Freelance journalist Joshua Foust has some blunt words for Glenn Greenwald. After several interactions with Greenwald over the years, Foust says he is a “a serial liar” and a “bully.”
Foust’s post needs to be read in full to get all the details but here is Foust’s summary of the problem with Greenwald:
Because he is not only a pathological liar but also a bully, very few in
the public sphere ever want to stand up for him. In fact, more than one
journalist has written me a private note of encouragement in standing
up to Greenwald, because for them the professional consequences of
fighting off his bulling followers and rebutting all of his lazy lies
are simple too overwhelming. So he is allowed to continue lying and
bullying people without recourse.
At this point, his constant lying is affecting not only the people he
lies about, but is contributing to a tremendous self-censorship by
those who see his lies and want to rebut them but are terrified of his
swarm of bullies ruining their days or their lives.
It is inexplicable that so few have ever called him out by name for
such deplorable, unethical behavior. So I am doing it as plainly as I
possibly can. Glenn Greenwald is a serial liar. He is a bully. And he
has no business being taken seriously ever again.
Foust’s post reminded me of my own experience with Greenwald and how I first heard of him. I’m not sure if Foust has ever heard this story about Greenwald but it shares the common themes of lying and bullying.
In the summer of 2006, conservative bloggers noticed that whenever Glenn Greenwald was attacked online, a cast of defenders would pop up to offer pro-Greenwald talking points. Ace of Spades was central to uncovering this. It turns out Greenwald’s defenders were sock-puppets (aliases to disguise your identity) emanating from Greenwald’s house in Brazil. Patterico wrote one of the funniest posts you’ll ever read summarizing the facts. Glenn Greenwald blamed the sock-puppets on his partner, but given the similarity in language it’s a stretch.
But we’re still not done noting instances in which Greenwald has been called out publicly for lying and bullying. In 2010, Wired’s editor-in-chief wrote a piece about Greenwald’s tactics attacking the magazine over a story about Bradley Manning:
While we welcome the honest views of other journalists acting in good faith, we now doubt this describes Glenn Greenwald. At his most reasonable, Greenwald impugns our motives, attacks the
character of our staff and carefully selects his facts and sources to
misrepresent the truth and generate outrage in his readership.
Greenwald’s most recent lie (which Foust also points out) made international news. It’s difficult to improve upon Foust’s conclusion “Glenn Greenwald is a serial liar. He is a bully. And he
has no business being taken seriously ever again.”