And while I've obviously been a strong supporter of President Obama, I also regularly question myself about whether or not I'm "blindly" supporting his administration. I'm very aware of the history of the intelligence community in this country. Their record is abominable. But I also want to think about what it looks like when we want to change that. Its a much more complex process than simply saying "shut it all down!" And so I wonder if that is what we are witnessing.
Ultimately what it comes down to is that I'm a bit depressed about how our so-called "liberal" media is handling this issue. I'm not just talking about the MSM. I'm talking about people I've looked to for guidance on understanding important stories...like Steve Benen and Greg Sargent and Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum and - to a certain extent - BooMan. I've occasionally disagreed with all of those writers. That's not what bothers me. What does bother me is that, as I've said, I've done a lot of soul-searching through all of this and am NOT reacting simply from anti-Greenwald or pro-Obama.
What all of those writers have failed to do is ask any real substantive questions about Greenwald and The Guardian's reporting. They're more than happy to question the Obama administration, but don't see any reason to question the hysterical claims in the reporting on Snowden's leaks, even after - as Bob Cesca documents here - so many of those claims have been proven to be false. Its gotten so bad that Cesca has coined the "24 hour rule" - wait 24 hours and the real story will surface. But by then the link bait has worked and everyone has moved on to the next outrageous claim.
As an example, I found this particular article by Andrea Peterson at Wonkblog (Ezra Klein's blog) to be particularly noxious given the circumstances. She is defending Greenwald for saying this following his partner's detention at London's airport:
I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England too. I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did. [...] They wanted to intimidate our journalism, to show that they have power and will not remain passive but will attack us more intensely if we continue publishing their secrets.She totally buys into Greenwald's claim that other news outlets "sensationalized" this quote in suggesting it was retaliation against the UK. Does anyone else find it unbelievably ironic that Greenwald would be complaining about "sensationalized" reporting? Many of us have been working feverishly to follow up on his sensationalized stories to try and get the basic facts. So while Peterson feels it necessary to devote an entire blog post to defending Greenwald against sensationalism, I don't see the same dedication to challenging his outrageous claims.
Greenwald is really good at bullying reporters when he thinks they've misinterpreted what he said. We saw that with his reaction to this quote as well as the Walter Pincus article. But no one seems interested in pushing back when he says equally outrageous things like "the Obama administration is waging a war on whisleblowers" or insinuates they'll be "disappeared."
In the article I linked by Benen up above, he finds the detention of Miranda to be outrageous. And yet his reporting never once mentions that Miranda was carrying stolen classified documents that Snowden leaked. Doesn't he think that is a significant part of this story? And does he not find it equally outrageous that Snowden lied when he said that as an analyst he could read anyone's emails...even the President's? Not a word from Benen about that one.
Greg Sargent wrote a whole blog post giving Greenwald the chance to explain how the timing of Snowden contacting him before he took his job at Booz Allen didn't implicate he was involved in Snowden taking the job in order to steal classified documents. But has he written anything about how "direct access" was a total hoax? Zero, zilch, nada.
I don't need any of these guys to agree with me. I'd just like to see some actual reporting on this story because its important. And yes, I get pissed when they don't do that. What happens when I get pissed is that I get defensive and have taken "sides." I'll continue to do so until they start doing their job. If that makes me an "Obot" in Kevin Drum's patronizing characterization of "the great emo/Obot debate"...so be it.