Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz pressed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald to explain his criticisms of big media outlets which he said unfairly targeted Trump supporters following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
During two segments on Kurtz’s Sunday program, the host grilled Greenwald over a column he wrote in which he took USA Today to task for attacking people charged with crimes related to the riot who were using popular crowdfunding platforms to raise money for their legal defense.
In his column, Greenwald noted that the paper, which has the second-largest national circulation behind The Wall Street Journal, used its power and influence “to pressure and shame tech companies to do more to block these criminal defendants from being able to raise funds for their legal fees, and to tattle to tech companies by showing them what techniques these indigent defendants are using to raise money online.”
Greenwald wrote that it isn’t the job of journalists to take activist roles but rather to be “speaking truth to power and standing up to major power centers.”
(Video: Fox News)
As he brought Greenwald in, Kurtz noted that his column received substantial blowback from journalists who cried foul over his alleged attack.
“There’s an old saying in journalism often cited by the Pulitzer committee…which is that the role of the journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, meaning that our job is to turn a light not on powerless people — those who we are supposed to be defending — but on the corruption of power centers,” Greenwald noted, which include government agencies, large corporations, and “security states.”
He went on to explain that the USA Today article “targeted private citizens” who are “charged with serious crimes” and who were simply “trying to raise money online so they could defend themselves with good criminal lawyers,” which they are entitled to.
The paper “got them kicked off” various platforms, Greenwald continued, adding that was the entire point of the story. “And they celebrated it.”
“What kind of journalism is that?” Greenwald asked.
Kurtz interjected to put up a quote from Greenwald’s column in which he accused “the Trump-era media” of primarily targeting “private citizens and people who wield no power” because “media outlets believe” they “must have their lives ruined” for having “adopted the wrong political ideology.”
“So you see this as ideologically based?” Kurtz pressed.
“Absolutely,” Greenwald replied, citing an example where CNN confronted an “elderly” woman in Florida a few years ago after she “posted a pro-Trump rally on her Facebook page.”
CNN claimed the post “was actually engineered by the Russians,” Greenwald continued, adding that big media outlets “dox people all the time” like that.
The award-winner then noted that big media journalists “make themselves the victim” when they are called out, often by claiming that such criticisms amount to “inciting hatred” against them.
“They completely reverse the dynamic. They attack marginalized powerless people, but then pretend that the marginalized powerless vulnerable ones are themselves,” said Greenwald
Kurtz interjected again to read through some complaints made by other journalists, who chastised Greenwald for “bullying” one of the female reporters who co-wrote the USA Today story, before asking him to respond.
Greenwald explained that he believes it is hypocritical for supporters of feminism, including himself, to hold out women as being equal to men but then complain they’re being bullying when a male criticizes them.
In a follow-on segment, Kurtz and Greenwald discussed how big media outlets and tech platforms including Twitter worked to suppress details regarding contents on a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter Biden ahead of the November election.
The revelations, first reported by the New York Post and later by just a few other major outlets, were largely suppressed, Greenwald believes, for political purposes.
Kurtz played clips of Biden’s interview with CBS last week in which he only claimed the laptop, which was abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware in late 2019, “could” be his before asking Greenwald to respond.
“It’s totally irrelevant because there’s no doubt — there wasn’t then and there certainly isn’t now — that those documents are authentic,” said Greenwald regarding the materials discovered on the laptop.
“Nobody from the Biden family has ever claimed a word of those emails and documents that were published are anything but authentic,” he added.
Kurtz went on to note that NPR has recently corrected a previous story in which the outlet falsely claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies had “discredited” the materials and that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said suppressing The Post’s stories was “a mistake.”
“I really think we haven’t sufficiently appreciated how serious and grave this attack was on our right to have the dissemination of information…before the election,” Greenwald responded, noting that “Facebook and Twitter” both suppressed the stories over false claims of “Russian disinformation.”
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