," he said. "But I recognize that people were concerned about what might happen in the future with that bulk data. This proposal that's been presented to me would eliminate that concern."
The appearance also comes on the heels of a report in German magazine Der Spiegel that the NSA and British intelligence services spied on German Internet service providers. The report, based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, could further strain the relationship between the U.S. and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was upset to learn last year that the U.S. had been tapping her cell phone as part of its surveillance efforts.
White House senior adviser David Plouffe is certain to get questions about the proposed surveillance reforms, as well as the healthcare rollout and crisis in Ukraine during his appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” Plouffe could also get questions about the administration’s new strategy to reduce methane emissions, announced on Friday.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of both the Senate Energy and Senate Environment committees, is likely to discuss the rules, which aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels, during his appearance on Fox News.
Other guests will include NCAA president Mark Emmert on CBS, which is currently broadcasting the Final Four men’s basketball tournament. Navy Cmdr. William J. Marks, the spokesman for the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet, will appear on the same show to discuss U.S. efforts to search for the missing Malaysian airliner.