Jeremy Scahill, the national security correspondent for the far-left Nation magazine, made quite an indictment Thursday about the Obama administration and the state of journalism today.
Appearing on Democracy! Now, Scahill said, "[T]hey seem to want only state media. They want everything to look like MSNBC. And that’s not real journalism" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JEREMY SCAHILL, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: There is a war on journalism right now. And in some countries, like Mexico, it comes in the form of journalists being assassinated on an almost weekly basis by narco-cartels or people that have links to the Mexican security forces. In Somalia, journalists are killed—being killed in record numbers. There are a couple of dozen journalists missing right now in Syria.
And then, in Western societies, you have, on the one hand, President Obama saying that his administration is going to be the most transparent in history and that they want to be friends with the press; and on the other hand, they are monitoring the metadata of journalists, they are seizing phone records, they’re trying to compel journalists to testify against their sources, they’re trying to figure out who journalists are talking to within government so that they can go and indict those people. That’s what they did to the Associated Press. They went after the aggressive team there—Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo and Kim Dozier and others—who were investigating the CIA. And they went to try to figure out who was talking to them. And then it resulted in the indictment of a—I believe he was a senior FBI official.
They will go after the whistleblowers who are providing independent information to journalists, and then leak their own information that makes them look noble and like they’re winning the day for peace, freedom and democracy. They were a total sieve in the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, and everything they said was total—was a total lie, basically, that bin Laden had grabbed a wife and put her in front of him and, you know, all of these things.
So, we’re seeing this intensification of a war against journalists and journalism. There is no First Amendment in Britain. And I think that, you know, seeing people like Carl Bernstein and others stand up and defend The Guardian here is great, but we also have—we have a First Amendment here. Our profession, our trade is the only one specifically cited in the Constitution, for a reason.
When all three branches of the government are colluding against the interests of the people, it’s the responsibility of journalists and journalism at large to hold them accountable. But this White House, like Bush before, Bushes before, they seem to want only state media. They want everything to look like MSNBC. And that’s not real journalism.
No, it certainly isn't.
But if that's the case, why are so many of his colleagues at The Nation - Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, for example - hosts or commentators at MSNBC?
And why is Scahill a frequent guest of the network if it's not real journalism?
As I've said for years, it takes a lot of rationalizations these days to be a liberal.