"I think 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?"
-- Glenn Greenwald, this morning on MSNBC
First of all, when MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker asked him the very legitimate question of how he responds to those who say he's nothing more than Snowden's PR flack these days, his reaction was -- wait for it -- to get snotty with her and accuse MSNBC of defending the Obama administration. It really is a standard Greenwaldian tactic and one that illustrates nicely the kind of juvenile intellectual dishonesty you're dealing with whenever you interact with him.
As for his implication that he's a real journalist because what he publishes is "accurate and reliable," nothing could be further from the truth, and that's always the issue I've had with him. I may not like his personality, but if the stories he ran were airtight and above-the-board I'd be defending him to the death. Unfortunately, Greenwald's journalism is so tainted by his own agenda that it's gotten to the point where everything he writes now has to be eyed with suspicion.
I get that we've written about this over and over and over and over again here at The Daily Banter, but maybe I'm bringing this up one more time in the hope that 2014 can be different from this past year. Greenwald's now picked up his ball -- in this case a treasure trove of Snowden documents -- and skulked off to his new home with Pierre Omidyar where he'll be able to practice his own special brand of journalism free of the constraints that hampered him at The Guardian. And by constraints I mean the need to concern himself with things like checking facts, sealing up sources, providing context, mentioning points that might disprove the argument he wants you to believe, and so on. Greenwald will be making up his own rules from here on out, which, if you've followed his career at all, means that he'll almost assuredly put himself in the position of being even less respected and more of a non-entity among serious journalists than ever before.
So here's to Glenn's last hurrah, everyone. Raise a glass to him for providing us with so much entertainment in 2013.
By the way, in case you were busy doing better things yesterday, Snowden delivered the annual "Alternative Christmas Message" on the U.K.'s Channel 4 yesterday (because apparently Bill Nighy was busy). The gist of his comments: that we need to stop the surveillance and reassert our privacy in the digital age. This statement was made, I remind you, by a hacker. Also, good luck with that.