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June 23, 2013

David Gregory Wonders Why Glenn Greenwald Shouldn't Be Charged With a Crime

On Meet the Press David Gregory had a contentious exchange with Glenn Greenwald in which he asked if Greenwald should be criminally liable for "aiding and abetting" Edward Snowden.

You are a polemicist here; you have a point of view; you are a columnist; you're a lawyer. You do not dispute that Edward Snowden has broken the law, do you? . . . To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

It's clear Gregory is fairly un-self-aware. He attacks Greenwald, while suggesting Greenwald has a point of view, before assuming a criminal "aiding and abetting" relationship in his question. Greenwald responded:

I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence--the idea that I've "aided and abetted" him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about that fact that the Obama administration was trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced: being a co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal.

Gregory didn't like being steamrolled, and went back to his ad hominem attack.

Well, the question of who is a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing; and, of course, anybody who is watching this understands I was asking a question. That question has been asked by lawmakers as well. I'm not embracing anything.

No, the question hasn't been asked by serious people, and asking Greenwald about it on Meet the Press gives it undue weight. But that's what you do when you seek to discredit someone who is damaging the party/administration you support. He's right about one thing, though: there is a question here about who is a journalist, although I don't think it cuts in the direction Gregory thinks.

Gregory immediately started taking a beating on Twitter, and--maybe surprisingly--most of it was from the left. First, a tweet from Greenwald, followed by some of the reaction to the interview:

Video below the fold.

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posted by rdbrewer at 01:47 PM

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