If you search Media Matters for “Rush Limbaugh,” there are around 7,100 pages about the controversial right-wing radio talker. A search for “Glenn Beck” delivers over 8,000 pages. I’ve personally written hundreds of blog posts about these two characters. And yet because I’ve been covering Glenn Greenwald’s serially misleading reporting on the Edward Snowden NSA story for the last year, not to mention his coverage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) before it, I’m somehow obsessed or “infatuated” with Greenwald.
That’s what Balloon Juice‘s John Cole told me yesterday via Twitter. He implied that I’m merely obsessed with Greenwald. This is evidently why I’ve written so much about him — not because his reporting is bad or that he’s been misinforming the public for at least a year now on arguably one of the biggest stories of the decade so far. Nope, it’s because I just hate Greenwald so much.
If my Greenwald/Snowden coverage indicates a vindictive obsession, I can’t imagine Media Matters’ harrowing DSM-5 diagnosis based on its daily less-than-favorable reporting on Limbaugh and Beck, not to mention Hannity, Fox News and all of AM talk radio.
Before I continue, I should qualify that I consider Cole, for lack of a better term, an e-friend, and I read his blog daily, which is why I’m taking seriously his criticisms here, even though he’s way, way off the rails.
So how did this get started?
Yesterday, I tweeted out a link to Oliver Green’s fantastic article in The Daily Banter about the egregious human rights violations in Brazil ahead of the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics there. Oliver described how, among other things, Brazil’s military police, known as “Pacification Units,” has been responsible for killing 2,000 Brazilians every year.
As I’ve done on several occasions in the past, I wondered out loud why we’ve heard nothing from civil liberties writer and U.S. expat living in Rio de Janeiro, Glenn Greenwald, about these and other trespasses occurring in his own back yard.
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) June 11, 2014
My point, which I later had to explain down to the tiniest detail for Greenwald’s obtuse disciples, was that for someone whose mission it is to call out government oppression and violations of basic human liberties around the world, Greenwald has been entirely silent about Brazil’s record. And since he lives there, perhaps he might have a special interest in what’s happening all around him.
The obvious conclusion is that Greenwald is only concerned with making it appear as if the U.S. and the U.K. are the world’s biggest civil liberties violators — the real monsters on the international stage. It would totally undermine Greenwald’s narrative for him to cover how, unlike England and the United States, Brazil’s military police is murdering citizens by the thousands, while its own version of NSA, the ABIN, has a rather spotty record on spying on its own people, as well as maintaining its very own PRISM-style operation. It would also undermine his reporting in the Brazilian press about the U.S.’s surveillance there.
But almost immediately, Cole tweeted out a totally flagrant and obnoxious misrepresentation of my point.
— John Cole (@Johngcole) June 11, 2014
And since he follows Cole on Twitter, Greenwald himself repeated the falsehood about what I had tweeted… READ MORE