The problem with speaking truth to power is power doesn’t like it. Glenn Greenwald is no stranger to such a notion as he already was the planned target of HB Gary and friends for his support of Wikileaks and civil liberties. Now he is being targeted by a force even more loathsome than corporate black ops wannabes, the tabloid press. From Greenwald:

When I made the choice to report aggressively on top-secret NSA programs, I knew that I would inevitably be the target of all sorts of personal attacks and smears. You don’t challenge the most powerful state on earth and expect to do so without being attacked. As a superb Guardian editorial noted today: “Those who leak official information will often be denounced, prosecuted or smeared. The more serious the leak, the fiercer the pursuit and the greater the punishment.”…

As a result, I was not particularly surprised when I received an email last night from a reporter at the New York Daily News informing me that he had been “reviewing some old lawsuits” in which I was involved – “old” as in: more than a decade ago – and that “the paper wants to do a story on this for tomorrow”. He asked that I call him right away to discuss this, apologizing for the very small window he gave me to comment.

The NYDN piece is, of course, tabloid garbage. The story, written by Dareh Gregorian, takes benign facts and attempts to twist them into appearing nefarious in a way that could only fool someone with diminished capacities. The point of the piece, obviously, is to discredit Greenwald.

I’m 46 years old and, like most people, have lived a complicated and varied adult life. I didn’t manage my life from the age of 18 onward with the intention of being a Family Values US senator. My personal life, like pretty much everyone’s, is complex and sometimes messy.

If journalists really believe that, in response to the reporting I’m doing, these distractions about my past and personal life are a productive way to spend their time, then so be it.

It is interesting that anchorman David Gregory wanted to make the question of whether Greenwald was a journalist “part of the debate.” Is Gregorian a journalist? Is this NYDN hit piece “journalism”? Or do credentials only get questioned when power gets questioned?

Photo by R. Baley under Creative Commons license.