"On Contact: Biden admin redux, deep state, empire & censorship"
War with Russia?
by Chris Hedges, On Contact, RT.com (January 17, 2021)
On this show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the incoming Biden administration and what it will mean for a country in crisis, ravaged by a pandemic it cannot control, hostage to corporate power and bifurcated into warring factions.
Glenn Greenwald is the author of several bestsellers, including ‘How Would a Patriot Act?’ and ‘With Liberty and Justice for Some’. His most recent book is ‘No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State’. Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights litigator. He was a columnist for the Guardian until October 2013 and was the founding editor of media outlet the Intercept. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, Rolling Stone, and various other television and radio outlets. He has won numerous awards for his NSA reporting, including the 2013 Polk Award for national security reporting, the top 2013 investigative journalism award from the Online News Association, the Esso Award for Excellence in Reporting (the Brazilian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and the 2013 Pioneer Award from Electronic Frontier Foundation. He also received the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2009 and a 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work on the arrest and detention of Chelsea Manning. In 2013, Greenwald led the Guardian reporting that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service."
[0:17] Glenn Greewald: "The most disturbing event yet -- beyond, as we discussed earlier, Facebook and Twitter's unity in blocking the New York Post reporting -- is the fact that Amazon, Apple, and Google -- three of the four companies that a Democratic Party House subcommittee just three months ago declared to be dangerous monopolist and illegal anti-trust anti-competitors in a really comprehensive report that they issued -- united to remove from the Internet a competitor to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram that had become the most popular app downloaded on the Apple store which is Parler [pronounced 'par-lay' a French verb meaning 'to speak'] on the grounds that Parler played a role in insiting or agitating for the capital breach and riot that occurred on January 6, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THEIR OWN PROPERTIES, LIKE GOOGLE'S YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK THAT PLAYED A MUCH, MUCH BIGGER ROLE. They simply destroyed a competing platform at the urging of Congressman Ro Khanna, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They issued demands for it on Twitter. And within 24 hours Parler was gone from the internet."
[1:28] Chris Hedges: "Joe Biden and the systems managers of the Deep State and Empire are returning to power. Donald Trump and his coterie of buffoons, racists, con-artists, and Christian fasists are sullenly leaving office. America, as Biden says, is back, ready to take it's place at the head of the table. In the battle for the soul of America, he assures us, democracy has prevailed. Progress, prosperity, civility, and a reassertion of American prestige and power are, we are promised, weeks away.
[2:00] "Biden's appointments, however, are drawn almost exclusively from the circles of the Democratic Party and corporate elite; those responsible for the massive social inequality, trade deals, de-industrialization, militarized police, world's largest prison system, austerity programs that abolished social programs such as welfare, the revived cold war with Russia, wholesale government surveillance, endless wars in the middle east, and the disenfranchisement and impoverishment of the working class."
". . ."
Chris Hedges: ". . . as if they are objective. But please explain that fallacy:"
[22:03] Glenn Greenwald: "Obviously there has been a lurking question for 15 years now, or so, with the advent of the Internet which is: How is it that media outlets and newspapers can survive when there is so much free content online as a result of the Internet. Where can they get their revenue from? It used to be that they could get it from advertisers, but advertisers now primarily go to Google and Facebook and they collect 90 to 95 percent of what used to be media advertising money. People are, increasingly, unwilling to pay for content online, and so these media outlets were in serious trouble. And so the model that they adopted in order to become financially viable was to become a cause. To say: 'We're not just objective news disseminators because you can get that anywhere. We're going to be devoted to a particular political cause and because you agree with that cause so passionately, you're going to give us your money the way that you give your money to the ACLU or to some other group that you support.' So the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, all these other outlets positioned themselves as anti-Trump outlets. And everything they did became designed to appease and aggrandize, essentially, the Democratic Party because that is who became their audience. The Democrats are now the audience of the white, affluent managerial class. That's where you get subscription money from because of this financial incentive to become, essentially, organs of -- or spokespeople for -- the Democratic Party. Obviously not the socialist movement within the Democratic Party, but the establishment, neoliberal one."
[23:49] Chris Hedges: "And yet the argument is that they somehow aren't partisan. That is the argument that they make to justify diverting readers towards their content."
[23:59] Glenn Greenwald: "Yeah. You know it's kind of ironic because when I began writing about politics in 2005, one of my motives was, I did think that this pseudo-neutrality or pseudo objectivity that the media had long adopted for themselves was destroying journalism, and the example that bothered me the most at the time was that the Bush administration began implementing a system of worldwide torture and media outlets refused to call it torture on the grounds that the Bush Administration denies that it's torture; human rights groups and everyone else around the world says it is; who are we to decide? We're just journalists. we tell you what one side says, we tell you what the other side says, and then we wash our hands of the question. And that was clearly a corrupting form of journalism because it precludes the truth, and I always advocated for a more adversarial and honest form of journalism that's willing to call lies from government officials lies. In a sense, they've adopted that, but only in a very partisan sense. They're only willing to do that when it comes to Donald Trump because that's all their readership wants to hear."
[25:07] "You're going to see a radical shift in how the US government is covered now that Biden and the Democrats are about to take over. I'll bet you can count on [the fingers of] one hand the number of times CNN will have a crying on screen calling a press secretary statement or the president's or the vice president's statement a lie, or false, because they're not doing journalism. They're doing activism on the part of the Democratic party. That is the model they've assumed."
[25:32] Chris Hedges: "Great. That was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald on what to expect from the incoming Biden Administration."