David Gregory Suggests Glenn Greenwald May Be A Criminal For Doing Journalism

from the shameful dept

It really was just a few months ago that we were pointing out how ridiculous it was that some were calling for the arrest of Meet the Press’ David Gregory for doing journalism. DC’s attorney general chose not to go after Gregory, and you might think this would make David Gregory a bit more sensitive to the idea that doing journalism around reporting on the law and legal issues is different than doing a crime. But, on this week’s Meet the Press, Gregory had on Glenn Greenwald, and towards the end of their initial Q&A (around the 9:30 mark), Gregory pretty directly suggests that Greenwald should be charged as well for “aiding and abetting” Ed Snowden.

The specific question (though, watching the video gives you much more of a sense of the tone and style in which it was asked) was:

“To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

After Greenwald hits back hard and points out the ridiculousness of a reporter “embracing” a theory that would outlaw nearly all investigative reporting on the government, Gregory insists he wasn’t “endorsing” the idea, but merely raising the questions that others had. However, watching his initial question, it sure looks like he’s directly suggesting that Greenwald committed a crime in reporting on such a huge story, making a huge leap in claiming that reporting on some leaked information is akin to “aiding and abetting.”

Later in the show, Gregory’s NBC colleague Chuck Todd made even stupider comments, suggesting — based on nothing — that Greenwald was more “involved” with Snowden than just as a reporter because Greenwald used to be a lawyer.

Of course, as Trevor Timm points out, during the interview, David Gregory himself repeated information that government officials leaked to him concerning a secret FISA court ruling (information that appears to be incorrect, based on the details that Snowden showed Greenwald, by the way). Given that, if Gregory believes that leaking classified information is a criminal act, then shouldn’t Gregory be asking himself if he should be prosecuted?

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Comments on “David Gregory Suggests Glenn Greenwald May Be A Criminal For Doing Journalism”

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22 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

It’s a recurrent problem in humans it seems. The trolls here at techdirt do it a lot. They scream in favor of clear violations of the Constitution, in favor of sheer insane laws without realizing they would be severely affected by those.

Even regular people are quick to judge and want to delete speech because they feel it’s offensive for them but they cry foul when others want to censor speech they agree with even though it’s offensive to others. I’m not exempting myself here and in fact I’ve already caught myself doing exactly that without noticing.

I’m don’t think it’s always it’s hypocrisy though I tend to believe there are examples that could be classified that way. The question is how open the other person is to realize their mistake.

Anyway, from what I could grasp it seems David isn’t quite open…

A nonny mouse says:

Re: Re:

It’s a recurrent problem in humans it seems. The trolls here at techdirt do it a lot. They scream in favor of clear violations of the Constitution, in favor of sheer insane laws without realizing they would be severely affected by those.

You mean like this:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c,2849/

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“David is clearly not Tim Russert. I don’t know who would have been a good replacement for Tim, but David Gregory has destroyed the credibility of Meet the Press. I don’t even watch it anymore.”

You’re absolutely right that Russert was far better than Gregory, but as someone who watches MTP regularly, I thought this was a bit unfair. Gregory’s interview style is, was, and always has been to approach a guest from the polar opposite viewpoint. He’s an antagonist that way. This question was simply taking the line of the NSA apologists and giving his guest the opportunity to respond as if the question was posed directly.

The better point, in my opinion, would be to have said that Gregory’s interview style gives shelter to the opinion that there is a debate to be had on the subject of journalists aiding and abetting criminals when that shouldn’t even be up for debate at all….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ll concede your point insofar as Gregory takes the opposing point of view. My larger gripe with him is that the questions he asks are softer, if that’s the proper term, than Tim Russert’s were. Russert had a way of cutting to the core of the situation that really revealed the stances of his guests on the show. A lot of times he would catch them off guard with how penetrating his questions were and you could get an AH-HA! moment of truth.

Chris says:

Re: Re: Overreaction

I think those that think he was attacking or saying he believed he should be charged lack analytical skills / critical thinking skills. Ever here odd devils advocate to make a point or to address the critics? Clearly he wanted to give this guy the opportunity to answer his critics but the guest missed it completely and so have so many others who are jumping on the band wagon. Watch it again with that in mind and see if your opinion changes.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

No one but them can be real journalists.
They were all for tossing the rules against WikiLeaks, until they discovered those rules were being violated against them.

They fear if they report the real truth, no one would tell them anything. The downside is all of this bootlicking has lead people with real stories skipping contacting them knowing it would be buried or see them turned over to the authorities by the Fourth Estate who is supposed to represent truth not just the narrative spin.

Anonymous Coward says:

it’s the same old story. the government is acting on behalf of the people until it starts acting on behalf of itself. when information of what the government is up to, behind the backs of the people, is let out, the government then does whatever it takes to blame as many others as possible, not for doing what the government was but telling everyone what it was doing. there hasn’t and i doubt ever will be, any apology for what the government has been up to. isn’t it strange how the accusations always change round so that what was going on can be turned into a ‘non-crime’ and the reporting of that was going on suddenly becomes ‘the crime’. all blame has to be laid squarely at the feet of all those that knew what was going on, contrary to what have been going on and charges made accordingly. even the ‘China hacking the USA’ has been turned on it’s head. the truth now out is the USA hacking and spying on everyone, everywhere for everything! disgraceful way to behave.
one thing i haven’t seen yet is how the floods in Calgary etc would have been stopped if the surveillance had been in operation! it can supposedly stop anything else you can think of!!

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