The UK Guardian‘s Glen Greenwald spoke to Michael Calderone from Rio de Janeiro yesterday. The man who broke the NSA snooping story commented on his contentious interview with NBC News’ David Gregory this past Sunday. During the “Meet the Press” segment, Gregory suggested that Greenwald “aided and abetted” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Greenwald says that he felt like “it’s Christmas and (he’d) been given the greatest, best gift that (he) could wish for.”
“My critique of the D.C. media has long been that instead of being adversaries to government power — to the government and political power — they’re servants to it and mouthpieces for it.”
Greenwald said that Gregory was doing the work of the Justice Department by putting “together a theory in public about why I, as a journalist, should be prosecuted,” along with or “call[ing] into question that I’m a journalist at all.” That interview, he said, exemplified the “critique that they’re so in bed with the circles of political power over which they’re supposed to acting as watchdogs — that they really have become nothing more than just appendages.”
At issue is the way Gregory chose to challenge Greenwald. Instead of referencing critiques of Greenwald’s actions from an objective perspective, Gregory sounded as though he was questioning Greenwald as a spokesperson or advocate for the government rather than an impartial journalist.
Rather than saying, “Some have suggested that you are guilty of aiding and abetting Mr. Snowden…” Gregory instead asked: “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?”
Greenwald says this is an indication that DC journalists no longer challenge the powerful political structure in Washington and, instead, do their bidding:
[I] just don’t accept or abide by the conventions and pieties that govern how they think journalists should behave. I don’t pretend that I have no opinions. I don’t pretend that I want to be a part of what it is they’re doing or have respect for it. I don’t. I think that actually establishment media circles have been pretty corrupted. It isn’t just that I’m expressing opinions, but it’s specifically the kind of opinions I’m expressing have placed me outside their incestuous circle.
Welcome to the fight, Mr. Greenwald.