Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More on the Glenn Greenwald - David Gregory Controversy -OR- Advocacy v. Beltway Lapdog Journalism: A Study in Contrasts

I was going to post some pictures I took on Sunday and an update, but instead I want to return to the topic I mentioned in my previous entry:  The Glenn Greewald - David Gregory side story to the Edward Snowden affair.

(Snowden, by the way, did not fly to Cuba today but apparently stayed in Russia -- which is probably just as well for him for the time being. Besides, can you imagine something happening to that Aeroflot flight en route to Havana because of all the surveillance going on, maybe jamming its communications, or maybe some Top Gun U.S. fighter pilot trailing it who wants to "be a hero" and apprehend him?)


The more I've thought and read about it, the more I realize how outright disgusting was David Gregory's attempted smear of Glenn Greenwald on Meet the Press Whore on Sunday in response to the whole Snowden affair.

Rather than opining on it at length, I direct the interested reader to the pieces linked below. I will say, though, that the episode is powerful confirmation of how "embedded" and whored out is the elite / insider Beltway media and punditocratic establishment.

Not only does Gregory subscribe to the view of the Empire -- that Glenn Greenwald "aided and abetted" the "espionage" of Snowden -- but he then point blank asks him to concur in this view in an interview without even bothering to couch it in any conditional language.

As Erik Wemple (see first link below) and others noted, it had the "how long have you been beating your wife?" insinuation to it. (Yes, Greenwald is totally gay, not to mention more or less and ex-pat living in Rio de Janeiro.) Wemple also takes on the alleged "criminality" issue by explaining the 2001 Supreme Court case of Bartnicki v. Vopper. The U.S. Government would have a high bar of proof (although at this point, who knows).

But beyond that, and as is pointed out in some of the pieces linked below, Gregory and many "establishment" journalists have acted as a conduit for classified information numerous times -- i.e., he has committed a felony -- whenever he interacts with this or that top government official that strategically leaks something favorable or intended to create a favorable impression. But in that case, it's A-OK.

Think all the Bush / Cheney lies related to Iraq and everything that flowed from it. The "tough" questions he asked her just ass-kissing and toadying while also showing that he favors torture. He wouldn't dare ask if Cheney is  a war criminal because he is incapable of thinking in those terms, in turn, because of his social standing in the D.C. power and related social structure (see Andrew Sullivan link below).

To that last point, would you be surprised to learn that his wife works at the same high octane law firm as Liz Cheney. And there you have it -- everything you need to know.

Stories / columns (with embedded links):

"David Gregory whiffs on Greenwald question" by Erik Wemple, Washington Post online, June 23, 2013. (Yes, The WaHoPo online is far better to the print edition.)

Greenwald: Beltway media types are 'courtiers to power' by Erik Wemple, June 24, 2013

In this piece, Wemple quotes New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin (pictured at left), who said on CNBC that Greenwald should be arrested -- only to later deny it in a Tweet. Idiot.

Behold: The greatness that is Andrew Ross Sorkin, courtier to Empire & Oligarchy. Journalists advocating arresting other journalists who dare question power and engage in actual adversarial journalism.

Specifically, go through his 18 points.

And finally, there is this by Andrew Sullivan (who I actually know as a bar acquaintance, though he would only recognize me by sight, not by name) ...

"David Gregory Is What’s Wrong With Washington" by Andrew Sullivan, The Dish blog (June 24, 2013)

Sullivan concludes with the following:

"But an actual journalist, Glenn Greenwald, not part of the Village, who has made more news this past fortnight than the entire coterie Gregory lives among and for? The gloves are off. I'm not going to attack Gregory for asking a sharp question of another journalist, however odd? I am merely going to note that he has been far tougher on this journalist for doing his job than on Dick Cheney for abdicating his.

At some point the entire career structure of Washington journalism – the kind of thing that makes David Gregory this prominent – needs to be scrapped and started over. And then you realize that it already has.

And the change is accelerating."

Maybe what we need is it to be 1998 all over again and just call The Great and Mysterious Martha "M.J." McAteer to implement her preternatural journalistic gate-keeping of the media horse-park as she did while at The Washington Post print edition. Only "establishment" and angry conservative voices were allowed.

Regardless, let me just second the point: David Gregory is what's wrong with Washington "embedded" corporate journalism and its close cousin, pro-corporate and/or right-leaning punditry in the early 21st Century in this time of Empire & Oligarchy. We live in an ugly time.


OK, that's all for now. It is nearly 2AM as I post this and I have to go to bed. I was going to post my Sunday pics but that will have to wait until at least Wednesday (since I'm not taking the computer home). I had a productive day at work and a very good gym workout including jog, weight-lifting, and swim.


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