June 24, 2013
On Sunday, NBC Meet the Press anchor David Gregory said investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald “aided and abetted” former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden and asked why he shouldn’t be charged with a crime.
“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?” Gregory asked.
“If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal, and it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States,” said Greenwald, a former constitutional attorney.
He sent out a tweet after the interview. “Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?” He then underscored Gregory’s service to the state by writing: “Has David Gregory ever publicly wondered if powerful DC officials should be prosecuted for things like illegal spying & lying to Congress?”
Gregory’s assertion is the latest effort by the establishment to demonize investigative journalism. Prior to his suspicious death, Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings accused the Obama administration of engaging in a war against the press.
“The Obama administration has clearly declared war on the press,” he told Current TV. “It has declared war on investigative journalism, our sources… I think our only resource to this kind of behavior by the government is to say back to the government we declare war on you and from this point forward we should no longer as the media cooperate in any manner with the government in terms of national security stories. We should withdraw all our cooperation and we should publish everything we know because it is a free press and not a ‘free when the government tells me to do it’ press. We have been way too easy going with these guys, let them get away with this for years. We’ve let them tell us what to print and not print. I say be done with it and we should get together and fire back because no one else is going to defend the press.”
Gregory’s accusation further draws the line between a corporate press acting as an official propaganda tool for the ruling elite and alternative investigative press reporting on aspects of the national security state until recently closely guarded.
Obama’s war on the First Amendment has claimed its first victim with Michael Hastings. Gregory has signaled that the government may soon move against other journalists — both judicially and extrajudicially — as it acts to keep its massive and unconstitutional surveillance grid hidden from the victims and punish journalists who dare report on it.