Journalist Glenn Greenwald jabbed at MSNBC on their turf Thursday, accusing the network of shilling for President Barack Obama and the Democrats nearly “24 hours a day.”
Greenwald, who broke the story about the National Security Agency’s levels of surveillance earlier this year with leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was addressing the claim that he’s “become more of a spokesman” for Snowden.
Greenwald called the claim “ludicrous.”
“Every journalist has an agenda,” Greenwald told MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker. “We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean that the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are.”
Greenwald said “every journalist has a viewpoint” and he is “very clear” that he believes Snowden’s actions to be “admirable and heroic.”
He said the “ultimate test” of a journalist is whether what they publish is reliable and accurate.
Welker, defending her network, said the point is “not so much about MSNBC and what happens here” but that “sometimes when you talk about Edward Snowden, you do defend him, and some people wonder if that crosses a line.”
“Sure, I do defend him, just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day,” Greenwald said.
Welker protested that “not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day,” to which Greenwald amended that it’s “not everybody, but a lot, a lot of people on MSNBC do.”
“I don’t make any bones about the fact that I consider what Edward Snowden did to be quite heroic, just like I consider what Chelsea Manning did to be quite heroic and Daniel Ellsberg,” Greenwald said. “I as a journalist am very grateful when people sacrifice their own interests to come forward and bring transparency to the United States government, that to me is what journalism is about and we need a lot of that in the United States. So I absolutely do defend what Edward Snowden does and I don’t pretend otherwise.”