Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Why do so many American ‘journalists’ appear to hate actual journalism?

Why shouldn’t you, Mr Greenwald, be charged with a crime? The question was directed at Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who broke the story of NSA surveillance using material provided by on-the-lam…

The leaks made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have sparked a debate in America on whether journalists can also be ‘activists’. EPA/The Guardian

Why shouldn’t you, Mr Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

The question was directed at Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who broke the story of NSA surveillance using material provided by on-the-lam leaker Edward Snowden. The person grilling Greenwald wasn’t a government prosecutor or a frustrated member of the intelligence community. It was David Gregory, host of NBC’s Sunday morning political talk show Meet the Press.

The show, conceived as a regular forum for holding government officials accountable to the media, long ago devolved into a forum for politicians to field softball questions dole out talking points. So it was a remarkable moment when Gregory found his spine. Less heartening? That he found it not when facing down a powerful politico but rather a fellow member of the fourth estate.

Since the NSA surveillance story broke in June, several members of the media like Gregory have focused fire on journalists and whistleblowers rather than the government programs that Greenwald and reporters for the Washington Post revealed. In doing so, they have sparked a debate about journalists and their role in a democracy. They have also revealed that the relationship between the press and the powerful is often more accommodating than adversarial.

The uproar began when Greenwald and the Washington Post revealed government surveillance programs using information gained from Snowden, who had been working for the NSA since 2009. Americans were appalled to learn that the Obama administration seemingly had access to everything from email to Facebook to phone records. Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 soared.

In response, president Obama came out in defense of his programs. “You can’t have 100% security and also have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience,” he argued. “We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” His deputy press secretary Josh Earnest added: “the president welcomes a discussion of the tradeoffs between security and civil liberties".

When it comes to that debate, a considerable number of American journalists have come out more strongly for security than for press freedoms. One strategy has been to redefine who qualifies as a journalist. Gregory told Greenwald that “the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you’re doing”. A writer at the Telegraph newspaper excoriated Greenwald for “blurring the line between opinion pieces and straight reporting”.

While this has opened up an intriguing discussion in the US about what journalists do, the attempt to define people like Greenwald as non-journalists has real consequences. Press protections, which are substantial in the United States, don’t cover activists. The media shield laws for which Obama advocated in response to outcry over his surveillance programs, for instance, only cover members of the press.

In a time when media are rapidly changing – when the people breaking news are not just employees of august print publications but bloggers and tweeters – journalists should be pushing for broad definitions of their craft to ensure press protections remain robust and inviolable.

This is particularly important not just because of the swiftly shifting media landscape but because of the expanding powers of the government. In addition to new technologies for surveillance, the Obama administration has developed new legal protections for an extensive security state.

The Obama administration has also aggressively prosecuted anyone who divulges classified information. The Espionage Act, a relic of the World War One era used only three times since the end of that war, has now been invoked seven times in five years by the administration in its pursuit of leakers and whistleblowers.

Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald is being targeted by many of his peers as an ‘enemy’ of the United States. EPA/The Guardian

Given the government’s attempts to lock down information, journalists are forced to pick sides. And many are siding with the administration to protect the national security state. A writer for Salon labelled this group “Journalists Against Journalism”. He listed not only Gregory and New York Times columnist David Brooks, but the editorial page of the Washington Post. The Post joined the “Journalist Against Journalism” ranks when it declared last Tuesday that “the first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr Snowden from leaking information” beyond what he has already shared.

That stance is odd for two reasons. First, the Washington Post itself scored a major scoop based on Snowden’s documents. Also, 40 years ago the Post ran some of the most important leak-based journalism in American history: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s account of the Watergate break-in and cover-up. For the Post to now be railing against stories built on “stolen” information and leaks shows how deeply implicated major American media have become in protecting the national security state.

Barack Obama was right when he said there should be a debate about the balance between liberty and security. Press freedoms are at the very heart of that discussion. The institutional checks and balances on the security state barely function. A secret court rubber stamps warrant requests. Congressional overseers are often disengaged. When they do pay attention, the intelligence sector has proven quite willing to lie to them.

In such an atmosphere, a free press willing to challenge and chasten the government without fear of recriminations is vital. Journalists like Gregory have a right to disagree with Greenwald. But they also have a responsibility to defend his right to practice journalism.

Join the conversation

70 Comments sorted by

  1. Stephen Ralph

    carer

    Do we have any "active" journalists in Australia?

    It seems to be left to 4 Corners to come up with the goods on what's rotten in the state of Australia and elsewhere.

    The crappy current affairs shows on teev are a joke and serve the same drivel night after night.

    Even the 7.30 report mulls over the same dreary political argy bargy ad nauseum.

    Perhaps we get the media we deserve, but I reckon we deserve better.

    report
    1. lavinia kay moore

      child and family counsellor

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      I agree that the standard of Australian journalism is extremely low. Even the ABC (for example, News Radio) is satisfied, it seems, with third rate presentations of what they consider news.
      But this article is about the state of the media and governance in the USA.
      And that is important in itself, and is important to us in Australia as well as having relevance here with regard to our media.
      Obama's defensive statement that one cannot have 100% security and also have 100% privacy is a no-brainer…

      Read more
    2. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to lavinia kay moore

      Excellent comment, Lavinia.

      I agree with all of it, especially that "(w)hen ordinary people talk about security...(t)hey are not talking about security involved in keeping secret dirty deeds carried out by or on behalf of those in power. especially not by those in government."

      report
  2. Carol Daly

    Director

    This article again highlights the way the MSM both selects the news agenda and then confuses comment with fact in telling the public about the issue.
    To my mind the concern with the current state of 'journalism', in Australia in particular, is its harm to democracy. Journalists are quick to defend their 'rights' to free speech as a pillar in a free democratic society. But then they blow it by their unprofessional conduct e.g. News Ltd.
    How can a public which has been drip fed biased comment parading as fact over the past three years, at least, vote in their own best interests in the coming poll?

    report
  3. Ronald Ostrowski

    logged in via Facebook

    The real investigative journalists, such as Peter Wicks, Margo Kingston and a few others in this country, are ignored by Fairfax, News Ltd and the ABC (incredible as that may be by many who believe it to be balanced). Instead we have political activism and a herd mentality in pursuing mindless gossip and a circumstance for an early election.

    Hence we have witnessed endless leadership speculation stories based on rumours, that through sheer persistence of coverage drowned out policy conversations…

    Read more
    1. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      $50,000 for a private investigation and you're still grizzling. There's no pleasing you, is there? What do you want - trial by media?

      Independent Australia seem quite the activists themselves:

      "I advocate the creation of an “anti-party” — a grouping of individuals allied solely for the purpose of challenging the existing party political power structures.

      This political party – because it would need to be registered with the AEC as such to gain the advantages political parties have – must have only one policy, democracy — or, more specifically, the election of quality candidates into Australian parliaments whose sole aim is to represent their constituents’ interests."

      http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/towards-a-true-democracy-with-the-australian-independents/

      Much more crazy stuff there. Most of it bemoaning the existence of political parties. Except the one they want to form, of course.

      report
    2. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Leigh, you missed my point. We as members of concerned the citizenry had to donate the $50,000 to launch a private investigation in the absence of one by the fact-impaired mainstream media and the police. I am also willing to increase my donation if so asked. There is definitely a conspiracy here and one reason I believe the journalistic class are not doing their job in exposing it is because some of their number are part of it whilst the rest either totally agree with this despicable tactic or…

      Read more
    3. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      "We as members of concerned the citizenry had to donate the $50,000 to launch a private investigation in the absence of one by the fact-impaired mainstream media and the police."

      I don''t see that as a problem, but as an example of the system working just fine. Likewise your observations on the success of Independent Australia. Both serve as powerful repudiation of the prevailing lefty view of the news media audience as helpless, dependent pawns at the mercy of dominant publishers. There was…

      Read more
    4. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Let me introduce a very current example of what I have talked about in my posts above. This should be breaking news but it is not. Let's recall how Fairfax, ABC and News Ltd harangued Peter Slipper for spending $900 and the Australian Federal Police have prosecuted the matter, despite Slipper attempting to return the monies as most other public servants and politicians have been able to do under the Minchin Principal as introduced by the Howard Government. Now we have Abbott, the PM in waiting…

      Read more
    5. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Insofar as that they have jurisdiction, Finance has already dealt with Slipper under the Minchin Protocol:

      http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/disclosure-log/2012/docs/foi-12-90-document-14.pdf

      The police investigation, which relates to knowingly creating false documents, is a separate matter and is altogether more serious than a breach of protocol:

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/slipper-toured-wineries-at-taxpayers-expense-20130108-2cea4.html

      The maximum penalty is 5 years. If that bothers you perhaps your activism efforts should be directed towards relaxing laws against fraud.

      report
    6. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Abbott, perhaps, owes his leadership to his dirt management skills.
      Remember when he was the enforcer for controlling The Young Liberals in NSW?
      And why Abbott and not Turnbull?
      Was this because a Machiavellian capacity for intrigue and cover-up, honed in a seminary, was what the Liberals needed, more than a perhaps, not quite so "Understanding" outsider in Malcolm Turnbull, in whom to entrust the keys to the skeleton closet, and the map of the buried bodies??
      And was there no opportunity and…

      Read more
    7. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Fraud is fraud. In the first instance Slipper tried to repay the monies he spent as an LNP MP and Abbott argued the toss to repay $9000, before being so ordered. In the first case the mainstream media crucified Slipper in the second case they remain silent. Media bias par excellence with a massive fraud against the right to truth being perpetuated on the people. No way in arguing around it as you seem to being doing here, Leigh, It is there for all to see and take note of. Can't be more black and white than that.

      report
    8. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Police investigations and the motives for them also to be seriously subjected to scrutiny. Why the Labor Government, unlike the Howard Government did not clean out the ranks of senior public servants with clear LNP allegiances (e.g. Mark Scott the head of the ABC), particularly after the Gordon Gretch attempted to stitch up Kevin Rudd in his first term is beyond, is beyond me, and an oversight which should the Labor Party in the future. I have become very much disillusioned by the upper echelons…

      Read more
    9. Keith Thomas

      Retired

      In reply to James Hill

      You can't chase every rabbit down its burrow and the venal frauds by politicians and public figures are mere distractions for the media. The police should handle them and the journalists should move over to big issues. Did you hear Hugh White discussing Indonesia/Australian relations in the context of America's relative decline on ABC radio Saturday morning? Now, there's a real topic. Another one is being covered on this site: the 96 critically endangered animal species in Australia. Climate change (divorced from the politicians' and rent-seekers' responses to it) is another. There are hundreds of significant big issues that are being edged out by stories of low-level fraud, bad manners, self-promotion, lies and corruption. They will always be with us, so let's support and encourage good journalists to focus on these big issues - not the ever-present suppurating pustules on the body politic.

      report
    10. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      Keith, hopefully the public is somehow empowered by the challenge of these higher issues.
      But how?

      report
  4. Peter Redshaw

    Retired

    Nicole, I do not think this is particularly an American journalism issue today. I have seen a lot of people who have a tag of journalist attached to their name, but I would consider very few of them journalist. And I do not simply mean adherence of freedom of the press, because freedom of the press does not always equate to good journalism.

    Sometimes I would suggest the best journalism happens not in countries where freedom of the press is seen as a right, but more in countries where it is…

    Read more
  5. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Thanks Nicole for an insight into these disturbing developments. As an historian you'd surely appreciate that these are the dialectical fallout effects of Snowden's revelations as unsurprising as they were. And from your evidence here it is definitely looking like it's going to be a (corporate media-managed) mass swing further to the right in the US.

    Mainstream media journalists like David Gregory & Willard Foxton in your links, have already drawn the line in the sand in the journalism wars…

    Read more
    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Those responsible, according to Adam Smith, "have an interest to deceive and oppress the public, using all means at their disposal to have governments intervene in the market in their favour".
      Seems that "Political Economy", much neglected, provides the antidote to accusations of paranoia about conspiracies.
      Is this why Smith is out of print?
      The blinding search light of The Age of Enlightenment just too, too bright for our Morlochs?

      report
    2. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to James Hill

      Yes James, Adam Smith's observations prove that the nature of the beast, the drive to compete with, get on top of and control & profit from others by immoral means will never change, as in the older observations that 'man is wolf to man' & that 'he is born free but is everywhere in chains'. The drivers of economic enslavement and empire building are genetically inlaid in homo sapiens?

      I think Nicole's hope of "press protections remain(ing) robust and inviolable" is a long-ago bolted horse, if…

      Read more
    3. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely - as Lord Acton more or less said.

      Fom the days of slaves and serfs (and probably beyond), the elite have used and abused power to contain the masses.

      It seems information is just one of the tools du jour.

      report
    4. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Yes, Pat, (and thanks for the informative post)it is the pretence and blatant deception, all wrapped up in the "honest competition for your vote" meme that the right promotes that personally annoys me.
      The interests of a minority can only be imposed upon the majority by deception and oppression.
      Smith was childless and died before retribution could be visited upon him for blowing the secrets of the manipulators.
      For example, his demolition of the economic arguments for slavery, still legal at…

      Read more
    5. lavinia kay moore

      child and family counsellor

      In reply to Pat Moore

      I was always inclined to expect happy ending whenever I watched an American film.
      I put it down to their tendency to shut their eyes to reality if it was at all unpleasant.
      It is good to give people the benefit of the doubt. But how many crimes, for example must their leaders commit before they recognise them as criminals, and act to have them brought to account for their crimes?
      Until they can do that, Americans will probably be content to accept a disney-like pretty cartoon perception of their country.
      And throw tantrums whenever someone dares to say that the emperor has no clothes on!

      report
    6. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to lavinia kay moore

      A conspiracy of moores lavinia?

      Growing up & living as we have, subject to the Hollywood movie & television dream machine on the peripheries of empire...a global propaganda factory of cultural proscription..USAmericans might be surprised at our insights into & knowledge of their culture. But living at the seat of empire looking out (or more properly looking out very little, being subject to a well controlled media diet of filtered information) must be a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees? So any waking up to reality is going to involve a major cognitive dissonance?

      report
    7. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Filtered information? Hell, we even get to read this rag.

      report
    8. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Well Groucho (I preferred Karl, surprise, surprise) seeing you're sitting in the driver's seat you tell us how a population of millions in "the world's greatest (bought & sold) democracy" could have possibly sanctioned and supported the serial crime scenes of the emperor's exploits in his long career of expansion & murderous 'regime changes' dating back to Patrice Lumbumba in the Congo in the 1950's all through his South American and Asian adventures and now into the Middle East. Are the USAmerican populace well versed in their country's international history? And how do they feel about him as representative of the 1% donoughting his own country's economic system and rendering them into the structural poverty of the 99%?

      report
    9. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Gee, don't you remember any of the good stuff that some of our fellow patriots were dead against? Pickypicky.

      report
  6. George Michaelson

    Person

    The change in stance at the WashPost is fascinating. I think this deserves more eyeballs. What do Woodward/Bernstein have to say about it? What do other journalists, or members of PEN have to say about it?

    What would lie behind this kind of re-positioning? Is it a defensive move by the editorial board because of concerns a rightward trend in media makes them financially less stable? Newspapers have changed their position before now because of fear of loosing market share..

    report
  7. Baron Pike

    logged in via Facebook

    "For the Post to now be railing against stories built on “stolen” information and leaks shows how deeply implicated major American media have become in protecting the national security state."

    The problem with the analogy is that Woodward and Bernstein weren't working on anything that had to with protecting the "national security state," they were revealing the shenanigans of one political party attempting to disrupt and defeat the candidacy of another. Everyone and their brother in our investigative services were trying to discover who did what and why and how to whom, and ironically it was an agent high up in the FBI that was their definitive source.

    report
    1. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Somewhat surprisingly Baron Pike makes good points. Watergate can hardly be seen as the media vs state power but divisions in the state using the media as a weapon in a turf struggle. I have seen suggestions that Nixon's attempts to gain dirt on his predecessors' administrations damaged the interests of the CIA in particular but maybe the FBI, because these two organisations had their fingers deeply embedded in this dirt. So some CIA people were seconded to the plumbers to destroy it and then…

      Read more
    2. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      @Sean: "Watergate can hardly be seen as the media vs state power but divisions in the state using the media as a weapon in a turf struggle."
      None of the "sides" had anticipated that the Watergate breakin would involve a struggle, as those involved had no intention of getting caught, and the evidence has strongly indicated that Nixon, while he did approve of the dirty tricks unit, had not approved of this caper in advance. I know a bit about this partly because I was there in the direct aftermath…

      Read more
    3. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Baron Pike

      So you are saying essentially he used a dirty trick to "save" America from dirty tricks......tricky dicky indeed.

      report
    4. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      I didn't say anything like that at all, although in fact most people, politicians especially, use dirty tricks all the time to save themselves from those tricks they expect from others. Your comment itself was a dirty trick attempt to twist my meaning.

      report
    5. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Obviously I refer to Watergate in the wider sense of the leaks and political machinations, not simply the break in.

      "As to CIA being seconded to the plumbers to destroy, that's pure mythological fantasy. Ex CIA and ex FBI were themselves running the operation. "
      Boy, did I get that wrong!
      Here is a tip, when someone consciously names their operation after the Nazis Einsatzgruppen they probably have a hidden agenda and not an agenda designed to shed a good light on their patron.

      As with everything else, it is all hidden in plain sight
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Company_(Ehrlichman_novel)

      No I am not saying this novel is gospel truth, I am saying it was Ehrlichman's considered opinion on what was gospel truth. Possibly Erhlichman was wrong and most certainly incomplete, but not - I am have no doubt - totally wrong

      report
    6. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Baron Pike

      I guess if he approved of the "dirty tricks" unit, then he tacitly approved of everything they did. It's a matter of degrees I suppose.

      He was an expedient and crafty politician, who presumably used whatever it took to achieve his goals.

      The fact that other politicians are the same only makes it sadder for the public at large.

      report
    7. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Well in a way he did, but he trusted them to have better sense and that's always a risk in the game of politics. When we discovered other dirty tricks they weren't necessarily of the patently criminal variety. But letting anyone lik Gordon Liddy work for you is asking for disaster to strike.

      report
    8. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Ehrlichman was the "good German" as I recall and the others had a lot of fun with that, as he also did. But I guess you had to be there to understand. In any case you are free to believe the fictional version. The truth, which I'm not about to tell you, is even stranger.

      report
    9. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      You mean the assassination of Kennedy?

      Don't worry I already know that.

      report
    10. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Yeah, I'm sure you ate up the fictional versions there as well.

      report
    11. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      You mean AMWORLD?
      http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/2857/q6hm.jpg

      I told you originally, didn't I?
      "I have seen suggestions that Nixon's attempts to gain dirt on his predecessors' administrations damaged the interests of the CIA in particular but maybe the FBI, because these two organisations had their fingers deeply embedded in this dirt."

      It all started innocently enough - just an attempt to get some files from the Brookings Institute that Nixon believe would shed less than favorable light on the Democrat administration's actions in Vietnam.
      Harmless, really, but it seemed to have alarmed Richard Helms.

      Watergate was nothing more than turf warfare within the Government.

      report
    12. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Bad business all round
      "He spent his final years as a developer and businessman in Miami (also with business in construction in Puerto Rico). Prío allegedly committed suicide by gunshot in 1977 while being wanted for questioning by the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. Prio died one week after George DeMorenschildt allegedly committed suicide while a HSCA investigator was on his way to DeMorenschildt's house to question him. ."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Pr%C3%ADo_Socarr%C3%A1s

      Now Baron Pike, do tell us about your super secret knowledge about Watergate?
      We are Australians - we won't turn up at your house at stick a gun in your mouth. We are far too nice.

      report
    13. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Excellent points, Sean. It is always a question of which "interests" are ultimately being "served". Your last para particularly good summation, and relevant to situation here in AU.

      report
    14. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Baron Pike

      You seem to be missing the author's point that the role of the media has changed, at least in appearances, from advocacy of "public interest" to more openly representing that of "the state". Your quibbling over the Watergate analogy does not address that question, as Sean has pointed out. Surely the more pertinent question is the contradiction this poses for the media in it's own increasingly vociferous representation of itself as an advocate of free speech?

      report
    15. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      I don't have a problem with the article in general, just to the use of an erroneous analogy. Then of course the unusual suspects piped up as usual.

      report
    16. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Know them well - the Tools are a very conspicuous lot around these neck of the woods.

      Pass on my regards.

      report
    17. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Time as moved on, but its worth quoting Nixon's justification for the plumbers from the Memoirs:

      "In aftershock of the Pentagon Papers leak and all the uncertainty and renewed criticism of the war it produced, my interest in the bombing halt file was rekindled. When I was told that it was still at Brookings, I was furious and frustrated. In the midst of a war and with our secrets being spilled through printing presses all over the world, top secret government reports were out of reach in the…

      Read more
    18. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      That has nothing to do with the Watergate break in. it's about the Pentagon Papers. And are you now implying that Nixon was involved in the Kennedy assassination? Of course you are.
      16 questions left.

      report
    19. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      The Watergate break-in is not really important, I am just saying the establishment of the plumbers was in order for Nixon to find instance of incompetence in the preceding Administrations for political mileage. But of course that incompetence would also implicate other Government agencies. Nixon's downfall was engineered by those agencies trying to protect themselves. Incidentally, since Howard Hunt was heavily involved in the Bay of Pigs it seems a little dangerous to use him to try and ferret…

      Read more
    20. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Pure fiction all the way. As were to a great extent the memoirs. That account was so far off you've used up all the questions.

      report
    21. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Cheers.
      Its a mysterious process - like when I realized a certain building in Poland actually had been a bakery - its like you can hear the harmonies in your head when you pick the right answer out of all the false leads.

      report
    22. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Baron Pike

      Sound you're hellbent on defending 'ends justifying the means'?
      Makes you a real 'patriot' doesn't it?

      the question is, whose patriotism are you defending, the peoples or the governments?

      report
    23. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Wars are only justified by their ends, right? The US Government IS the people, except that nowadays corporations have been designated as people. Which in some cases has been an improvement.

      report
    24. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Baron Pike

      I should add that those pesky corporations have been reading all our correspondence, plus listening and recording our calls, for years.
      But you'll no doubt call that a necessary evil for allowing you to use their services. The irony of that escapes your notice of course, since you seem to think the government owes you their service regardless.

      report
  8. Alex Cannara

    logged in via LinkedIn

    "the relationship between the press and the powerful is often more accommodating than adversarial."

    It's even true in things as 'unimportant' as automotive or tech-gadget reporting. Its motivation is $ -- the media corporation paying the 'journalist' wants to sell ads, its rep, etc. The 'journalist' wants pay, benefits and access -- access to sources who provide the journalist's word-product fodder. The 'journalist' wants to be "invited back", both to the paying media entity and the contact…

    Read more
  9. robert roeder
    robert roeder is a Friend of The Conversation.

    retired

    In the US journalists who speak the truth or report the news are being repressed. At the time of the OWS movement in New York city journalist who were holders of the special press card issued by the Mayor were arrested for filming and reporting the facts. As in Orwell's novel double speak is now fully implemented within America. A government which does not adhere to the basic foundation of law, the constitution, will turn truth into lies and lies into truth. Anybody who might stand in the way of double speak will be pilloried.
    In Australia things are not quite as bad, it's pretty ease to see where we are heading. Our major political parties have kowtowed to the news barons for decades... you can't get elected without their support was their thinking. I remember when the 40% ownership rule was broken. Old media has become decrepit and senile and has forgotten it's purpose it's demise will be cause for celebration.

    report
  10. Michel Syna Rahme

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    "During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. 'I have to tell you,' said their spokesman, 'that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?' "

    David Aaronovitch, a "right-wing provocateur" who wears the mask of being a "'liberal'".

    report
  11. alfred venison

    records manager (public secotr)

    by all means ask bernstein and woodward what they think, but, while you’ve got them on the line, why don’t you ask them why they haven’t singed the open letter or spoken out like daniel ellsberg or steve wozniak or oliver stone or tom hayden or tariq ali or slavoj žižek or noam chomsky or 8,000 other concerned intellectuals & concerned individuals have? hello? where’s williy? where’s bob & carl? posterity is waiting.

    "Snowden is someone who has made me proud to be an American, which isn't something that's happened too often in the past dozen years." -daniel ellsberg - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-spying_n_3429694.html

    'I felt about Edward Snowden the way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg' – steve wozniak - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/21/wozniak-guilty-nsa-surveillance-snowden

    report
    1. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to alfred venison

      Snowing sentimental stupidity could be detrimental to their careers.

      report
    2. alfred venison

      records manager (public secotr)

      In reply to Baron Pike

      so that's the kind of police state you're becoming? where prominent people can't openly take a political stand without their careers being threatened?

      Here’s the letter:-

      http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/1421

      more names: rosanne barr, emma thomson, danny glover, naomi klein, john cusak, amber heard, michael moore of course, julie christie. julie christie for goodness sake !

      but where are bob & carl ? where is george clooney for his pseudo-liberal handwringing? -a.v.

      report
    3. Baron Pike

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to alfred venison

      They didn't want to join a club like yours that would accept them as a member.

      report
    4. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Baron Pike

      not my club, its history's club, up to them whether or not they wear a white hat. show me the open letter, signed by celebs, where they say "yes, president obama, we fully support your contract spooks intercepting our private communications & trashing the bill of rights". i'll put them on my black list with the pseudo-liberal propagandist clooney and boycott their productions, too. -a.v.

      report
  12. Pat Moore

    gardener

    With The Guardian's latest Snowden revelations (9/7) detailing the names of the data gathering systems in different countries (like Fairview here for surveillance on 'friendly (patsy) foreigns', 5 Eyes XKeyScore etc), a world heat map detailing the levels of surveillance in different countries, the fact that Google, Facebook etc have regular meetings with NSA, etc... all that the USA-based respondents to the article discussed were on the US implications for US citizens, being lied to by congress etc. They really do not seem to have any appreciation or concern for the outside world and the implication of their government's surveillance of non-US citizens who, unlike them, have no electoral say in their "democracy". South American countries are getting increasingly unhappy. The EU must be considering the commercial implications. But all quiet on the down under MSM front.

    report