Saturday, June 15, 2013

About Glenn Greenwald

I filled in for Elaine last night and am putting this here at the e-mail request of the person who feels Glenn Greenwald is under serious attack.

About Glenn Greenwald (C.I.)

C.I. filling in for Elaine.  She was kind enough to let me.  I could've posted at my site but I like to leave the snapshot up and since I've already posted repeatedly today, if someone wants a night off, my posting at their site means that they can grab it.

Tonight, I'm writing about Glenn Greenwald.  He's an attorney, used to write for Salon, now writes for the Guardian newspapers.

He's the one who delivered the scoop on Barack's spying on Americans and, it turns out, spying on the world.  This morning, I wrote:

An e-mail to the public account asks why I haven't defended Glenn Greenwald? The e-mailer argues it's because I don't like Glenn so I won't give him his due.
I don't like Glenn.  But go read the post I did filling in for Ann last week, I did give him his due.  If he is being attacked -- by anyone other than 'wacky' Peter King -- please advise me on that and we will defend him.
I don't care for Glenn.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't defend him on this.

I think that's pretty clear.  If he's being attacked, you let me know.

I'm sorry I don't read everything in the world nor am I parked in front of the TV watching every program.

I read several newspapers that are US newspapers.  I read England's The Financial Times.  I read a ton of Iraq newspapers.

I don't read the Guardian.  I have three good friends who are still with the newspaper.  If anything comes up that they want noted, they'll e-mail it to the public account or, if it's just gone up or about to go up online, they'll call me.  No offense to the Guardian, I don't read it on my own.  I hear about it.  At The Common Ills, we have it listed on the permalinks but it's one of millions of papers that I'm not flipping through.

So in the snapshot today, I didn't mention Glenn Greenwald.  The same whiner is back with an attack.  You know what else I didn't mention?  Feminist Wire Daily, Peter Hart's FAIR article, The Drone War and about 50 other things I wanted to work in.

But I was not aware that there was a piece at the Guardian about attacks on Glenn.

He wrote about the attacks today at length.

I think point four is the strongest:

(4) As we were about to begin publishing these NSA stories, a veteran journalist friend warned me that the tactic used by Democratic partisans would be to cling to and then endlessly harp on any alleged inaccuracy in any one of the stories we publish as a means of distracting attention away from the revelations and discrediting the entire project. That proved quite prescient, as that is exactly what they are attempting to do.
Thus far we have revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the PRISM program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress. Every one of those articles was vetted by multiple Guardian editors and journalists - not just me. Democratic partisans have raised questions about only one of the stories - the only one that happened to be also published by the Washington Post (and presumably vetted by multiple Post editors and journalists) - in order to claim that an alleged inaccuracy in it means our journalism in general is discredited.
They are wrong. Our story was not inaccurate. The Washington Post revised parts of its article, but its reporter, Bart Gellman, stands by its core claims ("From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may 'task' the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company's staff").
The Guardian has not revised any of our articles and, to my knowledge, has no intention to do so. That's because we did not claim that the NSA document alleging direct collection from the servers was true; we reported - accurately - that the NSA document claims that the program allows direct collection from the companies' servers. Before publishing, we went to the internet companies named in the documents and asked about these claims. When they denied it, we purposely presented the story as one of a major discrepancy between what the NSA document claims and what the internet companies claim, as the headline itself makes indisputably clear:

That's what happened, you may remember, with Jonathan Karl of ABC recently.  He did a report on GMA on a Friday morning about how Victoria Nuland demanded the Benghazi talking points be changed.

There was an online version with text. Paragraph 15 of the online version misquoted Ben Rhodes, the howler monkeys tried for weeks to discredit Karl with that.

That wasn't in Karl's report on TV.  That doesn't change what Karl reported, Nuland asked for changes both so Congress wouldn't know and so the press wouldn't ask her questions when she was at the podium (at the daily State Dept press briefings).

Are they picking at Greenwald now?

Apparently so.  Picking at his reporting, trying to find one detail that the can scream "false" and have it semi-stick so that they can then say, "See, it's all wrong!"

Glenn Greenwald's NSA reporting stands up.

The Nation runs a hit piece (they've actually run a second one -- when I saw the e-mail from the same guy and read Glenn's piece an hour or so ago, I got on the phone with a Nation friend to ask what was the deal -- I was told that the guy smearing Greenwald has now done a second piece attacking him).

Let's talk reality about The Nation magazine.  First, Justin Raimondo notes PM magazine in his column about the left.  PM basically was The Nation.  There was a loose 'shield' around it but that's the reality.  (And I know that because I buy journals and personal papers and have many of both from PM staff.  We've often used those when writing about PM at Third Estate Sunday Review over the years.) PM and The Nation both ran propaganda and did so knowingly.  No one wants to mention the name "Otto Katz" today.  Too bad, he's part of the history.  (See Third's "Remember Otto? The Nation appears to forget" from May 2008, for one example.  In 2010, a book about him by Jonathan Miles was published.)

A magazine that knowingly runs propaganda isn't much of a news source.  Nor is one that has a story on Dianne Feinstein abusing her position to get contracts for her husband's business but, instead of running the story, chooses to kill it.

As for Rick Perlstein?

The human veal liberal of Chicago's Hyde Park?

Let's all hope the day has not yet come where we have to take Perlstein seriously.

He's a pompous windbag wrongly applauded for writing books that meet expectations.  Not exceed.

His most recent book told you Nixon was bad.

Uh, yeah, that's sort of established fact.  Didn't need a new book on that one.

Dan Nosowitz has an article today for Popular Mechanics which notes, "Tech types are outraged by the media's misinterpretation of some of the aspects of the (very technical) PRISM story -- but the mistakes, if they are even mistakes, don't detract from the seriousnees of the scandal."

Searching, I see that Adam Levik attacks him at PJ Media. Levik doesn't know what he's writing about.  I could do a takedown on Glenn and I could do it accurately.  Levik's just tossing charges out there as facts and most don't even apply to Glenn.

I don't see any serious attack on Glenn.  I see a spoiled and pampered hanging-onto-Hyde-Park-by-his-fingernails Rick Perlstein whining.  I see Adam Levik completely misrepresenting who Glenn is and what he stands for.

I'm actually probably Glenn's biggest foe online from the left.  I'm not joking.  And if I'm not picking apart the piece, that says it's a strong piece.

Last week, when it was first published, I said Glenn should be proud of himself.  I stand by that.  He did a strong initial piece of reporting and has only consolidated that in the week that followed.  He should be damn proud of himself.

He wrote an article about an issue that matters.

That's more than any of his detractors can claim.

And now that article (and ones that have followed) have caused a national debate.

Again, that's more than any of his detractors can claim.

It's not easy to be criticized, I understand that.  I really do. It's why I never read reviews of my work.  (Much easier to do in the pre-online days.)  But I did my work and the critics did their work. By the same token, Glenn did his work and the critics are doing their work.  Sometimes that's nothing but jealousy.  Sometimes it's quite a bit more.  But unless you're going to get caught up in the "I will respond to everything!" trap, you have to learn to let it go.

I have a body of work (in the entertainment world, not press) that I'm very proud of.  Glenn would do himself a huge favor by learning to blow off some of the criticism, to even ignore it.  A career is peaks and valleys.  If you can't enjoy the peaks, how are you going to feel at the low points?  Just have fun with it.

And Glenn's latest piece on whistle-blower Ed Snowden is right here.

This is today's "Iraq snapshot:"