A new poll published on Tuesday revealed that Americans are evenly split over the media’s reporting on the federal government’s surveillance programs.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while 47 percent of Americans thought that the media should report on the “secret methods gov’t is using to fight terrorism,” 47 percent held the opposite view.
Also, a majority of members of both major parties — 51 percent Republican and 51 percent Democrat — said that they preferred that the media not report on the issue; 43 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats said they were in favor of the media reporting on the programs.
Fifty-one percent of independents, on the other hand, said that they believed the media should report about the anti-terror tactics.
The survey was conducted between July 17 and 21.
“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” President Barack Obama told late-night talk show host Jay Leno Tuesday. “What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack.”
Obama’s denial of a domestic spying program came a day after Reuters revealed that a secret unit inside of the Drug Enforcement Administration was funneling tips from the National Security Agency to local law enforcement.
Recipients of a DEA tip were then instructed to lie about how they came about their evidence.
Last week Friday, the administration ordered the closing of 22 U.S. Embassies in the Middle East and Africa due to an intercepted electronic message between al-Qaida leaders about a planned major attack against the U.S. facilities.
The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that the intercepted message was actually a conference call that took place between senior al-Qaida leaders throughout the region.