Glenn Greenwald

Glen Greenwald wanted to post an article on how media coverage of the Hunter-Biden case has concentrated on “Russia” and “disinformation” when there’s good reason to believe the documents are true. The Intercept would not accept it, so he resigned.

Matt Taibbi has written a long piece and if you want the details, go there. It includes the actual texts of emails and as someone who has both edited and been edited, I agree with Taibbi, these are emails from an editor who want the author to write a different article and won’t let it thru till he does.

The bottom line here is that whoever provided the emails and texts), there is, so-far, no reason to believe they are false. Quoting from Taibbi:

When the likes of Brennan, Clapper, and Hayden wrote a joint letter decrying the recent Post story as a seeming Russian mischief, they were very careful in what they said. They used the term “information operation” instead of “misinformation,” and prominently included the line, “We do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”

Now I don’t care if there was Russian involvement, but the Biden campaign has refused to deny any of these texts or emails being real. My experience is that if a subject won’t deny, there’s fire, not just smoke.

This story is essentially identical to the DNC emails story of the last election, where it was shown that the DNC had cheated on Hillary’s behalf. That was never denied, all that was done is say “this is Russian and Russians are bad.”

But wherever the information came from, it was true and the DNC had colluded with Hillary to hurt Sanders’ chances in the primary, which was news that Americans had a right to know, no matter what the source. (There is no norm in journalism for not publishing “stolen” information. If there was, the Pentagon papers could never have happened.)

As far as I can tell, odds are that the Biden information is true. Of course it was released in a way meant to harm Biden the most; at a key point in the election. The people releasing it have an agenda. That’s no different from anyone else releasing information to journalists: they have agendas. (I still get PR emails every day. They always have an angle and something they want.)

The questions you ask are “is this true?” and “is this something the public should know?”

If Joe Biden’s son was using his father, and involving his father in corruption, that’s something the public deserves to know.

That the coverage has concentrated on “this is disinformation” and “it’s from Russia” without proving either, is pathetic.

This doesn’t change the fact that Trump is obviously FAR more corrupt than Biden, but Biden’s corruption is a story and deserves to be published.

There’s a lot of hate for Greenwald, a TON of it, because he never bought into the Russian interference story and spoke out against it repeatedly. (Remember the “Russian bounties for US soldiers lives that turned out false?).

People hate Trump. They see him as uniquely bad (Iraqis would laugh at these posers), and they have been corrupted by him. Because he is uniquely bad they feel it is OK to throw aside their own ethics and principles to fight him. This has especially infected a lot of journalists and bloggers.

Greenwald kept pointing out that they had violated their own principles. People hate that. They really, really can’t stand being shown up that way.

And so they hate Greenwald. (Who, as an aside, put himself at personal physical risk by reporting stolen information which hurt Bolsonaro, who rules Brazil where Greenwald lives.)

I don’t agree with Greenwald on everything (I don’t agree with anyone on everything, even myself.) But he’s been consistent, largely intellectually honest and put himself on the line repeatedly for his principles.

As far as I can tell Russia did interfere in the US election, but the interference didn’t amount to much. Less than Hillary refusing to campaign in battleground states. Certainly Russia interfered less than the US routinely interferes in other countries elections, including Russia’s. It’s a story, but it didn’t cause Hillary’s loss, except inasmuch as everything caused Hillary’s loss.

The group think based on Trump hatred has had vastly corrosive effects on journalistic integrity. It reminds me of when the New York Times refused to publish a story on widespread wiretapping just before the 2004 election, because they didn’t want to “interfere” with the election. In that case, obviously, they wanted Bush to win. In this case, most journalists want Biden to win.

You can have a preference and opinion, and the editorial pages exist so you can express that. What is not OK is allowing that to infect your news coverage.

This norm, needless to say, is routinely violated. Every single day. In the early 2000s it was for Republicans, Bush and the Iraq war. Now it’s for Biden and against Trump.

Perhaps they’re right this time, but they were wrong last time, and more to the point, journalism is how citizens are informed. You can have your own opinion, but if people believe you are slanting the facts, they stop trusting the press and stop listening.

And then, even when you tell the truth, they don’t listen. Decades of increasing lies, from the repeal of the fairness doctrine, have led to a place where most people don’t trust the media. The media didn’t call Trump on his lies in 2016 when it mattered or Bush on his lies when it could have saved a million lives. Now they call Trump on his lies, but refuse to treat accusations against Biden fairly.

The media is the boy who cried wolf. Nowadays even when they sometimes tell the truth, many people don’t believe them, and that’s reasonable. That’s sensible. Because how can you know if this time is the time the truth serves whatever cause they now believe in or have to support because of their publishers?

And that’s the actual problem.

Update: (You can read Greenwald’s own comments on his decision to leave here. Particularly damning is that he was not involved in the Reality Winner situation (where the Intercept’s editors basically gave her up to be imprisoned.))

Everything I write here is free, but rent isn’t, so if you value my writing, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.