At his personal blog yesterday Glenn Greenwald published a lengthy response to PandoDaily’s Mark Ames and other critics who have hit him lately for “privatizing” and allegedly “profiteering” off Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks and even for launching a new venture funded by billionaire Pierre Omidyar. Some have raised concerns about Omidyar’s past business ventures, along with his former company PayPal’s blocking donations to WikiLeaks.
Greenwald had already responded with numerous tweets, such as: “In a week where we published docs in Holland, Norway, Canada, Germany and HuffPost: seems a bad week to claim docs are ‘monopolized.’ ” He also pointed out that few complained when, say, Bob Woodward made many millions writing books that disclosed state secrets. But now he’s replied in full.
Just for starters, Greenwald hits other writers/edtiors—such as Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall—for hypocrisy since they also do work funded by billionaires. Example:
I have nothing but contempt for the DC functionaries who are cynically embracing that Pando post that holds out the WikiLeaks dump-it-all model as the ideal—the Josh Marshalls and Fran Townsends of the world—as though they would prefer we did that instead. Those are the very same people who hate WikiLeaks, and would be first in line to accuse us of recklessness and likely demand our prosecution if we followed that model (here, for instance, is a CNN debate I did in 2010 with the very same Fran Townsend when I defended Julian Assange after he signed a $1.2 million book deal).
Marshall then replied on Twitter: “Notable: this twitter firestorm & @ggreenwald’s new (as usual misleading) attacks have been triggered by my simply tweeting link to article.” The critical Ames article, that is.
It is absolutely the case that I consider the opportunity to help build this new media venture to be a once-in-a-career dream opportunity. That’s because the organization is being built from the start to support, sustain and encourage truly independent, adversarial journalism. It has the backing and is being built by someone whom I am absolutely convinced is dedicated to this model of independent, adversarial journalism. It has the real potential to enable innovative and fearless journalism….
Being skeptical and asking questions about any new media organization is completely appropriate. I’m sure I’d be doing the same thing of other new organizations. But we haven’t even begun yet. When I moved to Salon and then to the Guardian, I heard all sorts of claims about how I’d have to moderate or dilute my work to accommodate those environments and the interests and views of those who own and run them. I don’t think anyone can reasonably claim that happened. And I am quite certain that the same will be true here. The people we work with and, ultimately, the journalism we produce will speak volumes about exactly the reasons we’re doing this and why I’m so excited about it.
On Twitter, David Frum mocked Greenwald for writing at such length, again. Yes, one must admit, Frum only needed to use three words to shame himself as the author of “axis of evil.” And Iraq’s “WMD”: just three letters. Not even a full word.
And now we have Pando’s response to Greenwald, via Mark Ames’s editor. There’s even a Nation angle.
A little later in the day, as the controversy swirled online, there was a heated back and forth on Twitter between Greenwald and James Manley, former top spokesman for Senator Harry Reid who later took an insider P.R. job in DC. Manley tweeted a link to the Mark Ames hit on Greenwald at Pando. Greenwald tweeted referring to Manley’s new post: “‘Revolving door sleaze’, noun: disease plaguing Washington & destroying the nation—see e.g. @JamesPManley http://t.co/QTHKaZQLsz.”
Manley then replied: “and you are a dangerous man. A zealot, full of sanctimonious self righteousness playing a game way out of your league.”
John Nichols and Robert McChesney offer a plan to “free the media.”