Glenn Greenwald. (AP Images)
My new “Think Again” column is called “The (Non-Existent) ‘Center’ Folds.” It’s about the now obsolete notion among Washington insiders that such a thing as “the Center” continues to exist and the damage this does in helping us to understand our world and the Republican desire to destroy almost everything of value in it.
One thing of value that was destroyed this week was Big Nick’s. When you accuse the New York Times of living in an Upper West Side liberal bubble, don’t forget to add “who don’t know the value of a decent burger.”
But one person who does continue to do his job terribly well, and by coincidence, has the best job on the planet—perhaps the best job in the history of the planet—is Bruce Springsteen. If you want the stats on his 2012/2013 tour, which still has three South American dates left and may return to the States in the Fall, or may not, here they are. The one I find most impressive: 223 songs played. The one I find most ridiculous: “Waitin’ On a Sunny Day” played 128 times.
Oh, and speaking of Bruce and burgers, everybody see this?
A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for Freedom of the Press
by Reed Richardson
One need not look very hard these days to find evidence that climate change is very real, has already reached crisis level, and increasingly endangers our very existence on this planet. Similarly, events of this past month have offered up incontrovertible proof that the climate of our democracy is suffering through its own man-made crisis, one that is slowly submerging the fundamental rights of its citizens beneath the rising tide of an omniscient national security state. As one of the few lines of defense enumerated in our Constitution, the press plays a critical role in holding back this deluge. So it is particularly alarming to see the press’s ability to freely investigate the government increasingly under assault. And make no mistake, under assault, it is. Indeed, in adding it all up, July 2013 may rank as one of the worst months for the freedom of the press in our nation’s history.
As a sad but fitting preview to an awful July, on June 23 NBC News “Meet the Press” host David Gregory engages in a bout of media self-recrimination worthy of a Soviet show trial from the 1930s. Pointedly accusing Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald of having “aided and abetted” leaker Edward Snowden, Gregory goes on to openly question whether or not Greenwald deserved to being “charged with a crime” for his reporting.