Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Snowden and US Media Pundits:
Prestitutes and Spies
By Paul Balles
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 5, 2013
Some media pundits have used the terms "whistleblowers” and “traitors”
Much of the recent status of whistleblowers has arisen
out of the difference in the handling of Edward Snowden by both the
mainstream media and the fairer columnists writing on the internet and the
local press outside of America.
Snowden has been portrayed in the
mainstream Western media as a "narcissist", a “scheming traitor", a “Russian
agent”, a “Chinese spy”, “a clueless high school dropout”, an
“anti-government extremist," and more.
One might expect that the
truths revealed by Snowden about America's spying on everything and
everybody would arouse a much fairer reaction.
includes the National Security Administration’s (NSA) use of Google,
Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and other technology firms to spy on
almost everyone. That disclosure alone should have provided a major shock
All it got from the mainstream media amounted to a few
days of minimal attention, much of which was negative about Snowden.
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post wrote “Edward Snowden is no hero. Unlike
others who broke the law on principle, he lacked the courage to suffer the
She compares (or contrasts) Snowden with Martin
Luther King and Socrates, neither of whom were whistleblowers.
might expect more from a writer for a major American newspaper. Would she
have Snowden locked up and silenced in torture cells like whistleblower
A "liberal" TV channel like MSNBC might at least be
even-handed when, in fact, they sounded more like "talking head" robots who
couldn't stand the news.
Usually reasonable Ed Schultz blasted
Snowden by name-calling him “a punk and a coward”. He growled that Snowden
should come home and "face the music".
One commentator got it right
when he said "Ed Shultz, the so-called "liberal/progressive television
personality, came out today and exposed himself as just another ‘presstitute’
for the government."
MSNBC’S Melissa Harris-Perry replaced a
question for a guest with a long rant against both Snowden and Glenn
Greenwald who had the National Security Agency (NSA) secret published by the
Greenwald accused Harris-Perry of being part of a media
outlet dedicated to defending the Obama agenda.
Rachel Maddow, also
MSNBC, was more interested in whether James Clapper, director of
Intelligence, lied to congress about what Snowden leaked than she was about
the NSA's secret data collection on everybody.
whistleblowers that very few have heard of make the attention given to
Snowden remarkable. Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe were all
whistleblowers within the past decade. Unlike Snowden, they got almost
no public attention.
President Obama has charged more government
employees under the provisions of the antiquated 1917 Espionage Act than all
of his predecessors combined. Eight leakers have been charged with espionage
under Obama, compared to three under all previous presidents.
way to the Russian airport where Snowden is holed up, the Human Rights Watch
representative received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked
her to relay to Mr. Snowden that the US government does not categorize Mr.
Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law.
Hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world have fallen
victim to the NSA spying program, whether through their telephone records or
through the PRISM program that grants the spying agency direct access to
stored internet activity of nearly anyone, anywhere.
It is “a global, ubiquitous surveillance system
that has as its goal the elimination of privacy worldwide”, wrote Glenn
Greenwald of the Guardian.
The laws that these whistleblowers
have broken are trivial when compared to the NSA’s massive spying on
everyone. Tell the NSA to get out of our computers; and tell the ‘presstitutes’
to stop defending MSA spying.