Journalist For Time Magazine Announces His Eagerness To Defend US Drone Strike Killing Julian Assange

from the journalism! dept

We’ve already discussed the odd and somewhat sickening way in which certain mainstream journalists have been clearly cheering on the criminalization of investigative journalism, but Time Magazine’s Michael Grunwald took it to a new and incredibly disgusting level this weekend, with a now deleted tweet in which he gleefully announced his eagerness to see the US kill Julian Assange, and then to defend the government for doing so:

In case you can’t see that, it says:

I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.

This isn’t just cheering on despicable government actions — including the extrajudicial execution of a fellow journalist — but it’s saying ahead of time that no matter what the situation, he’ll be right there to back up the official party line from the government. Today’s modern journalist, Michael Grunwald, is going beyond the typical stenographer role of so many journalists covering the government, to the point where he’s directly letting the government know that he’ll be their propagandist backing up a despicable and heinous act.

This has nothing to do with whether or not anyone likes Assange. From all the reports, he seems like a perfectly dislikable individual. I don’t agree with many of his views on the world or how he goes about doing certain things that he does. But I certainly support his ability to stay alive.

Of course, this isn’t new territory for Grunwald and Time Magazine. In “defending” his tweet, he pointed to a column he wrote a few months ago, in which he directly supports taking away Americans’ rights if it means stopping terrorists.

Eventually, Grunwald deleted the tweet, but not so much because it’s despicable and indefensible, but rather because leaving it up, according to Grunwald “gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in.” Only an hour later did he apologize, saying that the original tweet was “dumb.”

Either way, why would Time Magazine employ someone who flat out joyfully proclaims his eagerness to support the US murdering the head of a competing news organization — one that has shown what a joke Time Magazine has been in terms of holding the government accountable. What major government abuse stories has Time broken lately?

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Comments on “Journalist For Time Magazine Announces His Eagerness To Defend US Drone Strike Killing Julian Assange”

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Alana (profile) says:

Why isn’t this guy being put in jail for a tweet like that? I mean, the US is so trigger happy with everything ELSE on the internet. /s

But seriously, though. He only thinks it’s dumb because he aired it to a million people and was called out on his bullshit. And he’d be right. But I don’t for one second think he actually didn’t mean it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That is taking it too far. He doesn’t specify place or time. In the end, the guy is just trying to say that he will be a propagandist of official US policy and he is taking a very despicable example to show how unquestioningly submissive he is.

I cannot see why anyone would do that, least of all a journalist, but everybody has reasons.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Maybe, but if so, the person wouldn’t be in jail long if at all. Usually, cases like you’re talking about are ones where the speech was at least ambiguous (could have been interpreted as a threat). That ambiguity gives them the hook.

Grunwald’s statement has no such ambiguity. It’s obviously not a threat, nor is in incitement of anything at all.

(I hate being in the position of defending his speech, but defend it I must.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Police state

Seriously, if that was a thing I’d print out pages of facebook posts of annoying relatives.

Now before you all think I’m some super Obama supporter I’m not… but hate the guy for what he’s done. Not for some tin foil nut case reasons which seem to flood the wacko market these days.

Hell sometimes the wackos come up with offences that fall far bellow the these horrifying NSA revelations.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

Amazing how if a famous person says something that’s not PC, the media goes on a tirade about it, yet this “journalist” (and I use that term loosely) makes a jovial comment about someone else’s impending death by drone strike(!) and he’ll walk away unscathed.

Our country is fast devolving into a fascist nightmare.

Mike-2 Alpha (profile) says:

Re: Re: Isn't Time Magazine...

It is. And, under their criteria, it was justified. Being named “Man of the Year” isn’t an endorsement, or an accolade. It’s Time’s way of pointing out the person they think “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.” In 1938, that was absolutely Adolf Hitler.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

A news source that isn’t in some way biased isn’t a news source.
– Anonymous Coward

You have to pick several very differently biased sources to see the objective information in a situation. Getting all information from a single source is just feeding the ideology the specific source holds.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you propose to go kill some one with a bomb and tweet like that, you’ll be liable to get a special visit. Probably one of the FBI agents undercover will be willing to give you a hand. Even supply you with plans, fake bombs, the whole works. Then when you move to use all that, the FBI will be happy to arrest you and set you on your merry way through the legal system.

So why isn’t the FBI visiting this guy? I mean he’s right out there on one of the most public of public places saying he’d like to see someone dead.

out_of_the_blue says:

Rush LImbaugh was gleeful about the Gulf War.

With his “Bomb, Bomb, Iraq” song and constant cheering. The whole “media” has long been a propaganda machine advocating bigger and more militant gov’t: this person is just specific and blatant, and targets supposed techno-geek Assange.

If you’re surprised to see this attitude among “mainstream” press, it’s just insufficient cynicism combined with inability to see that your own buttons were pushed previously as gov’t provided excuses for war that you accepted without too much questioning. But there’s no “existential” threat to the US-superpower that’s justified any war since Korea, at a stretch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: bastard!

I only need to look here and here indicate that the comment was grounded in facts.

You really can’t stand any display of due process. My guess is that you have John Steele punish Otis Wright in your sick fantasy dream sequences so you can sleep at night.

You’re not fooling anyone, Prenda fanboy. Enjoy the Streisand effect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 bastard!

Again, you attempt to bait and distract from the original post. Since those posts have nothing to do with due process – AND I AM NOT A SUPPORTER OF PRENDA – I would ask the admins to give you the same level of blocking I currently suffer. Clearly you are a liar, nothing more and nothing less, and a troll bent on turning every discussion into something about me.

You are a sick, twisted troll with nothing to add. Go away already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 bastard!

Again, you attempt to bait and distract from the original post.

Well, that’s just fine and dandy, because that’s what out_of_the_blue, average_joe, darryl and you do on a regular basis.

I would ask the admins to give you the same level of blocking I currently suffer.

You speak of these blocks. According to the timestamps your message came less than half an hour after the message you responded to.

Just like your previous messages, your rebuttal is a joke. This “blocking” clearly doesn’t exist or isn’t working like you claim it is.

Clearly you are a liar, nothing more and nothing less, and a troll bent on turning every discussion into something about me.

Maybe you should’ve considered not making every discussion on Prenda into a character assassination of Otis Wright and focus on the multitude of legal professionals that agree with the even-handedness of what he’s done.

You’re not fooling anyone, bobmail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not about personalities

As I’ve seen it put elsewhere: it’s fucking stupid to judge whether a spy program is good or bad based on whether we like the guy who released the docs, or his motives.

“I really wasn’t sure about the wisdom of a massive US surveillance state, but since I saw that activist twerp leaker’s annoying hair and oversized ego I’ve decided I need to white knight the NSA!”

Jasmine Charter (user link) says:

Media = Propagandist

It’s sad to say, there are few, if any, REAL journalists today. Meaning objective journalists with no agenda.

Whether it’s CNN, MSNBC, etc with their TOTALLY liberal agenda or FOX with it’s obvious RIGHTWING slant, the fact is, the public can no longer count on journalism to be fair and objective.

Which means more and more sheople blindly accepting whatever idiotic propaganda they spew forth as REAL fact, rather than what it REALLY is… editorialize content with an agenda.

And why this current US administration seems to have the media as their personal lapdog Propagandists is beyond me.

We used to count on the media to keep the politicians honest… now they’re just part of the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

He deleted his tweet and now thinks it was stupid.

MikeGrunwald 18 Aug
Fair point. I’ll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in

MikeGrunwald 18 Aug
It was a dumb tweet. I’m sorry. I deserve the backlash. (Maybe not the anti-Semitic stuff but otherwise I asked for it.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It would be a deliberate and extremely public political assassination. That is far more brazen than offing some nobody they can easily affiliate with xenophobia toward Islamics and most of the American public wouldn’t be any wiser. I don’t think that precedence is out of the bag. That is when it goes from being a dirty little secret that many Americans won’t even acknowledge to it being the White House saying “What? We offed some journalist who posted our dirty laundry. You gonna come at us or what?! Didn’t think so, pussies!”

Anonymous Coward says:


I could see someone saying that sarcastically. “I can’t wait to defend the US’s assassination of Julius Assange.” With the unspoken message of “It’s my job, I have no goddamn choice and have to do it, I suspect it’s a matter of when not if… what the hell is my goddamn country going to? I need a drinking problem”

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