Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog
As usual, Glenn Greenwald has been catching heat all over Centrist Twitter, this time for conducting a brief interview for Russian state media outlet RT after a panel appearance in Moscow. RT, in typical fashion, titled the interview “Greenwald: I came to Russia to combat US’ toxic view on the country,” which, while technically an accurate reflection of part of something Greenwald said in the interview, also happens to make perfect retweet fodderfor lying sociopaths like MSNBC’s Malcolm Nance.
Nance, along with US state media outlet Polygraph, helped circulate a completely evidence-free conspiracy theory that Greenwald is “an agent of Trump and Moscow.” Nance also smeared Greenwald for having appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson.
This is an ongoing debate that has increased in shrillness recently that I’d like to briefly address. The argument goes that antiwar journalists who are critical of the US power establishment like Max Blumenthal and Glenn Greenwald should not be making appearances on Fox News or RT, because it lends those outlets credibility. If people see a reputable journalist appearing on Fox News, the argument goes, they will assume that that lying propaganda firm is trustworthy, and they will give it more credibility than a more liberal-aligned outlet like MSNBC, which is theoretically (*cough*) closer to the antiwar left on the ideological spectrum.
?? READ: Glen Greenwald shows his true colors as an agent of Trump & Moscow. now we know why he helped Snowden defect, covers for Wikileaks attack on Democracy & shills for Fox News. He’s deep in the Kremlin pocket. https://t.co/GXW07PmXFo
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) July 7, 2018
And that argument actually holds some weight. Not the part about MSNBC being less of a lying warmonger network than Fox News (at this point in time it’s arguably worse), but the part about credibility being lent to outlets which will host principled antiwar leftists. If RT will have Max Blumenthal on to discuss opposition to longstanding neoconservative war agendas and CNN will not, RT comes off looking more credible than CNN in that respect for a lot of people. If Tucker Carlson will have Glenn Greenwald on to talk about the gaping plot holes in the establishment Russia narrative, then in some eyes that elevates Fox News above CNN in that respect.
But whose fault is that? Are antiwar leftists actually to blame for the fact that MSNBC and CNN shut them down at every turn? In his debate with James Risen about the Russiagate narrative, Greenwald made an interesting remark about the fact that Risen had been able to secure an MSNBC appearance after joining The Intercept.
“You cracked the code for how to be an Intercept writer and get on MSNBC,” Greenwald said. “Which is to write an article entitled: ‘Is Donald Trump a Traitor?’”
Indeed, Risen did just that: since his arrival at the publication he has contributed to The Intercept‘s “fearless adversarial journalism” by writing articles which would fit in just fine in the New York Timesor the Washington Post, many of which feature the same sort of Russian collusion narratives which have become the bread and butter of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. As a consequence, Risen got to share his ideas with a large television audience, whereas Greenwald does not.
Centrist pundits would have you believe that Greenwald should be shunned and reviled for going to Fox News to share his own ideas before a large television audience. They spin the narrative to falsely suggest that Greenwald chooses to speak at outlets like RT and Fox News because he hates America and love Trump and Putin. The responsible, respectable thing for an antiwar leftist to do would be to wait until MSNBC will have him on to talk about his antiwar ideas, and keep waiting, and waiting, and just keep on waiting until we all die in a nuclear holocaust.
4/ It's vital when critiquing outlets to understand their real model. I know that outlining MSNBC's demonstrable lies as I did today won't result in corrections, retractions or punishments. Lies are part of their business plan; I did it to make that clear https://t.co/ZNOEuyc1iW
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 8, 2018
5/ That's why @MalcolmNance laughs when you prove he broadcast lies on MSNBC. He works there. He knows they don't care at all, as long as the people he lies about are Party enemies. The more he lies like that, the bigger his rewards there. MSNBC exists to please its Dem viewers.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 8, 2018
It is not Greenwald’s fault that RT and Fox News will give him a platform to share his criticisms of the US war machine, the intelligence community and the new cold war but MSNBC and CNN will not. The fact that the antiwar left is completely deprived of a voice on Democratic Party-aligned media is the fault of those media outlets and those media outlets only. Centrist pundits think it’s perfectly reasonable to just tell anti-establishment voices, “No, see, what we’re doing here is that you shut up, just shut up and go away forever and never say anything to anyone, ever again.” They are wrong.
When centrists whine about an antiwar leftist appearing on Russian or right-wing media because it “lends those outlets credibility,” what they are actually doing is whining that those leftists are exposing the complete lack of credibility that outlets like CNN and MSNBC have. Their doors are always open to lying, depraved intelligence community insiders like James Clapper and John Brennan and Iraq-raping neocons like Bill Kristol, but to antiwar leftists that door is slammed shut except for the occasional Jill Stein appearance a couple times a year so that Chris Cuomo can wag his finger at her and publicly insinuate that she supports the Kremlin.
The blame for the fact that critics of the US power establishment are forced to find weird platforms to get their voices heard rests solely upon all the other outlets which slam the door on them. The fact that they would rather platform disgusting liars like Malcolm Nance than men like Glenn Greenwald is their fault, and theirs alone. They should worry less about RT and Fox News being given credibility and more about their own lack of it.