Glenn Greenwald once again blasted the media for their anti-Muslim scapegoating and the drumbeat for more war, but this time he went directly after CNN on CNN.
November 22, 2015

Glenn Greenwald once again blasted the media for their anti-Muslim scapegoating and the drumbeat for more war, but this time he went directly after CNN on CNN. Greenwald appeared on this Sunday's Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter, and gave them the grief they deserve for their push to get the United States involved in more military intervention in the Middle East, and for their shameful interview with former CIA Director James Woolsey, who was calling for Edward Snowden to be hanged last week on their network.

Greenwald also took them to task for an interview that aired early in the morning the previous weekend, where two of their anchors berated an innocent Muslim for not wanting to accept responsibility for the the terrorist attack in Paris.

Host Brian Stelter tried to defend their coverage but didn't go a very good job of it. He also all but ignored Greenwald when he brought up the suspension of one of their journalists, Elise Labott, for giving her opinion on Twitter about the House passing the fearmongering bill on the Syrian refugees.

I know not everyone is wild about Glenn Greenwald for a number of reasons, but when he's right, he's right, and he's right about the media and their fearmongering and their love of war because it keeps their profit margins up.

Here's a portion of the transcript from CNN:

STELTER: You've said this week that the media is trying to stoke that id part of your brain -- the part that wants fiercer military action against ISIS. You said the press is hungry for war.

How do you back up that assertion?

GREENWALD: The lesson that the American media has supposedly learned after the 9/11 attack was that allowing political and military intelligence officials to make all kinds of claims without scrutinizing and questioning and pushing them back is a really destructive thing to do. It propagandizes the population. It leads to things like torture, Guantanamo, the attack on Iraq based on false pretenses.

And I think you've seen that exact behavior but even worse from the overwhelming majority of the media in the last nine days since the Paris attack.

STELTER: Even worse.

GREENWALD: Unfortunately, Brian, actually -- well, I think that CNN is actually unfortunately led the way in this. You've had one intelligence official with the CIA or formerly with the CIA after the next, gone on air and able to say all kinds of extremely dubious claims that print journalists have repeatedly documented in "Bloomberg News" and "The New Yorker", on "The New York Times" editorial page are totally false.


STELTER: So, you're specifically talking about encryption.

GREENWALD: -- talking about encryption, about why this terrorist attack happened, about more powers that are needed, about the need to go in and attack -- and attack ISIS with ground troops as well.

But I do think that's the other aspect is there's been really alarming anti-Muslim climate cultivated in this country, not just by Republican candidates like Donald Trump talking about making them carry ID cards and putting them in databases and closing mosques, but by the American media itself.

I think the worst example, probably the most despicable interview we've seen in the last several years were two CNN anchors, John Vause and Isha Sesay who told a French Muslim political activist that he and all other Muslims bear, quote, "responsibility" for the attack in Paris because all Muslims must somehow be responsible. You could never --


STELTER: But there is a difference between asking questions and making statements. You say they told him that. They were asking a series of questions I know went viral online.

GREENWALD: No. No, no. They made statements when he was on and after he left. They said, the word responsibility comes to mind. It's time for people like this to accept responsibility.


STELTER: But aren't you cherry-picking here a little bit? Aren't you cherry picking from 24 hours of television coverage?

GREENWALD: Brian, you have had CNN, not you personally, but CNN has had John Brennan, multiple tapes of him over and over, has had former CIA, Jim Woolsey, who has come on, zero push back, zero questioning. A CNN reporter stood in President Obama's press conference and said, "Why can't we take these bastards out?", essentially pushing the president towards war in Syria.

This is the kind of opinionating that comes forth from CNN all the time --

STELTER: Let's talk about that quote.

GREENWALD: -- that is never sanctioned, never punished. You're allowed to demonize Muslims.

STELTER: Let's talk about the Acosta quote. I think it's a really interesting moment that we saw at that press conference. Many people supporting him, some people criticizing him for that question. What I thought Acosta was doing and I want to hear your take was, trying to express what folks in America are feeling and thinking right now, that dissatisfaction with the president's response to ISIS.

Is it not appropriate for the press the hold the president, even a Democratic, even a liberal president accountable, in that way by trying to express the public's mood, the public's anger?

GREENWALD: I actually think that it's totally appropriate for the CNN host with the Yasser Louati to express their repugnant opinions. I think it's appropriate for Jim Acosta to voice what American people are saying. But I also think it's appropriate for Elise Labott to go on to Twitter and to speak critically in the mildest way about the U.S. Congress and stand up for the most marginalized people, Syrian refugees, without --


STELTER: So, you're saying all opinions. Let's hear all opinions.

GREENWALD: Elise Labott gets punished. But the two CNN anchors and Jim Acosta and all kinds of CNN anchors who speak critically of Muslims aren't punished and the message that sent is, you're free to stoke anti-Muslim animosity in the United States but what you're not free to do is to defend Muslims. Read on...

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.