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Greenwald: Privatized Reporting Claims Are Absurd
Posted on Dec 2, 2013
Glenn Greenwald responded Sunday to accusations from news personalities that he has “monopolized” and “privatized” reporting (an accusation that seems to be newly cooked up for the purpose of discrediting journalists) on documents given to him by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The instigator of Greenwald’s comprehensive response is writer Mark Ames. At PandoDaily last week, Ames wrote that Greenwald and fellow reporter Laura Poitras “promptly sold [the Snowden] secrets to a billionaire,” Pierre Omidyar, with whom Greenwald is forming a new news organization, and made “a decision to privatize the NSA cache” by joining Omidyar and giving him a “monopoly” over those documents.
Greenwald previously ignored attacks from Ames because, as Greenwald writes, “his recklessness with the facts is so well-known … and because his fixation is quite personal: it began with and still is fueled by an incident where The Nation retracted and apologized for an error-strewn hit piece he wrote which I had criticized.”
Greenwald responded Sunday only because Ames’ line of attack has been taken up by establishment journalists and think tank figures, as well as state officials who seem likely to prosecute Greenwald if given the opportunity by the reporter’s return to the United States (he has long lived in Rio de Janeiro). Greenwald writes:
To the journalists, Greenwald responded pointedly and richly:
The constitutional-lawyer-turned-security-state-reporter went on to say a number of other things. The journalists criticizing him are “essentially criminalizing all professional investigative journalism.” Rather than letting one media organization monopolize the leaked documents, Greenwald, who along with Poitras was hand selected and entrusted with the documents by Snowden, has shared thousands of them with The Washington Post, The Guardian and The New York Times, and published individual reports in countries they’re most relevant to in order to achieve the greatest effect of public information. And, if he were selling the documents to Omidyar, the backer of his new project, he would cease publication until that venture was up and running rather than publishing a continuous stream of articles in news organs around the world. “Those making this accusation are revealing more about themselves than about us,” he writes, speaking to the general practices and expectations of the dominant news culture, which Greenwald has always criticized and could never be reasonably said to have been a part.
Read the rest of Greenwald’s response at his site here.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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