This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
Watching journalists closely. Calling a spade a spade.
Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer-turned-award-winning-journalist, has been a vocal critic of the mainstream media for years. Back in 2013, when he and two others founded The Intercept, its purpose was to “oppose, critique and subvert” traditional news sources.
Since last October, when Greenwald parted ways with The Intercept after staff editors refused to publish an article he’d written (and tried to prevent him from publishing it elsewhere) his media critiques have been especially energetic. This is a man who watches journalists closely. This is a man who calls a spade a spade.
Anyone who still imagines that mainstream news outlets are trustworthy needs to spend a few hours reading Greenwald. Any young person dreaming of becoming a journalist needs to familiarize themselves with the terrain he describes.
In his words, “modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it.” Rather than being curious about the world, journalists are now “desperate not to know” about any facts that might cast people and political movements they support in a negative light. Greenwald demonstrates how reporters, en masse, recently went to extraordinary lengths to bury and ignore inconvenient events, even though a national election was mere days away.
Incredibly, these same journalists then have the chutzpah to complain society is awash in fake news. Greenwald doesn’t beat around the bush: “It is the mainstream U.S. media itself that deceives, propagandizes and spreads disinformation…far more than any other faction or entity.”
In case we missed that statement, published last Nov. 12, here’s Greenwald on Nov. 25: “The corporate news organizations masquerading as reliable and non-partisan are, in fact, hyper-partisan.” Because the “audiences of NPR, CNN and especially the New York Times are overwhelmingly Democrats,” he writes, these outlets
speak to Democrats, are built for Democrats, and produce news content designed to be pleasing and affirmative to Democrats…One can say many things about these news outlets, but the idea that they are the alternatives to “hyper-partisan pages” is the exact opposite of the truth: it is difficult to find more hyper-partisan organs than these.
…Over the last four years, they devoted themselves to the ultimate deranged, mangled conspiracy theory: that the Kremlin had infiltrated the U.S. and was clandestinely controlling the levers of American power through some combination of sexual and financial blackmail. The endless pursuit of that twisted conspiracy led them to produce one article after the next that spread utter falsehoods, embraced reckless journalism and fostered humiliating debacles. The only thing more absurd than these hyper-partisan, reckless outlets posturing as the alternatives to hyper-partisanship is them insisting that they’re the only safeguards against misinformation. [source here; hyperlink in the original]
Greenwald has recently been on a roll. So curl up with a cuppa, and click on over to these rocket-fueled commentaries:
Congressional Testimony: The Leading Activists for Online Censorship Are Corporate Journalists (14 Mar.)