National security reporter Walter Pincus took to the pages of the Washington Post earlier this week to attack NSA leaker Edward Snowden and by extension Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who initially broke the story. It is safe to say that the Pincus column was riddled with factual errors, half-truths, and innuendo because the Post has just issued a lengthy three paragraph correction.
(It is worth noting that this is not the first time the Post attacked Greenwald’s credibility.)
Hours after the Pincus column ran, Greenwald responded with a devastating rebuttal (that was made available online). As a result, Pincus and the Post have now had to correct three specific issues and the main thrust of the column, which tried to make it look as though Greenwald, Snowden, and Wikileaks had colluded in some way to steal and expose national security secrets.
Pincus claimed that Greenwald had at one time written an article for Wikileaks. Not true.
Pincus claimed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had “previewed” Greenwald’s story weeks before it broke (and therefore had advance knowledge of it) during a May 29 interview. Not true.
Pincus failed to mention that Snowden had worked in the intelligence community for four years. This lack of context made it sound — at least to me — as though Pincus was insinuating that WikiLeaks, Snowden, and possibly Greenwald had conspired to get Snowden into his last position at Booz Allen (where he only worked for a few months) in order to steal documents.
That Pincus made these errors in the first place is shocking enough; that they got past who-knows-how-many Post editors is mind-blowing.
We have seen this before, though. Any journalist who bolts from the mainstream media’s Narrative Plantation that demands Barack Obama be protected, coddled, and guarded, will always face blowback from his so-called colleagues. Greenwald dared hold Obama to the same standard he did Bush (something the media see as apostasy), and now he has seen no less than David Gregory, Chuck Todd, and The Washington Post go to extraordinary lengths to undermine him.
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