A Village full of activists
Glenn Greenwald asks a good question:
Since we first began reporting on NSA stories, there has been much debate over who is and is not a "journalist" and whether being a journalist requires "objectivity" (i.e., a pretense to not having opinions). Under this metric, does Bob Schieffer qualify?
He answers his own question and it's obvious: journalists are allowed to voice opinions that agree with the power structure. Indeed, they don't even voice them in their own words --- "narcissistic", "no hero", "come home and face the consequences" has been the mantra of the power elite in Washington ever since the Snowden revelations. The machinery of the political establishment and the government is being put to the task of making Americans "comfortable" with living under secret surveillance and marginalizing those who object. (That was certainly the upshot of the president's comments last Friday.) And the political press is largely not questioning this notion --- they are abetting it.
I know eleven people who died or lost a member of their family on 9/11. My younger daughter lived in Manhattan then. It was six hours before we knew she was safe. I'm not interested in going through that again. I don't know yet if the government has over-reached since 9/11 to reinforce our defenses, and we need to find out. What I do know, though, is that these procedures were put in place and are being overseen by officials we elected and we should hold them accountable.
How come you're allowed to have that opinion and be an "objective journalist"? How come none of the people so very upset that those who are reporting on the NSA stories have opinions are objecting to any of that or calling the TV host an "activist"?
"I think what we have in Edward Snowden is just a narcissistic young man who has decided he is smarter than the rest of us. I don't know what he is beyond that, but he is no hero. If he has a valid point — and I'm not even sure he does — he would greatly help his cause by voluntarily coming home to face the consequences."
Much of the political press corps and nearly all of the professional commentariat has proven itself to be highly opinionated and "activist" --- on behalf of the government.
*Read Greenwald's piece. It's about the Strangelovian creep Michael Hayden and his celebrity status among the Villagers. The fact that he's making millions of dollars from making Americans feel "comfortable" about giving up their civil liberties (by scaring the pants off them repeatedly) is rarely disclosed. But why would it need to be? The Villagers all vouch for him like he's a brother.
And anyway, could you really trust a man who doesn't leverage his national security contacts and celebrity status to make himself a millionaire? What red-blooded American patriot wouldn't?