Glenn Greenwald — the reporter who published Edward Snowden’s initial documents on NSA surveillance and retains many more for future publication — blasted MSNBC’s hypocrisy for suggesting his defense of Snowden violates journalistic ethics. “That’s ludicrous,” he said, noting that “the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, [and] glorified” every day on the cable network.
MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker spoke with Greenwald Thursday about the NSA leaks, asking him to respond to critics who claim he’s become “more of a spokesman for Edward Snowden.” Greenwald’s response? Pot, meet kettle:
GREENWALD: I think that’s ludicrous, is what I say to that. Every journalist has an agenda. We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified. The agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean the people on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are. I think every journalist has a viewpoint.
My viewpoint is clear. I don’t hide it. I think what Edward Snowden did was very admirable and heroic, but at the same time the ultimate test of a journalist is, is what you publish accurate and reliable? And I think with regard to every story we published over the last six months, there hasn’t been a single correction made to any of them, very few called into question. And I think that’s the ultimate question when it comes to journalism.
A clearly flustered Welker tried to backtrack, declaring “”the point is not so much about MSNBC,” but that Greenwald’s defense of Snowden’s actions may “cross a line.”
“Sure, I do defend him,” Greenwald snarked back, “just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day.”
“Not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day,” Welker sulked. “No, not everybody,” Greenwald laughed. “But a lot — a LOT — of people on MSNBC do.”
“I, as a journalist, am very grateful when people sacrifice their own interests to come forward and bring transparency to the United States goverment,” Greenwald explained. “That, to me, is what journalism is about.”
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