David Gregory Asks Important Question About Whether or Not He Should Go to Jail


Oh good, David Gregory, Serious Journalist, is on the scene to ask the important questions re: the NSA metadata/PRISM/wiretapping/megadata scandal. Like: how can we have a thriving democracy if we are subjected to cradle-to-grave surveillance what are the repercussions of a perpetual surveillance state, perceived or actual, on the administration's ability to exert pressure on other countries with poor human rights records should Glenn Greenwald be subjected to criminal charges for helping Snowden tell all of us what our government is doing with our tax money, our infrastructure, and our private information?

A fascinating question, especially from David Gregory, who plays a journalist on the Tee Vee:

David Gregory: Final question...to the extent that you have aided and abetted Edward Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you be charged with a crime?

Glenn Greenwald: I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence -- the idea that I've aided and abetted him in any way.

The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal.

And it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It's why the New Yorker's Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a standstill -- her word -- as a result of the theories that you just referenced.

David Gregory: the question of who is a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing. Anybody who's watching this understands that I was asking a question. That question has been raised by lawmakers, as well. I'm not embracing anything. But obviously I take your point.

Duh. Journalists don't reveal information that the government wishes to keep secret, OK Glenn? They sit in a TV studio and have nice chats with government officials and CEOs and corporate spokespeople and maybe -- on the rarest of occasions -- a union representative.

David Gregory  is just asking a question, OK? A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION, which is not at all addressed by First Amendment jurisprudence and thus deserves careful scrutiny by David Gregory.

We are bloggers, not lawyers, but it seems to us that there is no precedent in First Amendment jurisprudence for prosecuting journalists for "aiding and abetting" leaks of classified info, but we appreciate David Gregory asking the tough questions anyway!



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