Former lead Obama auto adviser Steven Rattner: ‘Glenn Greenwald is not a journalist’

Steven Rattner
Image credit: Daphne Borowski
Financial Times Photos/Flickr

Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

In statements made on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, former lead auto advisor to Obama, Steven Rattner, said that the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald “is not a journalist.”

Instead, claims Rattner, Greenwald, who broke the PRISM story along with several other major stories on government surveillance programs, is actually “an activist portraying himself as a journalist.”

Greenwald has been attacked many times in the media and elsewhere over his reporting on the information leaked by Edward Snowden, and there is a possibility that he might testify before the European Parliament on the issue.

The members of the panel on Monday’s Morning Joe were discussing how one might hide from the National Security Agency (NSA). Mika Brzezinski, the host of the show, stated that the story surrounding the NSA surveillance is not black-and-white, though she claims Greenwald believes it is.

“That’s exactly the point,” Rattner said. “First of all, Glenn Greenwald is not a journalist, he’s an activist portraying himself as a journalist.”

“That’s maybe another conversation than what we’re having,” he continued. “But you’re right, it’s not a black-and-white story.”

Philip Bump, writing for the Atlantic Wire, argues that, “The argument is ridiculous, of course. Even conservative Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tacitly acknowledges Greenwald is a journalist, if the media shield law he introduced with New York’s Chuck Schumer is any indicator.”

Of course, Graham is most likely no friend of Greenwald’s.

Bump ultimately argues that Greenwald should be treated as a journalist because “the best of journalism is about seeking reform.”

Indeed, as New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen stated in a tweet:

We’ve already seen a surprisingly successful, but ultimately failed, attempt to limit NSA surveillance in the House.

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Furthermore, a recent Pew poll shows that 56 percent of Americans believe that federal courts do not provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data collected by government.

Even more notable, however, is the fact that 70 percent of Americans believe that the government uses the data they collect for purposes other than investigating terrorism.

A whopping 63 percent believe that the government is also collecting what is being said in phone calls and emails, with only 18 percent believing the Obama administration’s claims that they’re only collecting metadata.

Perhaps most shocking of all, 27 percent of Americans believe that the government has either listened to or read their emails.

Still, 50 percent of Americans have a positive view of the program overall, though views on the government’s anti-terror policies in general have changed significantly over time.

As Jonathan Weisman reported on Sunday for the New York Times, while opposition to NSA surveillance was “on the political fringes only a week ago [it] has built a momentum that even critics say may be unstoppable, drawing support from Republican and Democratic leaders, attracting moderates in both parties and pulling in some of the most respected voices on national security in the House.”

If this shift can be even partially attributed to Greenwald’s reporting, Rattner’s case would be weak.

Bump pointedly notes, “Rattner may actually be unaware of what journalists do. Perhaps this blind spot is because the journalists he hangs out with work for Morning Joe.”

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. I am also available for interviews on radio, television or any other format. Please email me at [email protected]

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]

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