NBC's David Gregory is taking a lot of heat for asking the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald on Sunday's Meet the Press if he should be charged with a crime for aiding and abetting National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Greenwald and a host of folks struck back at Gregory on Twitter (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: 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?
GLENN GREENWALD: I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themself 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 the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being 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. And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It’s why the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a standstill, her word, as a result of the theories that you just referenced.
GREGORY: Well, the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing. And of course anybody who’s watching this understands I was asking a question. That question has been raised by lawmakers as well. I’m not embracing anything, but, obviously, I take your point.
Greenwald fired back on Twitter:
Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 23, 2013
If ever there was a moment when the press showed itself too close to government, it was David Gregory's attack on @ggreenwald— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) June 23, 2013
Can someone point me in the direction of the Ultimate Arbiter of Journalism? I need to check a couple of things.— Janine Gibson (@janinegibson) June 23, 2013
If you're going to accuse @ggreenwald aiding and abetting Snowden, folks, the words "may have" and "what if" can't be part of your argument.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 23, 2013
We still can't quite believe what David Gregory asked Glenn Greenwald just now http://t.co/BLywF53Tj5— HuffPost Media (@HuffPostMedia) June 23, 2013
I was jailed by Mugabe's Zimbabwe for "practicing journalism". Is David Gregory saying Obama's America should do the same to @ggreenwald?— Toby Harnden (@tobyharnden) June 23, 2013
Chuck Todd joins Gregory in wondering what Greenwald's active role in leak was, especially since a lawyer etc. http://t.co/GugWe8PyU4— Greg Mitchell (@GregMitch) June 23, 2013
Has David Gregory ever publicly wondered if powerful DC officials should be prosecuted for things like illegal spying & lying to Congress?— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 23, 2013
Of course, the other issue here is whether Gregory would have asked that question if Obama was a Republican.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since this story first broke, liberal media members such as Gregory that were totally opposed to George W. Bush's domestic surveillance have changed their tune now that a Democratic president they helped get elected has taken such spying on Americans to a new level.
Funny how that works.