NY Times Promotes Hard-Left 'Truth-Telling Prize' for Edward Snowden

On Monday, The New York Times defined as “news” a hard-left award to Edward Snowden. The headline was “Snowden to Receive Truth-Telling Prize.” There was no leftist label as they explained the award came from The Nation magazine’s Nation Institute.

"It's the latest honor for the reporting based on the top-secret material leaked by Mr. Snowden, who was a contractor for the National Security Agency,” Noam Cohen wrote. “While the public and Congress debate whether Mr. Snowden should be considered a hero, a criminal or both, journalism and public policy organizations have heaped praise on the reporting based on the disclosures.”

Make that “left-wing journalism and public policy organizations have heaped praise on the reporting.”

Cohen added: "In February, the Polk Award for National Security Reporting was given to four reporters for their work on the Snowden disclosures, Ms. Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, writing in The Guardian, and Barton Gellman, writing in The Washington Post. Last week, The Guardian was named newspaper of the year at the British Press Awards for its reporting on the surveillance. The Pulitzer Prizes will be announced on April 14."


Liberals always act amazed when you insist that the Pulitzer Prizes are tilted to the Left. They might try to argue that the Snowden stories are tough on President Obama, but candidate Obama would have gladly endorsed this award decision. Here's where the label really should have appeared:

The Ridenhour Prizes, established by the Nation Institute and the Fertel Foundation in honor of the veteran and journalist Ronald L. Ridenhour, who died in 1998, have been given to a range of government critics. In 2011, before the Snowden disclosures, Thomas Drake, a former N.S.A. official accused of leaking classified information, was given the truth-telling prize.

''There is no doubt, we knew we were stepping into something controversial,'' said Danielle Brian of the liberal Project on Government Oversight, one of the judges. ''We were aware that there is so much that still hasn't come out, that we don't know the full story, what will continue to unfold, and that can give some of us pause.”

The story concluded:

But, Ms. Brian added, that ''does not diminish the fact that his exposure of N.S.A. domestic surveillance has had an extraordinary impact on the public policy debate -- we are already seeing movement in the Congress and the White House directly because of his truth-telling.''

Here’s how the Daily Kos lauded the prize, as a boost to rolling back the “surveillance state.”

The Ridenhour Prize establishes that the U.S. First Amendment, journalist, and open government communities view Snowden as a truth-teller deserving recognition. Yet, as with Drake, the government seeks to imprison Snowden, or worse, considering the threats to Snowden's life from high-level U.S. government officials.

Snowden's recognition as a Ridenhour Prize-winner diminishes the government's false caricature of him, and provides an opportunity to turn the public's gaze appropriately to Snowden's revelations. The Ridenhour Prize validates Snowden as a truth-teller in the U.S. Thanks to Snowden, we know the truth about NSA, and the public can focus its attention on finally rolling back the surveillance state.

Notice this is the same "First Amendment community" that cheered Brendan Eich getting fired for his political views.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis