Deliver Me from Glenn Greenwald and Fox News

glenn greenwaldGlenn Greenwald can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

Meet the Press host David Gregory had the temerity – from Greenwald’s perspective – to ask the Guardian newspaper scribe, blogger and lawyer, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

To this old reporter, that sounded like a fair question. It was tough, but not out of bounds.

Greenwald fired back with a how-dare-you reply, and he all but called Gregory a traitor to the Fourth Estate: “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themself a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence – the idea that I have aided and abetted him in any way.”

Gregory kept his cool. “The question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you’re doing,” he suggested, adding that he was only posing a question other people had asked and was not “embracing anything.”

Greenwald makes no bones about embracing Snowden, though the story about him is still unfolding. Most Americans -– myself included -– are clueless about Snowden’s motives and where the story — and Snowden — will end up.

After blabbing to Greenwald, Snowden took a powder to Hong Kong and Russia and was supposed to fly on to Ecuador via Cuba .

Dare we think it’s possible that Snowden shared some secrets with his accommodating Chinese and Russian hosts? No way, according to Greenwald.

“I think he is very clear about the fact that he did it because his conscience compelled him to do so just like Daniel Ellsberg did 50 years ago when he released the Pentagon papers and also admits he broke the law,” Greenwald told Gregory after conceding that Snowden violated the law.
Of course, Greenwald offered no proof that Snowden leaked classified information because his conscience was digging him.

At 63, I’m old enough to remember Ellsberg. He stayed stateside to face the music. Snowden skedaddled.

True confession time:

  • I am a left-leaning, union-card carrying Democrat who voted for the president twice and even chipped in a few coins to his campaign.
  • I have no idea what to make of the NSA spying business. I admit I don’t have all the facts (and neither does Greenwald). I want to hear more before I make up my mind one way or the other.

But here’s my question for Greenwald: Is it possible your guy Snowden sang to make the Obama administration look bad?

Even The Huffington Post, which tut-tutted Gregory’s question as “shocking” in a headline — has reported that Snowden “is a fan of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).” An uber-right-wing libertarian, Paul never misses a chance to demonize the president.

Snowden chipped in $500 to Paul’s campaign in 2012. Paul is reportedly using Snowden to raise money for his Campaign for Liberty organization.

Anyway, in my youth, I was a columnist for a daily paper in my native Kentucky . I didn’t do hard news, but I knew news reporters weren’t supposed to take sides in stories. There was a wall of separation between news and opinion.

The libertarian, or whatever, Greenwald has breached that wall, like the right-wingers have at Fox News. Greenwald seems to fancy himself an objective sort of reporter. The Fox folks claim they’re “fair and balanced.” Baloney.

Fox is the GOP’s defacto propaganda ministry. Greenwald pushes a point of view; Gregory was on the money in calling him “a polemicist.”

For sure, Greenwald is no Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein.

Berry CraigIn sleuthing the Watergate scandal, they let their stories speak for themselves. They didn’t advocate; they reported and let John and Jane Q. Citizen draw their own conclusions. We Americans were better for it.

The likes of Greenwald and the Fox propagandists are a throwback to the time when almost all newspapers were unabashedly partisan. There was no barrier between news and commentary. Old time editors and reporters deliberately slanted the news to make their party or their position on an issue look good and the other side look bad. And Jane and John Q were worse off for it.

Berry Craig

Monday, 24 June 2013

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Comments

  1. fresnoman4man says

    I am on the side of truth and justice which is with Eric Snowden and Glenn Greenwald. Mr. Craig, you decry Mr. Greenwald as “partisan”, but so are you in your attack on these two very courageous and heroic figures.

  2. wethepeoplefor says

    I am surprised the LA Progressive published such a poor piece of writing.

    For one, Mr. Craig touts objectivity, yet in his article he reveals his own very clear and strong personal bias against both Ron Paul and Libertarians. And, does Mr. Craig honestly think using such divisive framing as “your guy Snowden” is objective?

    Secondly, how can Mr. Craig possibly think David Gregory’s question, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” was “a fair question” that was “not out of bounds?” Since when have such blatantly loaded questions as “Have you stopped beating your wife?” been considered fair and objective? Mr. Craig tries to conflate Glenn Greewald and Fox News in the title of his article; however, wasn’t David Gregory the one acting like “Fox News” with such a grossly weighted question?

    Third, what kind of “proof” (in the approximately 12 minute “Meet the Press” satellite interview) besides reporting the hearsay statements of Greenwald’s on-the-run source (Snowden) was Greewald supposed to provide to support Greenwald’s statement that “[Snowden]…[leaked classified information] because his conscience compelled him to do so…?” Greenwald states in this very quote that Snowden “is very clear about [this].” There are also plenty of other statements, at various points throughout the interview, in which Mr. Greenwald explicitly sets forth what Snowden has said in their conversations about the context of every decision he is making and the belief in his whistleblower status. This supposedly disparaging point by Mr. Craig that Greenwald “offered no proof” about Snowden’s self-assessment is nonsensical and pointless.

    Finally, if Mr. Craig is so concerned about objectivity, why not focus on David Gregory’s egregiously leading question and (at least mention) the arguably misleading assertion about the ease of being a whistleblower through official means by Gregory’s round table guest Mike Murphy (who is a founding partner of Navigators Global, a lobbying firm that represents one of the NSA’s largest contractors and whose firm has lobbied for bills that would expand the NSA’s reach including the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)?

  3. says

    Glenn Greenwald is far more progressive than Berry Craig appears to be in this LA Progressive article.

    And David Gregory has repeatedly shown himself to be a blatant right-wing hack who deserved to be blasted by Greenwald. NBC’s Gregory might not be as bad as most of Fox News, but he is hardly unbiased.

    While I share Berry’s sorrow that the days of objective journalism are gone (or optimistically, largely in hibernation), there are many right-wing corporate money + government causes, to this sorry state of affairs, and Glenn Greenwald is HARDLY to blame. (Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, FNC, are far more responsible for all of that, though the list goes on and on for decades.)

    Too often, Democrats and Progressives push our own toward unilateral disarmament against the massive onslaught of right wing, party-line, lock-step, billionaire funded blasting of our democracy. If Craig wants to bring back the objective journalism from an earlier era, he should open his eyes to the larger powers and influencers that have brought us to the current situation, and strategize to battle those responsible, not just randomly fire shots at everyone in the game.

  4. Vincent De Stefano says

    Mr. Berry, before you cast aspersions on any journalist behavior you should look up the term “Muckraker”. H.L. Menken, Upton Sinclair, Amborose Bierce, I. F. Stone and a host of other superior journalists took courageous stands on principle and morality just like Glen Greenwald. The canard of “objective” journalism is not journalism it is simply parroting the government’s story. The lion share of our the press did that very well in the lead up to the Iraq war and we know where that ended. We do not need that kind of journalism as we have way too much of it now. What we need in this time of disappearing civil liberties are MORE Glen Greenwalds and far fewer Berry Craigs. If you wish to take a trip down memory lane I suggest that you visit the Nuremberg trials and what they taught us. Simply following orders is not a defense for complicity in government crimes; it is criminality. Calling the out our government when it spys all it’s citizenson without any oversight or due process is a crime of epic proportion. The job of a REAL journalist is to share that information with us and the world. Shame on you and Mr Gregory for calling True Journalism a criminal activity!

  5. Rich Broderick says

    I’m sorry. This commentary attempts to posit that the real issue here is simply partisan: Snowden is a fan of Ron Paul; Ron Paul tries to embarrass the President at every opportunity (a questionable assertion, to say the least), therefore his actions are simply motivated by partisan objectives. Throw in a false equivalency: Ellsberg stood his ground; Snowden didn’t, and somehow, this all makes Greenwald something no more of a journalist than the paid rightwing propaganda mouthpieces on Fox News.

    Sorry, but writer’s own partisanship has blinded him to the real issues at stake here: to an extent unprecedented even under George W. Bush, the Obama Administration has shredded the Fourth Amendment and looks to have its sights set on the First Amendment, too.

  6. Joseph Maizlish says

    Craig’s language about Snowden’s actions (“balbbed,” “took a powder”) and his intensity about Greenwald contrast with his silence about the context, namely what Snowden revealed, and beyond that, about the ridiculousness of the government trying to suppress terrorism while determinedly continuing to pursue its exploitative, underhanded, and highly destructive foreign/military policies in the Mideast and elsewhere which have provided much of the motivation for the terrorism.
    Distraction is the name of the game — though Craig may honestly be distracted rather than plotting to distract us.

  7. chicanostudent@hotmail.com says

    What an apologist pig Berry Craig is for attacking Glen on Dfavid Gregory;’s show- this is not the first time that Gregory has defended the Obama administration. what has happened is that liberals who would have attacked Bush or Nixson for what Snowded has revelaed are now in lock step with Obam and suffer from white guild. Black voters will not tolerate a single word spoken against Obama regardless if he is bring about a fascist state. The facts are clear- the NSA was supposed to listen in on foreign phone calls- not all the phone calls of the entire United State plus they have farmed out this task to private companies. Obama is a fool for saying we don’t listen in – of course they listen in and write down what is said but unliike the claim they foiled 50 attacks- its strange they could not stop the Boston Bombers, the Sandy Hook massacre or even the recent Santa Monica shooting.

  8. mattlove1 says

    A very funny piece, great satire. Reminds me of the pieces in The Onion by T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus.

  9. says

    Berry Craig, I support you 100% in your analysis of Glenn Greenwald’s behavior. I have to admit I wish David Gregory had worded his question differently–not quite so attack-doggish–but I don’t think asking Greenwald if his actions in this case are the actions of a journalist is the least bit out of line.

    Greenwald crossed that line long ago when he inserted himself in the middle of both the Bradley Manning case and now this one. He not only took sides (something most journalists, if they’re honest, are apt to do) he advocated mightily and went after those who didn’t agree.

    I don’t know all the facts about PRISM or our surveillance programs and neither does anyone else–including Greenwald or Snowden. There obviously are areas that need to scrutinized, but that was true long before Ed Snowden took it upon himself to grab up a bunch of documents and head for the hills.

    Let’s get to the bottom of it the right way. If we come to depend on any hotshot who has access to classified material to be our trusted go-to’s, we’re just asking for trouble. We need to fix the entire security clearance process. We need to look carefully at the entire classification process. We need to finally understand the truth about which of our freedoms are actually being violated through PRISM, FISA and all the other shadowy acronyms for homeland security..

    What we don’t need it to give up our privacy to the likes of the Mannings and Snowdens of the world. Their hearts and their consciences may be in the right place–who knows?–but when they release U.S documents to foreign nationals, as they both have, we shouldn’t be cheering, we should be shuddering.

    The truth is, we don’t know what they’ve sent out there, and what’s especially frightening is neither do they.

    • kevinzeese says

      How is reporting on the torture of Bradley Manning not reporting? How is disclosing one of the most important leaks in US history with Snowden not reporting? Gregory on the otherhand seems like a mouthpiece for empire who repeats government press releases — is that reporting? What government scandal has he ever broken?

      Releasing public to the media is necessary because the government is violating our privacy and constitutional rights with these massive dragnet searches. Do you think al Quaeda did not know the US was listening? From all reports they took extreme precautions to avoid being heard.

      More people are killed because of secrecy than transparency. The government has yet to show one person was hurt by Manning’s release of documents. The escalating nature of the security state is what is undermining US security. What we need to re-think is US Empire, the national security state and how the US interacts with the world. Hopefully, the releases of Manning and Snowden have begun that conversation.

  10. babysoft says

    Seems the comments here have more depth than the author, Mr. Craig! The author is only guilty of what he accuses Faux News and Greenwald going for gossip by slandering character instead of the real news story which is what our government is doing – gutting the 4th Amendment, leaders like DiFi who are charged with the responsibility to head of our intelligence committee leading a cover up and betrayal of what we elected her and Obama to do. The author is offended when Greenwald called BS on more sensationalized rag reporting by the press instead of in depth news???? Please. Give me Greenwald over Gregory any day and no I am not a Rand Paul fan.

  11. signalfire1 says

    Yes, because staying in the US, being permanently placed in prison with or without charges and unable to talk to lawyers is the american way.

    Time to put yourself out to pasture, you’re not a journalist, you’re a traitor to the Constitution and an apologizer for the traitors who are running this country.

    Greenwald had every right to chastise that dope and it was a wonder to see.

  12. Guest says

    What an embarrassing commentary. The 4th amendment is not an opinion. Mr Craig is simply blined by his own Obama partisanship. If he doesn’t know “what to make” of Prism et al, it’s because he has his eyes closed and his fingers in his ears. Daniel Ellsberg has already told us what he thinks of Edward Snowden and of Gleen Greenwald. He rejects the bullshit. We all should too.

  13. Lenny Isenberg says

    “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote by Lord Acton has never been truer than it is today in an America where there has been a systematic dismantling of checks and balances built into the constitution to fetter unrestricted government power, which clearly is what motivated Edward Snowden, Glen Greewald, and others who know clearly the slippery slope to totalitarian government power that only gets worse, if we say nothing.

    Corporations that are too big to fail have staged a defacto coup d’etat where neither political party deviates from their exclusively profit driven agenda, which requires doing things around the world in complete and utter derogation of what this country is supposed to stand for as a putative democracy. To stand against this doesn’t make you a violator of the Espionage Act, rather it makes you an American in the best sense of what we as a people have said we stand for.

  14. Linda Milazzo says

    First of all, does this author realize Bob Woodward has lost all credibility after his recent lie that he was being bullied by the Obama administration, when he clearly was never bullied? At this stage the only venue Woodward appears on is Fox cable. Perhaps the author should do a bit of homework before touting the virtues of Mr. Woodward.

    Now, aside from finding this article thoroughly ridiculous in its attack on Glenn Greenwald and its absurd insinuation that Ron Paul is influencing Snowden’s actions, if the author sincerely objects to opinion journalism, then why the #### is he publishing on what is presumably a left leaning publication? Shouldn’t he be seeking a publication with NO bias at all since he faults Glenn for writing from his bias??

    Is it possible this author is a bit of a hypocrite???

  15. Gary Corseri says

    Well…, carry me back to old Kentucky!

    Glad you wrote this, Mr. Craig… just as I’m glad Gregory said what he said and Greenwald responded as he did! Time to wash our dirty “laundry” and air it out in public! We’ve been burying our dirty stuff in the hamper… and frankly, it’s been smelling real bad!

    Oh, if only we could return to those good old days of yesteryear! When real journalists didn’t take sides (really? As in the days of William Randolph Hearst? “Send-me-the-pictures-and-I’ll-make-the-war” Hearst?). Or, as Archie and Edith sang, when,

    “girls were girls and men were men!

    Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again!”

    Au contraire, mon frere! We don’t need another Hoover and we don’t need romanticization about the golden age of American journalism! That has never been so! We have always been a contentious society–from glorious pamphleteer-visionaries like Thomas Paine (!) to the John Birchers of the 50s, and the Tea Partiers and Left Alternative Media folks now. We the People argue and contend; we advocate and clarify; challenge and revise. That’s the way our legal system is supposed to work… and that’s the way our journalistic and academic institutions are supposed to work!

    David Gregory was not asking Glen Greenwald some hypothetical, philosophical question about being “balanced” in his news reporting or in his opinions. Gregory’s was an ad hominem attack upon Greenwald’s motives and integrity. It was a dramatic pause, a shift in emphasis from the basic facts of the story–Snowden’s revelations about wide-spread government-corporate spying and violations of FISA laws and other protections–a pivot from that to throwing meat to the lions: in this case, throwing Greenwald and Snowden under the bus, “personalizing” the story for the peanut-crunching crowd who would just as soon be watching Jerry Springer as questioning the niceties of journalistic ethics.

    Like Gregory, Mr. Craig is here diverting attention from the crucial points about government spying and lying. In his pining over the more clearly-defined-in-its-boundaries past of Woodward and Bernstein types, he confuses his coveralls with cover-ups! Dang it! We just can’t return to that past! We need to grow from it! Bernstein and Woodward went out on limbs in their day; those limbs have been sawn off now. There are other limbs to go out on now!

    Frankly, this is absurd:

    “At 63, I’m old enough to remember Ellsberg. He stayed stateside to face the music. Snowden skedaddled.”

    I have a few years on you, Mr. Craig, and I, too, remember Daniel Ellsberg (and I’ve had the good fortune and honor to meet him and talk a bit with him!). Had you been following current events as closely as your own reminiscences, you would know that Ellsberg has fully supported Snowden’s actions, has compared him to Nathan Hale (!), and lionized him as a “hero”! On this very day, on “Russia Today” (check it out online, if you can’t get it along with the “news and entertainment” on your cable network!), on this very day I heard Ellsberg proclaim that Mr. Snowden did exactly the right thing when he–how shall I put this?–”skedaddled”! Had he gone through the regular channels, up the chain of command at NSA, he would have been–how shall I put it?–BradleyManninged! LynneStewartized?

    Was it Cicero who bemoaned in his day, “O tempores, o mores!”? Oh the times, oh the morals! How difficult it was then to speak out, to take a moral position! How difficult throughout the ages! How difficult and courageous it is now!

  16. martaz says

    Sad. I voted for Obama in 08–enthusiastically. Silly me, I thought he was going to be the next FDR.

    You can really turn a blind to his actions simply because he is a Democrat? After all the revelations about Wall Street (read BAILOUT, written by the IG, a former Obama supporter) drones strikes, spy programs, his Hit List, his LIES, his appointments of Timothy Geithner, Rahm Emmanuel, Eric Holder, Michael R. Taylor, (former VP then lobbyist for Monsanto to the FDA !!!!) then you are supporting your party right or wrong and closing your eyes to Obama’s actions, which are inexcusable.

    In addition, Obama has caved to every issue the GOP challenged him on without a even pretense of a fight. If Obama is not spineless, then he is corrupt. With that level of intelligence and grace, he could have been a great president. But he’s turned out to be to the right of Ronald Reagan–a man he “admires.” Damn. I wish he would have admitted it BEFORE the election. I wouldn’t have waited in the voting line.

    I do not care WHY Snowden did what he did. I’m just happy that he did. This isn’t some sex scandal like the GOP tried to do to Clinton –these are war crimes and a destruction of OUR Constitution and Bill of Rights! It doesn’t matter if it’s Bush or Obama. it is wrong on a profound level.

    Snowden has said he expects to be killed, and I don’t doubt it. Obama will send another hit squad–this time to Ecuador. But the truth of what we have become is OUT. I prefer the ugliest truth to the prettiest lie, so I consider Snowden a hero.

    • misstc says

      Well said, indeed!! I voted for BO also and how disappointed I am now. Neither party represents the people anymore.

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