Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Esquire Reporter Defeats Straw Man

I have attempted in this shebeen to be a complete agnostic on the question of whether or not Greenwald is a likable fella, because I think it haplessly irrelevant.
Charles has consistently deflected any and all criticism of Glenn Greenwald by insisting that all such criticism is the result of the critic simply not liking Mr. Greenwald.  Or doesn't want to take him to the prom.  Or have dinner with him.  Or
whether or not you'd invite Glenn Greenwald to tea...
And since Charlie has summarily declared that any criticism of Mr. Greenwald amounts to nothing but "silly personality quibbles", all Greenwald critics may be therefor dismissed out-of-hand.

Does this bother me?

Not in the slightest.  I have years and years of practice being dismissed out-of-hand.  

I spent eight Clinton years being dismissed out-of-hand by people with vastly more power and influence than I will ever have.  To Conservatives, I was gun-grabbing, Marxist lunatic while the Clinton years' Purity Caucus told me that I was sellout.

Then I spent eight years more being dismissed out-of-hand by Conservatives with vastly more power and influence than I will ever have because I was koo-koo in the head for questioning the inerrant wisdom of George W. Bush.

And now I have have spent the last six years once again being dismissed out-of-hand  by Conservatives as a gun-grabbing, Marxist lunatic and by the Purity Caucus as a brainwashed drone-lovin' Obot monster.

Voltaire said, "To hold a pen is to be at war."  

He was right.


Redhand said...

The self-congratulatory articles by Mr. G over at "The Guardian" are coming so fast and furious now (I guess it's Snowden Story anniversary fest?) that it's easy to lose the links. But I was heartened to see our eternal victim (Ah, Mr. G., not Snowden) express a fear of being arrested if he went to the UK.

He apparently said this in his Brazilian digs with jungle trees showing in the picture window that framed his saintly-martyr image. Too bad he was too young to take the Martin Sheehan role in Apocalypse Now. He would have been just perfect for the part.

Anonymous said...

To be fair to the esteemed Sir Pierce, I think his objective is to keep the personality-driven bullshit out of the story and focus on what the NSA is doing. And that's great as far as it goes.

Problem is that ol' Glenn himself makes this impossible. I don't much care that Glenn is an asshole (in fact, the journalists willing to rattle the big cages probably need to be assholes to be effective), but I do think his reporting on the US security state long ago became a personal crusade for him rather than labor of honest journalism. This has affected his reporting, and his writing on the topic must be understood in this context. His pissing contests with anyone who questions his missives (all mindless Obama lemmings of course) only makes it harder to disentangle the facts of the story from the messenger.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Bravo @Anonymous!

It took all of ten minutes for the Snowden leaks to stop being about the identification of abuses and reform of the system to prevent their future recurrence and to start being about the gleeful celebration of the humiliation of our enemies. This is where Greenwald fell into his own trap.

Kind of like the right wing witch hunts against President Clinton, if you want to think about it that way.

Greenwald has cronies and sycophants of course, like the Crazy Cat Lady at the David "honest, they fear and respect me down at my local county political machine" Atkins blog and the hysterical ninnies over at the Daily Kos, who all have their own vested interests and personal agendas. I like to think that their heads grew soft over the long, dreary years of the Bush administration when we truly had a president and his minions doing terrible things on a regular basis: illegal wars, trillion dollar tax give aways, and the implosion of the world economy for starters. As such they are ill equipt to handle the mundane reality of a decent president struggling valiantly against bitter opposition to eke out a few precious liberal victories.

Fuck that noise: they prefer to mainline the sweet sweet drug of conspiracy theory doped paranoid fantasy. If the CT contains a kernel of truth, so much the better: but the point is the thrill.

Frank Stone said...

It's really quite simple.

Ever since the Snowden documents fell into his lap, the whole NSA spying brouhaha has been one thing to Glenn Greenwald, and one thing only: A meal ticket.

And he has eaten very well indeed.

Kathleen said...

So what is Pierce's real problem? that the US spies on foreign countries? That the NSA follows existing laws and procedures when engaging in limited surveillance of US citizens (contrary to GG's hyperbolic claims of massive invasion of privacy)? Has he taken the time to discern the difference between Greenwald's claims and what he's actually written (as Bob Cesca has done)? The so-called "Left's" pearl clutching over this reminds me of the right wing feeding frenzy over Whitewater. Its failure to parse the "revelations" leads me to question their motivations. Does Charlie even question how revealing US overseas spy operations is protecting his rights?

Anonymous said...

It's rather funny that in the same day Pierce writes an article defending this mess off the "it's about the message and facts he brings up, and nothing else" logic he so loves... and then writes an article slamming Nader for all his past foibles and personality issues while... ignoring the facts and message Nader brings up. Though parts of Nader's message are identical to Greenwald's. IE thrown the Dems out of office then a left libertarian utopia will save us all.

Pierce either can't remember what he said, or he's just a hack trolling for outrage. His firmly in the are of pulling the same crap that the right wing media does now.

Anonymous said...

"Does Charlie even question how revealing US overseas spy operations is protecting his rights?"

I don't care who you are, that's funny. Best endorphins I've harvested all day. Here's an idea, Kathleen. Since you seem to be in the know, how about you enumerate each of Charlie's rights these spy operations are protecting. Also noticed you used the qualifier "overseas." Isn't part of the problem that the NSA has decided that "overseas" isn't necessarily a parameter they necessarily recognize? Sounds to me like you operate on the principle of "STFU about stuff you don't know or you'll lose the right to not have to STFU." Ever get dizzy chasing your tail like that?

Dave said...

To be fair to you.... exactly what is the significance of criticizing Mr. Greenwald. I consider some of your criticism possibility correct (they're arguable at most and could be consider petty)

This post complains that Mr. Greenwald criticism is being dismissed.. so just quickly explain why it shouldn't. It doesn't have to be a long detailed explanation.. just a sentence to sum up your side.

From what i'm getting through scanning your blog and past podcast... Mr Greenwald needs an editor, he makes himself the story, and he does harm in corporate media to his message which is very important.

With that said... if not Greenwald, then bengaza, and solynbra, and Obama he's from kanda. The liberal side of the media is prone to get distracted like reality tv. Greenwald is making himself a very good target to distract from the issue, but they want to get distracted

I read this after reading about your post about Peter Roff and how our liberal media chases its tail. There is something to be said about the futility of messing with Ring Wing jackasses. So isn't Greenwald our version. He's not like Roff who is completely delusional.. but isn't it just better to avoid engagement with Greenwald when there are worst things to worry about?

Greenwald isn't pure as the snow, I get it. But i don't see why it's important when we have conservatives.

I understand you write what you enjoy and you hate hypocrisy.. but does Greenwald hypocrisy is more important than the administration's hypocrisy.. and does this administration more important than conservatives. I'm pretty sure the answer is republican hypocrisy is the most important thing.. so what the hell with greenwald?

The only reason i know anything about greenwald is because i read this blog, beside from here, i wouldn't care what he does.

Anonymous said...

Have you just always been a sellout for the national security state? Maybe that would explain why everyone on the left thinks you are. Of course you can call everyone who disagrees with you names, purity caucus or whatever you like to say to justify your own corruptness. But that's just transparent.