Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept, formerly of The Guardian newspaper, laid out in an interview with Slate magazine that the media in the United States has decided to band together in a last-ditch effort to stop the rise of 2016 GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.
Greenwald, the progressive journalist who broke the Edward Snowden mass government surveillance storyline, was asked what he thought about Donald Trump’s press conference recently in which Trump joked that Russia should release any emails it has from 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s illicit private home-brew email server from her time as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State.
“What did you think of Trump’s press conference? You’ve gone after people who you thought were smearing those denying a Trump-Russia connection, and you’ve used the word McCarthyite to describe them. But now Trump has encouraged the Russians to find or release more Hillary Clinton emails,” Slate asked Greenwald.
In his response, Greenwald detailed how the media in the United States has decided to bloc together against Trump’s candidacy for the presidency:
OK, so, I am glad you asked about that because this is the conflict that I am currently having: The U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president. I don’t have an actual problem with that because I share the premises on which it is based about why he poses such extreme dangers. But that doesn’t mean that as a journalist, or even just as a citizen, that I am willing to go along with any claim, no matter how fact-free, no matter how irrational, no matter how dangerous it could be, in order to bring Trump down.
Greenwald bashed the New York Times for pushing, in his words, “unmitigated bullsh*t.” He went on to say:
So, literally, the lead story in the New York Times today suggests, and other people have similarly suggested it, that Trump was literally putting in a request to Putin for the Russians to cyberattack the FBI, the United States government, or get Hillary Clinton’s emails. That is such unmitigated bullsh*t. What that was was an offhanded, trolling comment designed to make some kind of snide reference to the need to find Hillary’s emails. He wasn’t directing the Russians, in some genuine, literal way, to go on some cybermission to find Hillary’s emails. If he wanted to request the Russians to do that, why would he do it in some offhanded way in a press conference? It was a stupid, reckless comment that he made elevated into treason.
But then Greenwald questioned whether, ultimately, the media’s tactics against Trump would be successful. He compared them to the media’s and establishment’s tactics against the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, which obviously failed as Brits voted overwhelmingly to “Leave” the European Union. He continued:
You interviewed Chris [Hayes] about Brexit and I just want to submit to you that the mistake the U.K. media and U.K. elites made with Brexit is the exact same one that the U.S. media and U.S. elites are making about Trump. U.K. elites were uniform, uniform, in their contempt for the Brexit case, other than the right-wing Murdochian tabloids. They all sat on Twitter all day long, from the left to the right, and all reinforced each other about how smart and how sophisticated they were in scorning and [being snide] about UKIP and Boris Johnson and all of the Brexit leaders, and they were convinced that they had made their case. Everyone they were talking to—which is themselves—agreed with them. It was constant reinforcement, and anyone who raised even a peep of dissent or questioned the claims they were making was instantly castigated as somebody who was endangering the future of the U.K. because they were endorsing—or at least impeding—the effort to stop Brexit. This is what’s happening now.
Greenwald said most people supporting Donald Trump for president won’t care about the media spin against him on this front.
“Do you think the people voting for Donald Trump because they feel their economic future has been destroyed, or because they are racist, or because they feel fear of immigrants and hate the U.S. elite structure and want Trump to go and blow it up, give the slightest sh*t about Ukraine, that Trump is some kind of agent of Putin?” Greenwald said. “They don’t! Just like the Brexit supporters. The U.K. media tried the same thing, telling the Brexit advocates that they were playing into Putin’s hands, that Putin wanted the U.K. out of the EU to weaken both. They didn’t care about that. That didn’t drive them. Nobody who listened to Trump could think that was genuinely a treasonous request for the Russians to go and cyberattack the U.S. government.”