Glenn Greenwald leaves the Guardian!

Glenn Greenwald is leaving the Guardian.

Statement of Glenn Greenwald:

“My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.

“The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline. 

“Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I’m not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly;”

Statement of the Guardian’s Jennifer Lindauer:

“Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him. Our work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account. We are of course disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered. We wish him all the best.”

Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who was instrumental in disseminating NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, which highest ranking British intelligence officials claimed represented the worst national security breach in history, said he is leaving to join a “a general media outlet and news site”.  (Reports indicate that the new site is financially backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and that it has sought to hire Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who linked Snowden to Greenwald.)

Official statements by the Guardian and Greenwald aside, it is still unclear what prompted Greenwald’s departure.  Though Greenwald’s far-left, anti-American, and anti-Zionist politics were naturally a good fit ideologically with the Guardian, it remains to be seen whether the chorus of criticism on the extreme harm done to British national security inflicted by the leaks influenced Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (who had been under pressure from GCHQ officials) to take steps to facilitate Greenwald’s resignation.

Whilst we’ll continue to report on this developing story, we of course take immense pleasure in Greenwald’s departure, whose politics were so viscerally hostile to the West that he, on more than one occasion, found common ground with terrorists, and often amplified the message of Islamist extremists by advancing the toxic narrative suggesting that the West was at ‘war with Islam’. 

We hope that those on the left arduously attempting to save their movement from Greenwald’s Red-Green Alliance style ‘anti-imperialism’ – and other egregious betrayals of everything true “liberalism”, properly understood, has historically stood for – join us in celebrating this victory over faux left political extremism.  

This blog is of course dedicated to fighting antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, but you simply cannot separate the particular struggle against anti-Jewish racism with the broader fight in defense of the West, whose clear moral advantages in the area of democratic elections, religious tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights – and, of course, press freedom! – Greenwald tries so desperately to obfuscate.  

We are committed to the simple idea that even flawed democracies – whether in North America, Europe or the Middle East – are far preferable to their illiberal alternatives, and remain worth fighting for.   

45 replies »

  1. I know we all get ourselves worked up about people like Greenwald, but we also need to look at the influence they supposedly have. The two most anti-Israel national newspapers in Britain are the Guardian and the Independent. Taking their combined circulation into account, both hard copy and internet, only a tiny minority of the population read them. It is arguable also that, out of that tiny minority, a large proportion do not share the views of their commentators on anything to do with the Middle East. Conversely a large proportion of the overall readership of British newspapers are heartily fed up with pro-Muslim and pro-terrorist sentiment.

      • Of course you have a point. But I know many people who read the Guardian on-line, including myself, because we need to keep in touch with what they are saying. I do not dispute that they have an influence on “the opinion elite (at the BBC and elsewhere)….”, but please be aware that the influence of the BBC is far less than it used to be. People are constantly complaining about the BBC’s lack of sensible balance in representing the views of ordinary people. Last Sunday on ‘Sunday Morning Live’ there was a debate about whether or not the English Defence League had some validity in its concerns about Muslims influence in Britain. In a phone-in poll 95% felt that those concerns were reasonable!

        • I think both you and Adam are correct.

          On the one hand, we shouldn’t underestimate the Guardian’s influence on the online readership, the Beeb, etc.

          On the other hand, some of its online readership (percentage unknown) are reading it to “know the enemy” and not because they agree with the commentary.

          Regarding the Beeb’s influence: I also strongly suspect the Jimmy Savile business has blotted its copybook with the general public very significantly.

      • The G.’s influence – also worldwide – is thanks to their investigative reporting. More recently that obviously includes the Wikileaks and Snowden revelations – but also e.g. breaking the story about the slave labour conditions involved in the already farcical 2018 football World Cup in Qatar.

          • Ah. How could I confuse it with the human rights celebration that will the 2018 event in Russia?

            But apart from that mistake: any idea why people voted down my previous post?

            • Honest answer? Because some people on this site will always “vote down” your posts (unless they are explicitly supportive of the view that Guardian = bad, Israel = good). In this case? Because, in the light of the above presumptions, some will have viewed your post negatively, because you appear to give the Guardian the credit for doing something praiseworthy, which is, of course, a cardinal sin to those who view the world in entirely black v white terms.

        • With Greenwald, it’s simple. He’s does what he does for two reasons: Money and fame. After his law career perished with nary a ripple (except for attacking Jews, blacks and civil rights lawyers while defending Nazis and hate groups ) he had to find a new gig. This is just the next step on his egotistical, lying, distorting, narcissistic, hateful, vindictive journey. And that it’s being funded by a billionaire is classic Greenwald hypocrisy. Wasn’t too long ago that he was attacking billionaires as in:

          “There’s no question in my mind that the unrestrained power over the political process and both political parties enjoyed by oligarchs is the single greatest political problem the country faces”

          For Greenwald in a nutshell, I point people to this:

          Oh Glenny boy, the piles, the piles of cash are calling
          From glen(n) to glen(n), and down the mountain side
          The summer’s gone, and all the honesty’s died
          ‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and we must hide

        • The G.’s influence – also worldwide – is thanks to their investigative reporting.
          They investigated the Jenin massacre too…

  2. If there weren’t rumours to the contrary, I’d have thought Greenwald would be joining his fellow Jew-haters such as Galloway and Booth at Press TV. It seems a natural home for him.

  3. Just read the news
    “Omidyar, who is chairman of the board at eBay Inc but is not involved in day-to-day operations at the company, has numerous philanthropic, business and political interests, mainly through an investment entity called the Omidyar Network.

    Forbes pegged the 46-year-old Omidyar’s net worth at $8.5 billion.

    Among his ventures is Honolulu Civil Beat, a news website covering public affairs in Hawaii. Civil Beat aimed to create a new online journalism model with paid subscriptions and respectful comment threads, though it is unclear how successful it has been.

    Omidyar, a French-born Iranian-American, also founded the Democracy Fund to support “social entrepreneurs working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the public,” according to its website.

    Omidyar’s active Twitter account suggests he is very concerned about the government spying programs exposed by Greenwald and Snowden.”

    Hmm ..

      • Perhaps the two people immediately voting down my post would care to explain. Evidently they’ve understood my point …

        They might also care to explain their opposition to said point.

          • Let’s wait for those opponents to my post to enlighten you both (and, I imagine, myself too) …

            • Yawn …

              Even more people have since voted down by original post. Such clear, 1-star responses surely mean they have some unambiguous interpreation of my comment.

              So where are all the explanations?

              • A new day, and still no responses.

                Sadly we’ll have to assume that they simply do not have the brains to express their thoughts

                • Or maybe the repartee of “that’s just silly” is so stultifying that no one can think of an answer.

                • @ Michael

                  No such repartee present. So it must be, as I said, due to intellectual deficiency. Like monkeys, all they can do is press buttons.

  4. While Greenwald moving on potentially makes the Guardian stink a little less, I very much doubt that this is the last we’ll hear of him. In fact, I’m not so sure this is good news. Whatever you think of Rusbridger (and I am no fan), he and the Guardian are at least relatively “mainstream” and are sensitive to their public image (if hardly regulated by the toothless PCC). Some new well-funded online site has none of these safeguards (as flimsy as they are), so Greenwald will be even freer to publish his poison.

  5. ‘Some new well-funded online site has none of these safeguards (as flimsy as they are), so Greenwald will be even freer to publish his poison.’

    Well. You have to get people to go to a site to make it popular and how many lunatic radical lefties are there in the English speaking world. There are plenty of ‘hate Amerika’, ‘hate Israel’, ‘hate the west’ sites out there but you don’t always hear about them because their attendance is very small.

    What you can say about the lunatic radical lefties is that many of them have loud mouths.

    Bad luck Greenwald and I hope that you break a leg.

    • I very much hope you are right, Nobbly, but I suspect Glenn’s sense of the dramatic and his intermational mass media profile ensure that whatever he decides to do next will receive plenty of interest, either directly or indirectly by second-hand reporting in the MMS.

  6. While I am very glad in one way that Greenwald is leaving the Guardian — I suspect the Guardian wanted him to move somewhere else for their own future legal convenience rather than being intrinsically opposed to his views and actions. On the other hand if Greenwald isn’t at the Guardian it will be more difficult to monitor him and his activities.

  7. This is suspiciously similar to the Graun’s split with Assange. But in any case, the bright side is that the Guardian will inevitably be weakened by such a high profile rejection.

  8. Apparently Mr. Omidyar has set up his new ‘journalism’ project with $250 million.
    He has also recruited Jeremy Scahill, I had never heard of him before so I had to look him up.

    It could well be that Mr. Omidyar is genuinely concerned about press freedom or he could also be motivated by his recent failure to buy the “Washington Post”, no doubt time will tell.
    But $250 million does seem like an expensive job creation scheme for Greenwald, Poitras and Scahill.