McCarthyism and ‘open season’ on Russia: Reactions to MSNBC attack on Greenwald
Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald was accused of being a Russian agent after appearing at a conference in Moscow and giving an interview to RT. Attacks on him reflect the growing anger and cynicism in the US, journalists said.
“This is outright slander, potentially legally actionable libel, that is being committed by an employee of MSNBC, which has pushed this frame of anything connected to Russia being a form of treason, whether it’s diplomacy or person-to-person engagement,” journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.
MSNBC intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance called Greenwald “an agent of Trump & Moscow,” who “helped Snowden defect” and “covers for Wikileaks attacks on Democracy.”
Nance “has absolutely no expertise on Russia at all,” Blumenthal pointed out. “If you look at Nance’s own record of wild statements – including that ‘the US as a constitutional republic is about to be destroyed by Vladimir Putin’ – it’s pretty clear that he is to intelligence what Harvey Weinstein is to feminism. That really is a stain on MSNBC and their claim to represent anything related to facts.”
MSNBC promoted Nance after he made the manifestly false accusation that Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein had her own show on RT, which MSNBC never bothered to correct, Blumenthal noted.
“Everybody seems to think that it’s open season on Russia. You can say whatever you want, doesn’t matter how untruthful it is, it’s all fair game. Those are the rules that now apply in the American media,” journalist Daniel Lazare told RT.
The US has suffered “severe foreign policy setbacks” in Ukraine and Syria and the US establishment sees Russia’s hand behind both, Lazare explained. As a result, America has become very angry.
“When America is angry, its anger does not naturally subside. It tends to build and build. Where it stops, I don’t know,” Lazare said. “Russia’s a very powerful country, so presumably even Washington will let good sense prevail. I can’t be positive. But things are getting very feverish, very angry, very fast.”
Greenwald, who worked for the Guardian in 2013 and helped publish the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, outlined a similar position during his interview with RT last week.
“There is an obsession in the United States with viewing Russia not just as an adversary, but as an actual enemy,” Greenwald said. “Russia is often talked about this way in the sense that any connection with or interaction with Russia is viewed as inherently suspicious or even worse. It is extremely dangerous and extremely toxic. It’s one of the reasons I decided to come here and this morning posted a picture of myself and Snowden. Because I think it is very important to combat that attitude.”
The absurd thing about branding every American who appears on RT as a ‘Russian agent’ is that one of the people who routinely does that, neoconservative pundit David Frum, has been a guest on RT before - as has Congressman Adam Schiff (D-California), now the “grand inquisitor of Russiagate,” Blumenthal said.
“If I go on Al Jazeera,” Blumenthal said, “I am not accused of being a Qatari agent. Because Qatar has a US military base, Qatar plays an important role in America’s empire. Russia does not.”
“So this is all about geopolitics, and people like Glenn Greenwald have become collateral damage in the revival of McCarthyism - not just by Nance but by an entire network, MSNBC, which is dedicated to promoting the cynical imperatives of the Democratic Party,” Blumenthal told RT.
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