Saturday, February 15, 2014

Glenn Greenwald's New Media Organization Will Have a "Distinctly Leftwing Feel"

By Geoff Dyer

It is after 3pm on a Friday when I walk into Bar do Beto, an old-fashioned Ipanema restaurant, but the place is full of diners enjoying a long, languid lunch. Glenn Greenwald is sitting in the corner, squinting crossly at his laptop. He is dressed in a T-shirt, long striped swimming shorts and flip-flops, which is something of a relief because, in the hottest Rio de Janeiro summer in decades, I am also wearing shorts.

Since the day last June when he first met Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency (NSA) analyst-turned-whistleblower Greenwald has kept up a regime of 16-hour workdays, combing through thousands of documents passed on by Snowden, writing dozens of stories for the Guardian and other papers, sniping at his critics on Twitter, and setting up a media venture with a billionaire backer. In the process, Greenwald has become, perhaps, the most famous journalist of his generation. His reputation in the US is somewhat mixed, in part as a result of his abrasive approach to political debate, but in parts of Europe and Latin America he is considered the new incarnation of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Greenwald, 46, has lived in Rio for almost a decade, since he met his soon-to-be husband David Miranda on a holiday to the Brazilian city. “This was our place when we first met eight or nine years ago,” Greenwald says of the restaurant. “We lived a couple of blocks away and we always came here. Then they did this massive renovation and we kind of gave up on it for a few years. But we came back and the food was fantastic.”

Greenwald tells me he was in here a few nights earlier. In an event that underlines his new status as an international leftwing celebrity, the actor and playwright Wallace Shawn had invited Greenwald to see The Designated Mourner, his play about shrinking political space in a once-liberal land, when it was showing in New York last year. As Greenwald has not travelled to the US since the Snowden story broke, Shawn came to Rio to put on a performance for him. “Incredibly riveting and thought-provoking,” Greenwald says of the play, which was performed in a theatre rented for the occasion. Afterwards, Greenwald brought cast and crew to Bar do Beto to thank them.


  1. "Glenn Greenwald's New Media Organization Will Have a "Distinctly Leftwing Feel"

    There's a big surprise. I just don't get how leftists can bitch about things that are caused by Big Government while supporting its existence at the same time. What's worse is that they actually don't see any contradiction in doing so. I guess it's just plain envy that someone has more than they do. It's pathetic.

    1. Leftists are actually obsessed with money.

      They see money everywhere as the culprit of evil. It's money money money just as it is racism racism racism whenever someone criticizes Obama. They have pathological bugaboos.

      So the reason they think big government is good while cursing what government does, it's because they think it is the money that is making government evil, rather than the very nature of using coercion to achieve an aim. They have no problem with force. But they do have a problem with force done for the purpose of making money. That's why white collar criminals are often seen as worse trash than rapists and such.

      How the leftist mentality is caused? I think in many cases it is pure envy. They lack the power to have the life they wanted because they lack the financial means. They just cannot bear the fact that some people are happier because of money. They'd rather have everyone be equally poor than people being well off in varying degrees.

  2. Some leftists are very wealthy, so it's not just envy. There is, however, among leftists a great deal of self-righteous indignation whenever someone anywhere lacks food, clothing, shelter, teachers, medical care, Wi-Fi Internet access, a minimum income, etc. Everyone, says the bleeding heart, is entitled to these unconditionally, no matter what.

    Since entitlements must be fulfilled, it follows in the leftwing mind that people must be compelled to provide for those who cannot, or will not, do so by their own efforts. Collectivism and "Big Government" are the means, and the problems at which you hint are, for leftists, merely a regrettable consequence of incorrect policy choices, not the fruit of incorrect dogma or the emotional disease which afflicts all bleeding hearts and leftists.

    1. I was talking about the wealthy I was talking about the average joe on the street.

  3. To me this is a given, everyone knows that Greenwald is a liberal but is one of the few that has been consistent since the Bush era.

  4. Distinctly left wing? His husband?
    Yeah, right. Rather the blindness of the useful idiots and tools is flippin hilarious/hypocritical.
    If the family is - and it has been since time immemorial - the fundamental building block of society, why do you think the big bad government which on the one hand GG opposes, on the other is so intent on redefining marriage to include same sex liaisons which GG so wholeheartedly approves?
    Could it be that as the other institutions in society crumble, the opportunity for totalitarian government to increase its powers and scope appears that much more necessary?
    Nah. We're too hip for that. Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Hobbes' Leviathan, Machiavelli?
    They were all repressed and repressive right wing Repuglicans.
    Viva La Revolucion!

    1. The government should have no say in marriage. If I decide to marry my partner, why should the government treat us different? If you want to marry 5 women, as in Mormonism, why should the government care? What makes it their business? What makes it YOUR business?

  5. Bob, I read the interview, and I can see GG's "left" slant, but it seems a lot of it will focus on civil liberty, the wars and spying. I don't care as long as they focus that part of the "left" wing as long as they stay out of domestic policy.