When it comes to who is the most revenge-infatuated person in American politics, Donald Trump wins hands down. From sending annual hand tracings to Graydon Carter, who once dubbed him a "short-fingered vulgarian" in Spy Magazine, to ridiculing his political opponents with demeaning nicknames, to picking fights with reporters, he never forgets and he never forgives.
But while his status as number one is unquestioned, a close second is The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, who, like the president he claims to despise, is incapable of ever letting anything go. Today his need to wage war with journalists reached a new low with his retweeting of a parody account of Esquire journalist Charles Pierce - one that he may have created himself.
This fracas started yesterday, as Greenwald was ranting and raving over a tweet from Bill Kristol suggesting regime change in China. This view allowed Greenwald to engage in a standard far-left talking point: that neoconservatives like Kristol have slithered into the Democratic Party, uniting their agendas:
While it may strike some Democrats as bizarre that men like Kristol, one of the biggest advocates of the war in Iraq (which, by the way, Glenn Greenwald supported), have aligned themselves with the left, at least it is a sign that they are capable of self-reflection and humility. Given that the neoconservatives-turned-never-Trumpers are only a small fraction of the Democratic Party, it seems foolish of Greenwald to make them seem like the party's standard bearers, but he would rather throw out all of their musings based on one (admittedly terrible) foreign policy decision more than a decade ago than admit they may have good points today.
These rantings and ravings caught the attention of @GlemGreenwald, a Twitter parody account, and this rather funny reimagining of his thoughts got retweeted by Esquire's journalist Charles Pierce:
Pierce may have thought this was funny, but Greenwald sure didn't, as this morning he retweeted a Charles Pierce parody account with only 44 followers and 2 tweets minutes after that account just happened to pop into existence:
Neither of these tweets is funny because they don't accurately parody Pierce's writing style or worldview since he criticizes Democrats quite often. That's irrelevant to Greenwald, who wrote in his retweet, "If faith and credibility in journalism is to be restored, this is the kind of honesty and candor from journalists we need a lot more of. Kudos for stepping up.”
Where did this account come from? Why would it catch Greenwald's attention? While there are no definitive answers to these questions, those who have observed him for a long time believe Greenwald may have started the account himself - and before writing this off as conspiratorial, some sleuthing from journalist Wilson Valdez offers some tantalizing clues towards this conclusion.
For one, the use of the phrase "loyal Democrat," which appears in the account's second tweet as well as its byline, rings a bell. Greenwald has used it several times when describing other left-wing figures. In May 2017, he tweeted that Krystal Ball was a "loyal Democrat." This November, he derided Keith Olbermann as a "loyal Democrat." Popular Twitter account @NYCSouthPaw? "Loyal Democrat." This tweet from October 2017 best sums up his derision towards all Democrats who question Trump's legitimacy as president:
For another, this would not be the first time Greenwald has engaged in this behavior. Back in 2006, when Greenwald first rose to prominence with his blog Unclaimed Territory, he was accused of operating fake accounts to jump into comment sections and defend himself, many of them using similar verbal tics and structures in their comments. Arguments that these fake commenters posted one day would show up the next day on Greenwald's blog as topics of discussion. The smoking gun? All the fake accounts were traced back to Greenwald's IP Address in Brazil.
Greenwald is so needy for approval that he even retweeted one of the parody account's only replies, scraping the bottom of the barrel for any sign of validation:
Even if Greenwald wasn't responsible for this failed experiment in trolling, it still proves how unable he is to withstand any criticism whatsoever. For someone whose entire career is based off tearing other people down, he's shockingly fragile. Just like the president who he refuses to fully denounce. Just like every other bully.