After warning earlier today that there will be every effort to discredit Edward Snowden and everyone associated with him, from those publishing his materials to those aiding him in avoiding the clutches of US authorities, I was not surprised that it turns out that there are already news stories to be released today about the private life of Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald himself decided to pre-empt these news stories by revealing what they would say.
So I’ve been fully expecting those kinds of attacks since I began my work on these NSA leaks. The recent journalist-led “debate” about whether I should be prosecuted for my reporting on these stories was precisely the sort of thing I knew was coming.
As a result, I was not particularly surprised when I received an email last night from a reporter at the New York Daily News informing me that he had been “reviewing some old lawsuits” in which I was involved – “old” as in: more than a decade ago – and that “the paper wants to do a story on this for tomorrow”. He asked that I call him right away to discuss this, apologizing for the very small window he gave me to comment.
So that’s the big discovery: a corporate interest in adult videos (something the LLC shared with almost every hotel chain), fabricated emails, and some back taxes and other debt.
I’m 46 years old and, like most people, have lived a complicated and varied adult life. I didn’t manage my life from the age of 18 onward with the intention of being a Family Values US senator. My personal life, like pretty much everyone’s, is complex and sometimes messy.
If journalists really believe that, in response to the reporting I’m doing, these distractions about my past and personal life are a productive way to spend their time, then so be it.
It is rare that you see reporters investigating the personal lives of other reporters just after they have broken a major story, unless that information is relevant to the story. It would be interesting to see who tipped off these reporters to this information. So will we see the reporters reporting on the private life of Greenwald having their own private lives reported?
As I said, this is to be expected. The way to shift attention from the Snowden NSA revelations is to get people to focus on the private lives of the people involved. That was what made president Nixon have his henchmen burgle the offices of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, hoping to find some dirt to discredit him and shift attention from what the Pentagon Papers revealed. Except now, some in the media do the government’s work.