“My role, aside from reporting and writing for it, is to create the entire journalism unit from the ground up by recruiting the journalists and editors who share the same journalistic ethos and shaping the whole thing — but especially the political journalism part — in the image of the journalism I respect most.”
— Glenn Greenwald on his new media venture
It can’t possibly be a coincidence that Greenwald’s quote follows to the letter the old dictum that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. I get the impression that he figures if he uses the word “journalism” over and over again, that’ll sufficiently convince others and himself that what he does is anything akin to journalism.
Here’s why I’m actually thrilled about Greenwald’s decision to break off from The Guardian and head out on his own: he’s now going to be completely isolated, quarantined on some island far away from the rest of the media he’s managed to unfortunately impact over the last few months. He’ll infect no one but those stupid or crazy enough to wander into his little camp where he’s dressed himself in white make-up and is wearing a lampshade on his head while the fawning acolytes he’s created bow to him and the midget chained to him.
Regardless of the financial backing or name recognition he purports to now have, he’s making himself an outlier, a controversial figure sure to generate cash for himself from the niche audience whose rapt attention he owns, but otherwise a nonentity. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that if he hadn’t been a reporter for The Guardian and had all the associated cachet behind him, his Snowden material very likely wouldn’t have gotten the circulation it did in the first place. It certainly wouldn’t have been taken as seriously by the masses. Splitting off from a benefactor like that is perfectly in line with Greenwald’s narcissistic personality; in some ways, it’s one of the most narcissistic things he’s ever done publicly.
Greenwald now believes that he’s big and important enough that he no longer requires the automatic status conveyed by a Guardian byline. What’s more, while The Guardian not only allowed him to walk all over it but to basically dictate the kind of coverage it was going to do, effectively dragging the outlet down to his level, you have to imagine that it did impose at least some journalistic oversight on him. But, as he said in the announcement of his impending departure, he’s loosed from that oversight — those “institutional structures” — now. Now he’ll be able to run the kind of news organization he has always imagined could exist: one where his way is the only way and where all the Greenwaldian conjecture and double-speak, the petty vendettas against his enemies, and the lack of need to report facts that inconveniently run contrary to his personal agenda can exist free from the interference of those who just don’t know how to do real journalism.
For some reason, as I read Greenwald’s pompous posturing about how he’s now truly going to take his place as journalistic integrity’s last-man-standing, this keeps coming to mind:
Good luck with everything, Glenn. You’ll be missed.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.