Glenn Greenwald has been dismissing reports of Russian interference in the election on behalf of Donald Trump since the story first appeared, and the massive accumulation of evidence has not dissuaded him from his belief that he has been correct about this all along and the liberal news media horribly, hysterically wrong.
Last night, in his most recent appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, Greenwald explained why the news media has (according to Greenwald) published a series of wild lies about Trump and Russia. The problem was not, as Carlson suggested, that their sources in the Deep State were manipulating them. It was worse! “They’re willingly and eagerly being manipulated,” he said.
The problem — as it usually is, whenever anybody arrives at a different conclusion than Greenwald — is that they have been corrupted. “They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of retweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear about this Russia and Trump story.” It was all so shocking to poor Tucker Carlson that the Fox News host, disabused of his naïve faith in the integrity of the news media, exclaimed, “Gosh, that’s so dishonest!”
One of the hallmarks of a Greenwald analysis is the conviction that career incentives have warped the view of people who disagree with Greenwald. Greenwald himself is a famous and successful journalist. Every incentive he can ascribe to the mainstream media could be ascribed just as easily to Greenwald himself.
To be clear, I don’t believe Greenwald has been corrupted at all. His fanaticism is earnest. But consider how easy it is to make a Greenwaldian analysis of Greenwald: There is a large audience on the left and right that is eager to hear him dismiss the Russia scandal. He gets to go on TV. He is applauded across the political spectrum.
Indeed, Greenwald made his comments about how the news media has been corrupted by the chance to go on TV and be applauded across the political spectrum while he was appearing on television and being applauded across the political spectrum. Other journalists might be warped by this, but for Greenwald, it is merely in the service of his zeal for Truth.