Why Glenn Greenwald relentlessly attacks Hillary Clinton — even if it helps Donald Trump

In an interview with Jeff Stein, Glenn Greenwald says: Maybe it’s just a personality trait, but I think as a journalist it’s my role to constantly push back against unity of thought. In this election, there’s a really unique dynamic that’s unhealthy — even if it’s justified — where you have almost no members of the elite class engaged in any dissent. There’s almost no prominent journalists or people at think tanks or professors who are supporting Donald Trump the way you have an elite split in most elections.

That’s in part because they become stigmatized if they do, and in part because they’re genuinely horrified of the things he would do and the things he represents.

So you can sit on Twitter all day, and — unless it’s Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter — you’re going to have this incredible homogeneity of opinion. And it builds on itself, and it becomes more sanctimonious and convicted of its own righteousness, and it kind of leads to places that I think are unhealthy, even if the cause is justified.

One of the roles I want to perform — that I think is necessary — is to just push back against that, asking questions of it, and finding ways that consensus is poorly thought through or wrong. [Continue reading…]

Constantly pushing back against unity of thought — yep, that’s a personality trait that could also be described as knee-jerk reactivity and compulsive contrarianism. But much as Greenwald may claim that this is his role as a journalist, I suspect he’s being a bit disingenuous on this point.

On the issue of climate change, there is strong unity of thought among scientists and informed lay people. Does that make Greenwald feel that it’s his duty to amplify the voices of climate skeptics? Not as far as I’m aware.

The underlying issue in Greenwald’s position in covering this election seems to not simply be to challenge unity of thought but more importantly it’s about avoiding at any cost appearing to be in alignment with the establishment.

In Greenwald’s eyes, a unified elite is apparently scarier than Trump.

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1 thought on “Why Glenn Greenwald relentlessly attacks Hillary Clinton — even if it helps Donald Trump

  1. hquain

    Greenwald’s big mistake, I believe, was leaving the Guardian for the promise of greater grandeur at the (mediocre, poorly designed) Intercept. Perhaps there was a similar diminution in Nate Silver’s departure from the The Times — he has slipped into wildly varying day-by-day poll-mongering, when he knows perfectly that such swings indicate the limited utility of his methods. Archimedes observed that if he had a place to stand he could move the world. Perhaps the message is that if you have such a place, as annoying as it may be, you should stay there.

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