FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Killing the Messenger, Again

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

Once again, it’s happening, this time with the release of leaks by Wikileaks, supposedly via Russia, of the Clinton campaign’s emails and Hillary’s speeches to Wall Street.

Hard not to remember the way the mainstream media treated the important and valuable reporting done by Glenn Greenwald on the abuses of U.S. and British surveillance agencies exposed by Edward Snowden.

The Beltway press jumped into action to discredit Greenwald, often neglecting to deal with the actual wrongs of our Big Brother government.

Not hard to understand given that so many, including the most supposedly influential media, now simply feed at the trough of those in power. When somebody’s excellent journalism challenges your daily work routine of just reprinting press releases from Washington, you immediately attempt to kill the messenger.

(Have to wonder what would have happened to Greenwald had he actually hacked the government rather than Snowden, who now lives in exile in Russia. Chelsea Manning, who did hack government sites, uncovered actual war crimes. For that she was treated barbarically and faces years in prison. So far, no one has been prosecuted for what she uncovered.)

And the same is going on with Wikileaks’ reporting of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton. Remember, not hacked by Wikileaks or Julian Assange, but by others who gave them to Wikileaks.

It’s supposedly being done by the Russians, a convenient way for Clinton to smear what is actually being uncovered.

Shocked, shocked, the whining goes, that some foreigners dare attempt to influence our elections.

Funny, isn’t it, how such outrage is never even approached when it comes to AIPAC and Israel’s significant influence in American elections for decades?

And where’s the anger and finger-pointing for all of the U.S. attempts to influence elections throughout the globe, from the third-world to Europe?

A basic precept — or it used to be — in journalism is that you pay attention to what was leaked and not so much the leaker.  Newspapers are — or were — protected as long as they had no foreknowledge of or solicited the specific leak.

What was important was the actual wrongdoing.

For example, despite Richard Nixon’s attempt to destroy the reputation of Daniel Ellsberg, the focus of the New York Times and other then-great newspapers — and subsequently by most Americans — was on what was actually in the Pentagon Papers.

In fact, a court even dismissed the charges against Ellsberg.

More than just the way the news is delivered has changed since the collapse of newspapers.

The New York Times didn’t pilfer the Pentagon Papers. They were given to them.

Wikileaks didn’t hack those emails. They were passed on to it.

We forget that distinction these days.

Still, it’s good to know that somebody or something still understands the role of a free press in what remains of our democracy.

And speaking of Nixon, that is just who Clinton and Barack Obama bring to mind when it comes to the abuses exposed by Greenwald and Wikileaks.

Killing the messenger.

These days, it seems to be working.

Just ask Nixon’s heirs.

Bruce Mastron is a writer living in Florida.

More articles by:

Bruce Mastron is a journalist.

April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail