It’s better to burn out than it is to rust

Continuing with the theme of 80s icons who won’t go away, Mike Kinsley is the subject of a devastating take down by digby.

I’m mostly Greenwald/Snowden agnostic. I think the revelations are important but I can’t respect a Putin propagandist, and you probably know that I have a pre-existing condition with Greenwald. But it’s remarkable to me that Kinsley can, on on the one hand, be such a champion of teh civility, and on the other, talk about throwing Greenwald in jail simple because he doesn’t like Greenwald (Kinsley’s argument in favor of jailing Greenwald mostly amounts to “I don’t like him”).

Yes, I and others here talk about sending Kinsley and his ilk to the guillotine when the revolution comes.

But we’ve never claimed to be civil.

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127 replies
  1. 1
    RaflW says:

    We never claimed to be civil.

    That’s for sure. And why I come here!

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RaflW:

    Come for the incivility, stay for the pets!

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    I’m barely civil. What I find odd is, 1. Suddenly the press should decide what’s necessarily secret vs gov? See Conor Friesderp. 2. Kinsley’s jail position seems stupid. He has good points in other criticism. 3. If GG wants us to learn & be critical of sources & institutions, why is he so incapable of handling even the least amount of criticism? It’s not like he isn’t getting the fawning he so richly desires from multiple news outlets and a rabid fan base. His Twitter feed reads like a petulant prom queen who didn’t get complimented by ALL the attendants.

  4. 4
    RaflW says:

    Wow, Digby. I may need a cigarette.

    This tidbit by Kinsley from the Digby takedown (allegedly re: the Downing Street memo but really a hippie punching screed by him) is noteworthy:

    Developing a paranoid theory and promoting it to the very edge of national respectability takes a certain amount of ideological self-confidence.

    Fucker was saying that about liberals. Ummm, Benghazi!

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    At least this one is about Michael Kinsley.

    I was wondering if it was another pet obit. Oh no.

    Or: what did Cole do now?

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @ruemara:

    There’s plenty of reasons to be critical of Greenwald, but Kinsley’s jail position was a straight up troll.

  7. 7
    Xantar says:

    @DougJ:

    Whoa there. Nuance? When discussing Greenwald? I’m not sure that’s allowed around here.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    @Xantar:

    Greenwald derangement syndrom is real.

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    @DougJ: yeah, I can agree with that.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Kinsley = Establishment

    He’s just grifting from a pretend left of center position.

  11. 11
    Botsplainer says:

    I want him jailed because he clearly was Snowjob’s co-conspirator, was a shitty lawyer, a thin skinned racist glibertarian and an all-around shitty person.

  12. 12
    Fuzzy says:

    Sorry, why overthink the words of idiots. Nothing really there.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I agree with most of that, but I’m not sure it would work with a jury.

  14. 14
    Anoniminous says:

    I don’t read Kinsley but going by the Digby quotes Kinsley is a straight-forward Right Wing Hegelian, an odious philosophy.

  15. 15
    LT says:

    A “Putin propagandist”? I’m inclined to cut him more slack than that.

    If Putin gives the wink and nod, Snowden will spend most of the remainder of his life in a U.S. prison. He is nothing more than a card Putin can (and probably will) play at some point. Snowden’s best interests are irrelevent to Putin, and Snowden knows it.

  16. 16
    some guy says:

    Lord Kinsley is the rotten egg Marty Peretz bestowed upon us all. The rank odor refuses to go away.

  17. 17
    some guy says:

    @DougJ:

    besides Greenwald, what other journalists do you feel should be jailed for doing their job?

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Kinsley’s been off my radar for a while, but “bored aristocrat” sums him up perfectly, the eye-rolling reminds me of Josh Marshall’s diagnosis of Cokie Roberts and her Broderist/Russerian ilk as confused and embarrassed by those who think politics have real-life, and sometimes disastrous, consequences for actual people. Also, too, Kinsley is (AFAIK) the Godfather of the whole Slate-ish contrarian, I’m-a-liberal-but-really… school of punditry. I haven’t read the Greenwald review yet, but this is one instance when I’m gonna be cheering on Greenwald’s counter-trolling. I hope he makes Kinsley very uncomfortable. I’ll read the review tomorrow– even though I have no intention of reading GG’s book, life’s too short– but that bit about the Iraq War is so fucking depressing, especially coming so soon after Tim Egan’s defense of Condi Rice

  19. 19
    Culture of Truth says:

    I sometimes wish analysis of anti-terror techniques could be had without discussionof whether Snowden, Greenwald, Kinsley et al are ‘good’ or’ bad’, but I fear that may never happen.

  20. 20
    Botsplainer says:

    @DougJ:

    Given that Griftwald is the Godfather III of jurisprudential knowledge, nobody should be surprised that he would miss the fact that by cooking up the document conduit and release with Snowjob before Snowjob ever took the job at Booz Allen, he would technically be on a potential hook as co-conspirator.

  21. 21
    RaflW says:

    Oh, and this glibertarian piece of claptrap Digby quotes is pretty stunning!

    [T]here is no reason every airline should meet the same level of safety. In fact, it makes perfect sense for discount airlines to be less safe than traditional full-price carriers. This is no excuse for negligence and rule-breaking. But if the rules don’t recognize that some people, quite rationally, will wish to buy less safety for less money, they are doing the flying public a disservice.

  22. 22
    Gorgon Zola says:

    “Kinsely’s jail position”? I don’t really see a “jail position” in his NYT review, DougJ’s silly strawman notwithstanding. “(Kinsley’s argument in favor of jailing Greenwald mostly amounts to “I don’t like him”).”

    If you can find an argument in “favor of jailing” GG, please let me know. The closest he comes to that is defending Gregory’s question–as a legitimate question, not as a position calling for jail time. The fact that GG believes such inquiries are beneath both himself and contempt is not an example of Kinsley’s perfidy so much as my liberal comrades’ unfailing ability to resort to knee-jerk faux analysis.

  23. 23
    some guy says:

    Lickspittle’s dreaming up conspiracy theories about Greenwald and Snowden always crack me up.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    Kinsley jumped the shark a long time ago (assuming he was ever on the other side of the shark to begin with). I haven’t read his piece, but was amused that people were getting worked up over anything he had to say.

  25. 25
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer: Just out of curiousity, why would a “racist” write repeatedly against inequality under the law vis a vis ethnicity, as GG has?

  26. 26
    Rex Everything says:

    Glenn Greenwald is not just the American Left’s most fearless political commentator; his fearlessness is such that he has shifted the expectations for everyone else, too. His rock-ribbed principles and absolute disregard for partisan favor have made U.S. political discourse edgier, more confrontational, and much, much better.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @RaflW:

    But if the rules don’t recognize that some people, quite rationally, will wish to buy less safety for less money, they are doing the flying public a disservice.

    Huh? Is there a rule that says airlines can’t go beyond minimum safety standards?

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gorgon Zola: I’m in the midst of a similar discussion on Lawyers, Guns, and Money, and that’s apparently the part everyone is reacting to, including smart people I like like aimai, but when I read the review I didn’t notice that. If you’re also confused about where that’s coming from, then I feel less out to sea.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @some guy:

    All of them, Katie.

  30. 30
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Shorter Kinsley: “The peasants are revolting”

  31. 31
    Botsplainer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Gigli keeps identifying with, and propping up racist whites, and his shitty legal career was spent malpracticing cases for white supremacists in an over the top way. He has nothing good to say, ever, about Americans of color, and his seeming embrace of Palestinians (without actually doing anything for them, which is hard) appears to be more a rejection of his own background.

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  33. 33
    techno says:

    Kinsley, the rich doctor’s son, attended a very fancy prep school and then Harvard. When you come from so much privilege, it is almost impossible to become anything but a useless, right-wing, prick. And that is what he became. I lost my patience with him when I discovered he was FAR to the right of Buchanan on NAFTA. What was so disgusting is that he defended neoliberalism so enthusiastically.

    I try not to think about Kinsley. He didn’t betray us—he was never one of us. What was so shocking is that by the 1980s, a far-right looney like Kinsley could actually play a librul on TV. The “center” of political thought is a long, long way back, folks.

  34. 34
    Botsplainer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Glenn Greenwald is not just the American Left’s most fearless political commentator; his fearlessness is such that he has shifted the expectations for everyone else, too. His rock-ribbed principles and absolute disregard for partisan favor have made U.S. political discourse edgier, more confrontational, and much, much better.

    Shorter Rex: Glenn Greenwald is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  35. 35
    White Trash Liberal says:

    GG should answer the question. Getting irate about it is dodging it. The fact that he and his supporters are squirting generous amounts of invective leads me to believe all the more that there is no good answer.

    GG is allowed to claim that whistleblowers are spending decades in supermax holes… Disappeared into gulags. He is allowed, quite freely, to attack just about every reporter as a lickspittle sycophant.

    GG pretty plainly has an agenda that seeks to merchandise a form of selective outrage. The least he can do is answer a fuckinh uncomfortable question.

    Kinsley is a proven hack. David Gregory… Jesus Christ he is a tool among tools. However, their personalities and resume in no way relieves GG of his obligation to answer the question.

  36. 36
    Botsplainer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You beat me to it. Kudos.

  37. 37
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer: Ah, so by writing about inequality for minorities he’s “rejecting his own background”—so his “racism” is against his own race? That’s what you’re saying?

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Botsplainer: I don’t think Greenwald is guilty of any of those things, but if he were inclined to tear down someone else who had done those things (defended a white supremacist’s free speech rights and said complimentary things about a politician who had questioned the Civil Right Act), he would never, ever, ever let it go.

  39. 39
    Joey Maloney says:

    Watching Kinsley and Greenwald go at each other is like watching a couple of high-school alpha cheerleaders in a screeching, scratching, hair-pulling catfight. (And one of them has been smoking so much meth that she’s trembling uncontrollably.)

    As usual when Greenwald is involved, I’m rooting for injuries.

  40. 40
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer: Also out of curiousity: which leftie media figure(s) do you prefer to read/watch/listen to over GG?

  41. 41
    DougJ says:

    @some guy:

    None. I’m saying I’m convinced that GG is an asshole but that the idea of jailing someone for that is crazy.

  42. 42
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Also out of curiousity: which leftie media figure(s) do you prefer to read/watch/listen to over GG?

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gorgon Zola: Having now read the piece, I have to agree. Kinsley doesn’t call for GG to be jailed, he says it’s not unreasonable to ask if he should be charged with a crime. On the whole, the piece is not nearly as bad as I had expected. I still think Kinsley’s an asshole who should be (figuratively) boiled for his comments on the Iraq War.

  44. 44
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: all of them, because Glenn Greenwald isn’t a lefty anything. He’s a dogmatic civil libertarian whose preoccupations sometimes match up with those of liberals and leftists. It’s like when mistermix gets on one of those Net Neutrality jags. I can see that net neutrality is an important issue, but I don’t think it’s a left-right issue except tangentially.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    On the whole, the piece is not nearly as bad as I had expected.

    Welcome to the Internet.

  46. 46
    Rex Everything says:

    I rely on Glenn Greenwald, above all, for understanding the assaults on the Constitution, and for pointing the way toward regaining a republic. There’s no one whose work has impressed me more.

  47. 47
    Botsplainer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    I’ve come to despise most paid pundits, left and right, so opinion pieces aren’t my gig anymore. My gripe is rooted in their lack of life accomplishment outside punditry, and the notion that they then have the gall to opine on the work of others.

  48. 48
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Judith Miller was held in contempt. There are times when the first amendment rights of journalists are not sacrosanct.

    It would be nice to hear GG express his views on precisely why he shouldn’t be charged and treat those questions as legitimate, not stoop to thousand word screeds attacking the questioners for their loyalties.

    And jumping on the hate caravan to make Kinsey the bad guy in this does a disservice to the public debate about 1st amendment rights.

  49. 49
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    all of them

    lol. Thanks, Ms Palin.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @Rex Everything:

    He is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Freedum except through him. Greenwald 14:6.

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: it’s also a question that Greenwald should be able to swat out of the park, but instead he’d rather be indignant that he’s even being asked. Remember when there was a whole brouhaha about the Supreme Court (I think it was Breyer) asking a plaintiff to explain how a strip search for drugs was different from changing in the locker room before gym class? The question wasn’t being asked because the two things were the same, but because he wanted to know the particular reasoning for why they were different. Similarly, this is a valid question: “explain to me why you think you shouldn’t be considered an accessory to a crime.” The answer can be a civil libertarian tour de force. Not every question is a coded attack.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I’ve come to despise most paid pundits, left and right, so opinion pieces aren’t my gig anymore.

    Same here.

  53. 53
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer: “the work of others”—you mean politicians? Yes, let’s all despise the “gall” of journalists who criticize politicians! That is the formula for an enduring democracy!

  54. 54
    Han says:

    @RaflW: Shanna! They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into! I say, let ’em crash…

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: glad you got the reference.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: I don’t remember the part where he pointed the way to anything. Usually his argument is that answering the “What is to be done?” question is not his job, because principle, that’s why.

  57. 57
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer:
    @FlipYrWhig:

    What do you think of Rachel Maddow?

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: I like her? Where is this going?

  59. 59
    MattF says:

    So, how the hell did Kinsley convince people that he is/was a liberal? Happily, one can trust Digby to get to the heart of Kinsley’s politics, so we can see that there’s a wee problem with Mr. Mike. Maybe now we can appoint Kinsley chairperson of the Slateitarian party.

  60. 60
    MattF says:

    So, how the hell did Kinsley convince people that he is/was a liberal? Happily, one can trust Digby to get to the heart of Kinsley’s politics, so we can see that there’s a wee problem with Mr. Mike. Maybe now we can appoint Kinsley chairperson of the Slateitarian party.

    ETA: Double post! Now I know how it’s done, I guess.

  61. 61
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Rex Everything:

    That was a very obtuse misreading of what Bot was trying to.

    Paid pundits are consent manufacturers. They exist within and breathe the rarified air of a world alien to 99% of us. Even the ones that “I agree with” are part of a system that misrepresents the world by deliberate and accidental means… Largely in the pursuit of money.

    If anything, Kinsey’s review plays right into GG’s strengths as a pundit of personality to the point that I wonder how much NYT’s publishing arm has to do with the promotion of “Nowhere to Hide.”

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @MattF:

    ETA: Double post! Now I know how it’s done, I guess.

    No mortal can understand the mystery of FYWP.

  63. 63
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: By mentioning “republic” you’ve hit upon something else I think is important, which is that in terms of the history of political thought, IMHO the best place to put Greenwald is among the small-r republicans. Here’s what the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says about republicanism.

  64. 64
    Gorgon Zola says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think one of the reasons we have otherwise smart people conjuring Kinsley’s non-position from thin air comes from GG himself; his tweets following MK’s review introduced the idea that MK proposed jailing journalists. It’s amazing how he controls the narrative.

    I love Digby and I have a man-crush on DougJ, but I can’t see how her post is a “devastating takedown” of Kinsley (unless you buy the fake outrage of MK “favoring jail”)

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: Heh. I read Digby’s link first and the stuff on the Downing St memo had my blood boiling, especially since Egan (whom I mostly like) was far from alone in presenting poor, dear Condi as a victim of some silly self-righteous children! Maureen Dowd actually had a better, more clear-eyed take on that, even if it was presented in that worn-out schtick of hers.

    I don’t like what the NSA is doing and I think the fact that what strikes me as an incredibly modest and very sensible reform– the addition of a “Devil’s Advocate” to the FISA proceedings– can’t get through Congress irritates me, but the idea that the Iraq War was just an unfortunate policy decision, still makes me see red.

  66. 66
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Wouldn’t you know it? Metropolitan Books, publisher of “No Place to Hide” is an imprint of Holt, which also shares a publishing imprint with none other than the NYT.

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gorgon Zola: maybe it makes more sense if you read the Greenwald reaction before the Kinsley piece proper, rather than the other way around. Kinsley said some IMHO strange things about the nature of classified information, but I don’t remember all this other stuff.

  68. 68
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ms. Dowd has generally been on the side of the angels wrt Iraq. Although, as you say, decoding her schtick is more trouble than it’s worth.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: but of course if you want to go Mano a Mano playing the “my rival has a history of bad opinions” game, Glenn Greenwald’s detractors aren’t going to be at a loss for material either.

  70. 70
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Sorry; I was quoting again.

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the addition of a “Devil’s Advocate” to the FISA proceedings

    I would like that too. I wonder whether the powers that be are afraid it will lead to a similar practice wrt regular law enforcement warrants.

  72. 72
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The person you like is a brainwashed Raymond Shaw supporter. (I forgot to attribute the quote.)

    http://us.macmillan.com/withli.....nGreenwald

  73. 73
    Botsplainer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    “the work of others”—you mean politicians? Yes, let’s all despise the “gall” of journalists who criticize politicians! That is the formula for an enduring democracy!

    Once upon a time, you did something with your life before becoming a paid pundit. You had some form of an actual career and demonstrated genuine mastery of knowledge across diverse fields. If you took the journalism path, you actually had to do some regular reporting first, which ideally would help you see that the world has a lot of gray, and that a lot of decisions can get people hurt.

    Nowadays, everybody wants their “both sides” TV time, and without that pesky “demonstrate life accomplishment” nonsense. So now, instead of Eric Sevareid, Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley, we get Tucker Carlson, Erick Ericksdottir, Maria Bartilomo, Anderson Cooper and the like.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: Meh. She has on Frank Rich a fair amount, who’s pretty much an idiot to me, so that doesn’t particularly faze me. And she used to talk about how much she enjoyed having Pat Buchanan on the show. I don’t think her judgment has to correspond with mine.

  75. 75
    Rex Everything says:

    @Baud: I actually don’t think of GG in messianic terms. But apparently Daniel Ellsburg does. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Am.....0307408663

    (Personally I think GG is kind of a dick, but that his dickishness is completely irrelevant.)

  76. 76
    Rex Everything says:

    @Botsplainer: Jesus Christ. That’s quite the TV-centric analysis.

    So, Daniel Ellsburg—did he do something with his life?

  77. 77
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “Her judgement doesn’t have to correspond w/ mine” is kind of a far cry from invoking The Manchurian Candidate to ridicule & invalidate it.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Personally I think GG is kind of a dick, but that his dickishness is completely irrelevant.

    Irrelevant to what? To the policy choices that need to be made? Yes, it’s irrelevant. To the nature and quality of the public debate about those policies? Not irrelevant at all.

  79. 79
    Rex Everything says:

    @Baud: First, it’s irrelevant compared to the magnitude of the issues he tends to discuss, and second, it’s irrelevant to the milieu of his reportage, which requires, above all, doggedness & a combative personality.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @Rex Everything:

    it’s irrelevant compared to the magnatude of the issues he tends to discuss,

    Just about every reporter and pundit, even those we universally and repeatedly mock on this blog, mostly discusses important issues.

    it’s irrelevant to the milieu of his reportage

    I don’t know what this means or how GG’s dickishness plays into it (or is irrelevant to it.)

  81. 81
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: it’s called a joke, son.

  82. 82
    Keith G says:

    When look-back articles are written about this episode a decade from now, Greenwald will be mentioned. Kinsley will not.

    When the same type of article is written 30 years hence, I doubt Greenwald’s name will be mentioned at all – at least not in history book-type summaries. Therefore, I can never understand why so many undies get so knotted up ’round here. It’s just an indulgence.

  83. 83
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Rex Everything: How do Charlie Savage and Bart Gelman manage to keep their personalities and bombastic, thin-skinned histrionics from becoming the topic of so much discussion?

  84. 84
    Rex Everything says:

    And the reason I quoted Maddow was: I saw a Balloon Juice comment section on GG a week or 2 ago (I was too late to the party to comment), where a bunch of people were circle jerking over how great Rachel Maddow is, while slamming GG for the usual “racist glibertarianism,” etc.

    I thought a Rachel Maddow quote in praise of GG’s book on unequal treatment under the law would be a nice thing to submit (not least because of the kinda over-the-top terms with which Maddow praises him).

    Yeah, so it didn’t really come off. But I think a few people will see it & maybe think a little bit.

  85. 85
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sure. Sure it is.

  86. 86
    Rex Everything says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    How do Charlie Savage and Bart Gelman manage to keep their personalities and bombastic, thin-skinned histrionics from becoming the topic of so much discussion?

    I dunno, by not criticising the Obama administration ( which would give people like Baud no choice but to talk endlessly about their personalities)?

  87. 87
    Keith G says:

    @Baud:

    I would like that too. I wonder whether the powers that be are afraid it will lead to a similar practice wrt regular law enforcement warrants.

    According to the press reports that I have read, the White House has been most unhelpful with the original bill and was not unhappy that it has been weakened. These type of important changes in the security state need administration support and they (the West Wing) are not walking the walk.

  88. 88
    Rex Everything says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know what this means or how GG’s dickishness plays into it (or is irrelevant to it.)

    When you want someone to take on powerful institutions (and very few reporters today do that), the main personality traits they need are a willingness to fight, and the ability to stick it out, to endure the fight as it stretches over months & years. Not all personalities can handle the strain involved; those that can are often accompanied by a degree of assholery, and that assholery is less relevant that the other traits which suit the person to the task.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    @Rex Everything:

    which would give people like Baud no choice but to talk endlessly about their personalities

    Haha. And here I thought we were having a decent conversation. But apparently you were inventing whole other worlds to live in.

    @Keith G:

    I haven’t kept up with the stories on this. That is unfortunate.

  90. 90
    ruemara says:

    @Rex Everything: OK, that’s some serious hyperbole with a dose of bullshit creamy center.

    @Rex Everything: Wow.

    Do you light a little candle and incense to him too?

  91. 91
    Cacti says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    It would be nice to hear GG express his views on precisely why he shouldn’t be charged and treat those questions as legitimate, not stoop to thousand word screeds attacking the questioners for their loyalties.

    You’ve identified the primary problem with Greenwald and the Greenwaldians.

    Greenwald is a zealot, and all arguments with him are binary. Reasonable people can’t differ with GG’s assessments, because it is inherently unreasonable to disagree with him. He operates on a higher plane of moral rectitude than the rest of us mere mortals.

  92. 92
    salvage says:

    I’m mostly Greenwald/Snowden agnostic. I

    If it was President Bush or Romney you wouldn’t be.

    It’s amazing the stuff that President Obama can do that when Bush did caused appropriate outrage.

    Democrats and GOP are alike in that they’ll defend pretty much anything the guy they voted for does.

  93. 93
    lol says:

    @salvage:

    Both sides are bad so vote Ron Paul!

  94. 94
    Chyron HR says:

    @salvage:

    “Because my loyalty lies with my country, I give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt.”
    – Glenn Greenwald

  95. 95
    Marc says:

    @salvage:

    We’ve been around this bend about a thousand times. No, a lot of us have really serious problems with Greenwald and Snowden, and this holds true no matter who is president. Greenwald is dishonest. He omits evidence that doesn’t favor his position; he uses half-truths; and he misleads while carefully avoiding actual lies. Snowden didn’t just reveal information about domestic spying; he’s been leaking things that are the actual charter of the NSA (foreign spying), and he’s now turned into an embarrassing Putin apologist.

    Both of these are real issues with how you deal with these two, and they should bother you even if you like, on balance, the outcome.

  96. 96

    @RaflW:

    But if the rules don’t recognize that some people, quite rationally, will wish to buy less safety for less money,

    Wotta a sooper jenyus!
    How about the people on whom the less-safe plane falls? Did they rationally choose less safety?

  97. 97
    DougJ says:

    @MattF:

    Maybe now we can appoint Kinsley chairperson of the Slateitarian party.

    Heh. I tweeted this but couldn’t figure our how to link to the comment on the mobile version

  98. 98
    Carolinus says:

    @Rex Everything:

    But apparently Daniel Ellsburg does. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Am…..0307408663

    Ellsberg is one of the founding members of Greenwald’s club of libertarian anarchist zealots, which was originally created to funnel money to Wikileaks:

    https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/about/board

    Once you know all the folks on the Board of Directors, you’ll notice just how often they promote each others stories, appear as expert voices in each others stories, appeal to each others authority, and take turns burnishing Snowden’s hagiography plus attacking his critics. You’ll also notice they always fail to disclose their relationships and conflicts of interest when writing or commentating on Assange, Wikileaks, Manning, Snowden and each other.

  99. 99
    Yatsuno says:

    @Carolinus: I believe the term you’re looking for is circle jerk.

  100. 100
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Carolinus:

    You’ll also notice that First Look just gave FOTPF a 350k grant.

  101. 101
    AxelFoley says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I want him jailed because he clearly was Snowjob’s co-conspirator, was a shitty lawyer, a thin skinned racist glibertarian and an all-around shitty person.

    This.

  102. 102
    LT says:

    ” but I can’t respect a Putin propagandist ”

    Oh fuck you you idiot fuck. Jesus. You cannot possibly actually belive Snowden did that with the intent of being a propagandist for Putin. That you might believe it was naive or dumb – fine – but if you actually believe that he did that FOR Putin you have fallen from a very high place in my estimation to Jim Hoft low. Jesus. That’s just willfully fucking obtuse.

    Snowden wanted to show that he’d ask the same thing of Putin. A RUSSIAN FUCKING JOURNALIST SAID “RIGHT THE FUCK ON.”

    Whether Snowden was used or not by the Kremlin, the question was a good thing – it allows to start the debate over Russia's surveillance.— Andrei Soldatov (@AndreiSoldatov) April 17, 2014

    You asshole. And I say that with love.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    LT says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    ” It would be nice to hear GG express his views on precisely why he shouldn’t be charged and treat those questions as legitimate, not stoop to thousand word screeds attacking the questioners for their loyalties. ”

    If you’re talking about GG’s reply to Kinsley, this proves only that if he said “Excuse me” you’d go Charles Johnson and say “GREENWALD FLIES INTO RAGE AGAIN!!!!”

    How is this piece anything but a measured reply to Kinsley? Where is anything “screedish” in it?

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/05/23/response-michael-kinsley/

  105. 105
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    You cannot possibly actually belive Snowden did that with the intent of being a propagandist for Putin.

    You can.

    Many do.

    And it’s very possible when you start from a position of adoration.

  106. 106
    LT says:

    @Cacti: I know that many do. Many of them think Bob Cesca and Charles Johnson and the NSA are A-Okay, too. Did not expect it from DougJ.

    For DougJ (and you, I guess) to be right, we’d have to believe that Snowden is lying here.

    If you have ANY evidence that he’s a liar – show it. I trust Snowden. His very courageous act of whistleblowing and his record of honesty and openness have earned that. If you have evidence of his dishonesty, again – show it.

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    @Carolinus:

    Once you know all the folks on the Board of Directors, you’ll notice just how often they promote each others stories, appear as expert voices in each others stories, appeal to each others authority, and take turns burnishing Snowden’s hagiography plus attacking his critics. You’ll also notice they always fail to disclose their relationships and conflicts of interest when writing or commentating on Assange, Wikileaks, Manning, Snowden and each other.

    You’ll also notice that while they’ve managed to put out 19 separate press releases on Bradley Manning, they’ve had boo to say about the numerous abductions and assaults of journalists covering the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

  108. 108
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    If you have ANY evidence that he’s a liar – show it. I trust Snowden.

    You mean besides the part where he took a job under false pretenses to purloin NatSec information?

  109. 109
    LT says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m sure he lied once about his age to get into a bar, too. You so got me.

    Willfully obtuse is not way to go through life, son.

  110. 110
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    I’m sure he lied once about his age to get into a bar. You so got me.

    Willfully obtuse is not way to go through life, son.

    Just as I thought.

    When you say, “if you have proof of dishonesty” what you mean is “other than the dishonesty I approve of”.

    You’re a cheerleader.

    A shill.

    A flack.

    A ho.

  111. 111
    LT says:

    @Cacti:

    When you say, “if you have proof of dishonesty” what you mean is “other than the dishonesty I approve of”.

    No, I mean other than dishonesty completely irrelevant to our discussion. Yes, Snowden likely lied and/or was dishonest with the NSA in the course of his whistleblowing. I’m sure Daniel Ellsbger did, too, in the course of his courageous acts. What it has to do with their honesty *to us, the intended benefactors of that whistleblowing* is exactly nothing.

    What you’re doing is the equivalent of “Oh, you say Rosa Parks is a “great American” – but SHE BROKE THE LAW. So I guess you mean only “great American” stuff that you approve of.”

    Jonah Goldberg would be so jealous of you.

  112. 112
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    No, I mean other than dishonesty completely irrelevant to our discussion.

    Keep moving those goalposts.

    Rah-rah, sis-boom-bah, yay Edward!

  113. 113
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    What you’re doing is the equivalent of “Oh, you say Rosa Parks is a “great American” – but SHE BROKE THE LAW. So I guess you mean only “great American” stuff that you approve of.”

    Another brogressive favorite. Make a facile comparison between Moscow Eddie and an actual civil rights hero who was willing to face the requirements of the law for their disobedience.

    Fleeing to escape prosecution is something common thieves do all the time.

  114. 114
    LT says:

    @Cacti: Tell us again where you did your time in a federal pen, okay? I forget.

  115. 115
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    Tell us again where you did your time in a federal pen, okay? I forget.

    Just like Rosa Parks, ‘cept he’s too special and important for the “and got arrested” part.

    Call it civil disobedience, white privilege edition.

  116. 116
    LT says:

    @Cacti:

    Call it civil disobedience, white privilege edition.

    Hoo boy. What do you call your form of civil disobedience? I’m gonna guess it’s “The kind that doesn’t exist.”

    People who have never been to prison making courageous calls for other people to volunteer for a life sentence – now I think you actually ARE Jonah Goldberg.

  117. 117
    LT says:

    @Cacti:

    ‘cept he’s too special and important for the “and got arrested” part.

    HA. HA. HA HA. HA.

    And YOU? You’re too special and important for the “did any form of disobedience at all in the first place,” right?

  118. 118
    LT says:

    @Cacti: Please tell me you stood at a rally once, and almost spilled your coffee – so you get to criticize Snowden for not volunteering to go to prison for the rest of his life.

  119. 119
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    Hoo boy. What do you call your form of civil disobedience?

    When did I ever call Snowden’s criminal activities civil disobedience?

    Committing felonies then fleeing to avoid prosecution is just garden variety crook behavior.

  120. 120
    LT says:

    @Cacti: “When did I ever call Snowden’s criminal activities civil disobedience?”

    Now you’re just embarrassing. You brought it up.

    Watching you squirm away from telling us what YOU have done is pretty entertaining. I guess you’re too special and important to go to prison for a cause, huh?

    P.S. “garden variety crook behavior.” You can *smell* the jealousy. #pulitzer

    P.S.S. I bet you think these folks are garden variety crooks, too, huh?

  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    @LT:

    Now you’re just embarrassing. You brought it up.

    Ya got me. I totally inserted a tortured Rosa Parks comparison @111.

    Wait, no, that was you.

  122. 122
    LT says:

    @Cacti:

    Make a facile comparison between Moscow Eddie and an actual civil rights hero who was willing to face the requirements of the law for their disobedience.

    That’s you. That’s you implying that Snowden committed civil disobedience, but was unwilling to “face the requirements of the law” (!!) for it.

    You still haven’t told us how you “faced the requirements of the law” for your brave civil disobedience.

  123. 123
    Rex Everything says:

    @ruemara:

    OK, just for posterity I’m gonna attribute the quotes I posted once & for all:

    “Glenn Greenwald is not just the American Left’s most fearless political commentator; his fearlessness is such that he has shifted the expectations for everyone else, too. His rock-ribbed principles and absolute disregard for partisan favor have made U.S. political discourse edgier, more confrontational, and much, much better.”
    —Rachel Maddow

    “I rely on Glenn Greenwald, above all, for understanding the assaults by this administration on the Constitution, and for pointing the way toward regaining a republic. There’s no one whose work has impressed me more.”
    —Daniel Ellsberg

    (Nota bene: when Ellsberg says “this administration,” keep in mind he was writing in 2008.)

  124. 124
    philadelphialawyer says:

    Its not that GG is above criticism, or doesn’t deserve criticism, it is that Kinsley is the kind of leech who pretends that making half clever or too clever by half arguments defending the indefensible practices of the rich and the powerful indicates that he is a nuanced, thoughtful, commenter.

    When what it really indicates is that he is an odious toady.

    And that, in this case, IS keeping it civil.

  125. 125
    LAC says:

    @Gorgon Zola: I didn’t read a jail vibe either in Kinsley’s review, but a pretty damning and insightful takedown of that insufferable thin skinned asshat’s assertions of journalistic integrity. But with greenwald and his lackeys, it is always some over dramatic projecting.

  126. 126
    Ohmmade says:

    Putin propogandist?

    What a relentlessly stupid thing to say.

    I’d be embarrassed saying something sp patently imbecilic. That is precisely akin to what Kinsley said.

  127. 127
    LT says:

    @LAC: Kinsley:

    So this particular question was not baseless. Furthermore, it was a question, not an assertion — a perfectly reasonable question that many people were asking, and Gregory was giving Greenwald a chance to answer it: If the leaker can go to prison, why should the leakee be exempt?

    You:

    I didn’t read a jail vibe either in Kinsley’s review

    Yer special.

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