Star New York Times columnist and CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin pulled a bit of a David Gregory yesterday on television when he expressed his desire to punish not just Edward Snowden, but the reporter who published the NSA leaks too. “I would arrest him and now I’d almost arrest Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who seems to be out there, he wants to help him get to Ecuador,” Sorkin said, prompting a blistering response from Greenwald, a frequent critic of both Sorkin and Gregory: “They’re just courtiers doing what courtiers have always done: defending the royal court and attacking anyone who challenges or dissents from it. That’s how they maintain their status and access within it.” Today, Sorkin sincerely apologized.
“I’d like to address something I said about Snowden yesterday in relation to that Snowden story and Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the Snowden story,” Sorkin explained on Squawkbox. “I put my foot in my mouth and I’m sorry about this, when I veered into hyperbole and suggested that he almost be arrested. That was the quote, and I have to say it didn’t come out right and I misspoke. I’m sorry I said it that way, and I’m sorry I said it. I didn’t realize actually the way I said it until later when I saw the clip.” (Gregory had no such contrition, but at least his insinuation was framed as a question.)
“I overstepped with my language,” said Sorkin. “I believe, of course, in the First Amendment and transparency.” Greenwald, as one does these days, accepted the mea culpa in public: