Staff Writer | Common Dreams | December 27, 2013
MSNBC host asks journalist if he has ‘crossed the line’ with Snowden, NSA coverage
This is the best word to describe accusations that former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald is merely a “spokesman for Edward Snowden,” so says the embattled journalist who has taken heat from corporate media and political commentators around the world for working with the NSA whistleblower to expose the vast dragnet surveillance practices of the spying agency.
In an interview on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, Greenwald was forced to defend himself once again when anchor Kristen Welker accused him of “crossing the line” with his coverage of the ongoing NSA revelations, which have shocked the world since last June, and asked him to respond to the ‘spokesman’ accusations.
“Every journalist has an agenda,” said Greenwald. “We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are.”
“I think every journalist has a viewpoint,” said Greenwald.
My viewpoint is very clear. I don’t hide it. Its that I think that what Edward Snowden did is very admirable and heroic. But at the same time the ultimate test of a journalist is – is what you publish accurate and reliable? And I think with regard to every story that we published over the last six months there hasn’t been a single correction made to any of them. Very few have been called into question.
Greenwald has before defended the notion that bias in the media is unavoidable and that the more honest you are about your viewpoint, the more integrity you have as a journalist.
“I think the point is not so much about MSNBC and what happens here,” Welker responded, “but more that sometimes when you talk about Edward Snowden you do defend him, and some people wonder if that crosses a line.”
“Sure, I do defend him just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day,” said Greenwald. “Not everybody, but a lot of people do,” he corrected.
“I don’t make any bones about the fact that I consider what Edward Snowden did to be quite heroic..” Greenwald said. “I, as a journalist, am very grateful when people sacrifice their own interest to come forward to bring transparency to the United States government. That to me is what journalism is about, and that’s what we need in the United States.”
Watch the exchange below.
Thursday’s interview follows accusations from Harvard Law School’s Alan Dershowitz who appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday after a previous Greenwald interview and said Greenwald is an “ideologue” who “doesn’t like America” or “Western democracies.”
“He’s never met a terrorist he didn’t like,” Dershowitz charged.
However, Greenwald did not take those accusations very seriously:
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