“There are lots of people who watch this show who hate you, frankly” and “You have a way of making people very angry at you and you have a way–I think sometimes, if you don’t mind me saying–of alienating possible allies.”
That was the harsh dose of reality MSNBC’s Chris Hayes served to the former columnist at “The Guardian” Glenn Greenwald on his show “All In with Chris Hayes” on Friday night and it didn’t come as a surprise to the author of the new book “Nowhere To Hide”, who sarcastically responded by saying “Really? Oh, my God, That’s so disturbing, I didn’t know that.”
Despite the fact that he is not exactly a member of the conservative media echo chamber, Greenwald enrages about 95% of the liberal population in America as much as Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter if not more and the unfortunate thing is that the grief that he gets from “Blue America” is for all of the wrong reasons.
Slightly left of center liberals can justifiably disagree with Greenwald and call into question his left-wing bonafides over his unabashed support of “Citizens United.” In 2010 when The Supreme Court determined that corporations should have unlimited ability to spend money on campaign donations it was Greenwald who took to his column in Salon to defend Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy on ending true fairness in America’s electoral process, at least for the time being.
“There are several dubious aspects of the majority’s opinion (principally its decision to invalidate the entire campaign finance scheme rather than exercising ‘judicial restraint’ through a narrower holding.) Beyond that, I believe that corporate influence over our political process is easily one of the top sicknesses afflicting our political culture. But there are also very real First Amendment interests implicated by laws which bar entities from spending money to express political viewpoints.”
However, it doesn’t take political ideology to have legitimate disagreements with Greenwald given that he often comes off as smug and arrogant, has a willingness to engage in name calling and personal insults, and a routine desire to seek media attention for himself sometimes at the risk of the stories that he covers and is passionate about. Yep, fairly good reasons indeed.
Liberals rarely sight those issues in their dislike of Greenwald however, They see him as a man who has made it his personal mission to embarrass the current President of the United States–Barack Obama–, the possible future President of the United States–Hillary Clinton–, and any elected Democratic official who has over the past six years adopted the Bush/Cheney way of thinking when it comes to fighting the war on terror.
How many times over the past year have liberals screamed that Greenwald and his right hand man, Edward Snowden are “frauds” and “cowards” some even throwing out the label that is usually the go to word for conservatives everywhere, “traitors,” simply because they, along with filmmaker Laura Poitras and Washington Post columnist Barton Gelman set out to expose the United States Government’s global surveillance apparatus and how that apparatus has cross the line in terms of what is legal and what is not.
In the entire grand scheme of things as it relates to America’s war on terror Greenwald and company are seen as the bad guys. Snowden is exiled in Russia knowing that the minute he steps back onto U.S. soil he will be buried under the nearest prison. Whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou find themselves serving prison time for exposing government corruption, meanwhile Administration stalwarts like James Clapper and John Brennan have kept their jobs despite the former lying under oath to Congress about whether or not the NSA collected data on millions of Americans and serious questions about the latter’s public admission to drone use by the U.S. in several middle eastern countries. In the days after Snowden’s revelations were made public President Obama held a press conference where he said “The government doesn’t listen to your telephone calls or reads your e-mails.” Keep in mind that this is the same Government that is involved in covert shadow wars all over the world. For some reason I don’t think they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Greenwald did mention something that is true on a whole lot levels during his interview with Hayes. He said that the same people who are criticising him now are the same people who were cheering him on 6 years ago. You don’t have to delve too far into the guy’s history to know that Greenwald was relentless in his criticism of The Bush Administration. The Patriot Act, torture, and even George W. Bush’s personal character were taken apart piece by piece, and the left loved it. Liberals now find themselves in a position where their heads say one thing and their hearts say another. They are caught between their love of this White House occupant, Barack Obama and their desire to uphold laws and protections from Government that they championed when the White House was held by an occupant that they disliked, George W. Bush. Do we shift our way of thinking back to the pre-Obama days if we see a third President Bush, or a President Rubio, or god forbid a President Christie?
As difficult as he makes it to follow the rule, you really can’t shoot the messenger when it comes to Glenn Greenwald. Yes, he is not someone I want to have a beer with, but he is someone I want to get my information from when it comes to what my Government is doing in my name and that’s good enough for me.
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