(Anti Media) Prominent journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on Fox News this week to discuss the failures of the mainstream media in their coverage of the ongoing Russia-Trump scandal, but during his appearance, he refused to gloss over the right-wing cable giant’s own role in spreading disinformation.
Speaking as a guest on Laura Ingraham’s show, Greenwald, who is best known for reporting on Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, first discussed CNN’s recent botched story, which implied Wikileaks colluded with the Trump campaign last year by allowing them to see DNC emails before they were released to the public.
“It certainly is the case that anyone in journalism, whether it’s people at Fox or people at the Intercept or anywhere, are going to get stories wrong sometimes,” he began, acknowledging the nature of the news industry.
“This was not just a blockbuster story that fell apart, but what is most disturbing to me is two things: One, it’s a long line now of stories about Trump and Russia that major media outlets have trumpeted in the very flamboyant way only for those stories to completely fall apart upon minimal scrutiny, always going in the same direction of trying to prove that Trump really did collude with the Russians in a criminal way in that Russia is essentially taking over the United States. So it’s not just one mistake, it’s a huge series of them always toward the same outcome and the same agenda.”
He went on, calling out the tendency of mainstream outlets to parrot each other even when the information is incorrect:
“But the second and more disturbing thing for me, Laura, is the question of how it is that not just CNN, but ultimately CBS and MSNBC, which said they confirmed the story, got it wrong. They all claimed that multiple sources told them that this email sent to Don Jr. was dated before the Wikileaks publications became public. How did multiple sources all get the same date wrong when talking to multiple media organizations? It’s impossible to think about how that could be innocent, and they refuse to say.”
Greenwald suggested that CNN and others made a deliberate attempt to mislead and that, assuming they actually made an honest mistake, they still failed to explain how it happened, shirking their obligations as journalists. He then called out CNN for inviting him on their network to criticize Fox News but ignoring him when he disagrees with CNN’s narratives. But Greenwald also took the opportunity to swipe at Fox, as well:
“When I write about Fox News and all of its many flaws and many mistakes and many humiliations, which have taken place a lot this year and the last year, CNN immediately invites me on and Fox doesn’t, and that’s the reverse that happens when I write about CNN.”
He went on, making sure to be clear in his indictment of Fox News and his rejection of mainstream journalism tactics as a whole:
“I don’t want it to be implied that this is a problem unique to CNN and MSNBC. Fox has had its share of incredibly embarrassing mistakes, also always in the direction of its own political agenda, and the problem is that media outlets now are balkanized. They talk only to their audiences, and they don’t have any transparency or accountability duties and that, I think, is what’s ruining journalism.”
Ingraham attempted to push back, responding, “First of all, if I get something wrong, Glenn, you have an open invitation to come on and correct me. I have no problem — I’m not a perfect person, believe me, if I get something wrong, I’m happy to have you come on and have a conversation with it…So I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about there.”
She also complained at the difficulty she faces getting liberals and Democrats to come on her show. Moving on, she turned the discussion back to the intent of mainstream outlets when they spread false information and whether they are making honest mistakes in their rush to get news out or intentionally misleading the public.
“[I]f people were just making mistakes journalistically because they were rushing or because human beings are fallible, as we all are,” Greenwald said, “You would expect roughly 50% of the mistakes to go in one direction and 50% of the mistakes to go in the other direction. And what you’re seeing in the story is the exact opposite.”
Again, he made sure to call out both sides of the partisan media:
“Virtually 100% of the mistakes that outlets like CNN in the Washington Post and MSNBC make are designed to undermine and subvert Donald Trump and to bolster the Russia Trump story, just like all of Fox’s mistakes are in the opposite direction.”
He then clarified which Fox shows he had referred to, singling out Fox and Friends and Hannity without naming them specifically:
“I don’t mean your show, which is only a couple months old. I mean the two that Donald Trump loves to watch most, which is the morning show full of disinformation and the evening show that precedes yours.”
Ingraham attempted to interrupt, but Greenwald continued:
“And I think that’s the problem in journalism… these mistakes stop looking like mistakes when they always go in the same direction and are always bolstering the same political agenda, and I think you’re seeing that around most media outlets and not just the ones we’re discussing.”
Indeed, mainstream outlets from CNN and MSNBC to Fox News have been documented consistently perpetuating falsehoods, and Greenwald has dedicated a bulk of his writing over the last year to exposing inconsistencies with the Trump-Russia narrative. Fortunately, his reporting on media bias is not hindered by the same false dichotomies and biases that indisputably cloud reporting from America’s left and right-wing media giants, and he is not afraid to point out their hypocrisy to their faces.