Reporter + billionaire devoted
to exposing government secrets
Glenn Greenwald, the foremost journalist of our time. Click image to enlarge.
WITH HIS RECENT announcement that he was severing ties with The Guardian newspaper in the U.K., the journalist with inarguably the most impact on world affairs this year has struck out to create a brand new enterprise.
Glenn Greenwald wasted no time.
Within days a story he co-authored caused a trans-Atlantic furor, forcing President Obama to call the president of France to soothe the ruffled feathers.
If anyone needed evidence that Greenwald’s reporting has had an enormous impact, this was it.
With the deep funding of an internet billionaire, it is certain we have not heard the last from the former constitutional lawyer and long-time expert in exposing government secrecy.
WE HAVE REPORTED many times about Greenwald’s work since the stunning revelations released by Edward Snowden and published in The Guardian newspaper in the U.K.
We profiled him Aug. 13 in Blowing the lid on government abuse of secrecy is his specialty when we called him “one of the foremost journalists of our time.”
The recent revelations this week based on Snowden’s documents were also reported by Greenwald, with a co-author, in Le Monde, the Paris-based daily newspaper.
The Le Monde story this week which caused a trans-Atlantic kerfuffle. Click image to enlarge.
In France in the NSA’s crosshair: phone networks under surveillance Par Jacques Follorou and Glenn Greenwald report:
“According to the documents retrieved from the NSA database by its ex-analyst [Edward Snowden], telephone communications of French citizens are intercepted on a massive scale.”
The response came within 24 hours from the President of the United States. Talk about an immediate impact at the highest levels of government! Few could claim this title.
It was not even a week since the report Oct. 15 Glenn Greenwald announces departure from the Guardian.
“Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke a string of stories about widespread electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency based on files leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has announced that he is leaving the Guardian.”
In a statement posted on his blog, Greenwald said: “My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling. I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.
“The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.”
A day later we discovered what that opportunity is in, ironically, The Guardian story: Pierre Omidyar commits $250m to new media venture with Glenn Greenwald
Dominic Rushe reported:
The Guardian story announcing Greenwald’s departure. Click image to enlarge.
“Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has revealed more details of the media organization he is creating with journalist Glenn Greenwald.
“In an interview with Jay Rosen, media critic and NYU professor of journalism, Omidyar said he was committing an initial $250 million to the as-yet-unnamed venture. Omidyar told Rosen the decision was fuelled by his “rising concern about press freedoms in the United States and around the world.”
This was confirmed a day later in The New York Times with the following account: Snowden Journalist’s New Venture to Be Bankrolled by eBay Founder.
“For years, the tech billionaire Pierre M. Omidyar has been experimenting with ways to promote serious journalism, searching for the proper media platform to support with the fortune he earned as the founder of eBay,” reported Noam Cohen and Quentin Hardy.
“He has made grants to independent media outlets in Africa and government watchdog groups in the United States. In a more direct effort, he created a news Web site in Hawaii, his home state.
“Mr. Omidyar also confirmed that he would be personally financing just such a new “mass media” venture, where he will be joined by the journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, the British daily.”
GREENWALD DID NOT spend a long time with The Guardian. It was just 14 months ago he published his last piece of the online magazine Salon, Secrecy creep.
We have been following him since his career at Salon and he has demonstrated time and again his distaste for government secrecy in all its mutations.
Greenwald’s last story published in 2012 for Salon, the online magazine. Click image to enlarge.
“That the Obama administration has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers is by now well-known and well-documented, as is its general fixation on not just maintaining but increasing even the most extreme and absurd levels of secrecy,” he wrote in 2012.
Greenwald is an equal-opportunity conduit for whistleblowers, having just as strenuously criticized the Bush/Cheney administration during its eight-year run.
Here is the core of his philosophy:
“It’s genuinely difficult to overstate the significance of this systematic attack on whistleblowers,” he wrote, long before Snowden appeared on the scene.
“In a nation in which government secrecy is close to all-consuming — in which the vast majority of government acts of significance take place behind a classified wall — whistleblowers remain virtually the only avenue left for learning of serious political wrongdoing.”
It was almost prescient.
Now, with the deep pockets of Omidyar supporting his work, we can look forward to more high impact disclosures with anticipation.
The work Greenwald has already done has been of vital public importance. It has had reverberations in capitals as distant as Sao Paulo, Paris, London, Moscow and Mexico City. Most recently, Berlin and Washington, D.C.
It is an emergent brand of journalism that is likely to challenge established norms and improve the quality of public discussion at every level.
It is a most welcome development.
FEEDBACK: Contact site admin directly