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“No other institution would have hired Glenn Greenwald.”
October 10, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Freedom of Information. The New Yorker looks behind the scenes at The Guardian under current editor Alan Rusbridger, including the investigation of the News of the World phone hacking scandal (previously), overseeing the release of US diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks (previously), and the continuing reporting on NSA material obtained by Edward Snowden (previously).
posted by figurant (47 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
The idea that “No other institution would have hired Glenn Greenwald” (one of the best journalists / political writers around) is a pretty sad commentary on the state of news institutions today.

Also sad that the lone one that did is having such financial difficulties.

Pretty soon we're going to be getting our news exclusively from oil monarchs and Rupert Murdoch.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:43 PM on October 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well, he's conveniently eliding the existence of Salon, which also hired Glenn Grenwald (and before the Guardian did!)
posted by toxtethogrady at 2:47 PM on October 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


You can really feel the Guardian growing in confidence thanks to its recent (incredible) run of stories. Like releasing today an article which shows the response of the world's leading editors to the Daily Mail calling the Guardian 'The paper that helps Britain's enemies'. I mean, fucking hell is that ballsy. And it just keeps going.
posted by litleozy at 2:58 PM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I didn't realise that the Grauniad was in such dire financial straits. I feel terrible about doing the Thomas Eaton quiz online last Saturday. (Did get eight-and-a-half though which made me feel good.)

On a much, much more serious note though, the Guardian is also the home of the finest UK crosswords. Including this from the master himself.

Oh, and, woo journalism!!!
posted by stanf at 3:44 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope the Guardian have good offsite backups. I suspect that the stunt of having to ceremonially destroy a few MacBooks wasn't the last they will hear from the Deep State, and the next raid will end with everything potentially data-bearing in Kings Place (down to employees' mobile phones) in a pile surrounded by carefully placed thermite charges, with a Met Police cordon keeping the fire brigade back until the building burns itself out.

If I were Alan Rusbridger, I might want to check out the commercial real estate market in downtown Reykjavík about now.
posted by acb at 3:49 PM on October 10, 2013


You can really feel the Guardian growing in confidence thanks to its recent (incredible) run of stories. Like releasing today an article which shows the response of the world's leading editors to the Daily Mail calling the Guardian 'The paper that helps Britain's enemies'. I mean, fucking hell is that ballsy. And it just keeps going.
posted by litleozy at 14:58 on October 10


It was all good until I scrolled down to see the editor of buzzfeed. What??
posted by Joh at 4:00 PM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Weirdly, when I first clicked on that article there were no profile photos and Buzzfeed was right at the bottom, literally last quote. Maybe they moved it up in the hope that it'd be lost in the middle? And yeah, it was very 'seriously newspaper, serious newspaper, impressive, impressive, wow, brilliant, oh fucking hell really?'.
posted by litleozy at 4:10 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Before entering, the handful of people allowed admittance were required to put their smartphones and any other personal electronic devices on a nearby table, in case British or American intelligence agencies were to remotely transform them into recording devices.

Wow.
posted by gucci mane at 4:12 PM on October 10, 2013


That Guardian/Jason Bourne scene
posted by Bwithh at 4:12 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was all good until I scrolled down to see the editor of buzzfeed. What??

Buzzfeed is branching out beyond linkbait listicles into serious journalism/opinion pieces these days.
posted by Bwithh at 4:15 PM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hope the Guardian have good offsite backups. I suspect that the stunt of having to ceremonially destroy a few MacBooks wasn't the last they will hear from the Deep State, and the next raid will end with everything potentially data-bearing in Kings Place (down to employees' mobile phones) in a pile surrounded by carefully placed thermite charges, with a Met Police cordon keeping the fire brigade back until the building burns itself out.

The kerfuffle over the hard drives was overblown ( the overblowing led to a mixed victory for the Guardian in public opinion - mixed because some of its own reporting of the incident was markedly clumsy). It didn't involve any " Deep State" and there was no "raid" (the Guardian in the end, to avoid being the subject of a govt lawsuit ,invited over a couple of GCHQ techs to witness Guardian staff destroy some hard disks). Rather, there was a negotiated ( over a couple of months) conclusion with both sides aware that the trashing if the drives was of symbolic rather than material import (HM Govt aware that Guardian has backups outside the UK) . The story is troubling from a freedom of journalism perspective although the UK govt did have some reasonable concerns about the security of the Guardian's data vs foreign intelligence services ( even Wikileaks ally and Tor project activist Jacob Applebaum has strongly criticized The Guardian for poor IT security). The recent MI5 influenced national security critiques of the Guardian by rival right-leaning UK newspapers' front pages is a more serious case of ugly pressure than the hard disks incident, but that still isn't a case of "deep state" extreme action. though that doesnt rule out getting into that territory ( infiltration, blackmail etc much more likely than overt action)
posted by Bwithh at 4:32 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great read.

The whole thing made me simultaneously more suspicious and much more appreciative of Greenwald and The Guardian. Is there a word for being wary of something that's probably a net positive?
posted by graphnerd at 4:36 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


recent MI5 influenced national security critiques of the Guardian (as in, the new head of MI5 gave a publicly reported speech with harsh words about The Guardian's alleged irresponsibility and several rightwing rival newspapers of The Guardian helpfully and cheerfully when with go-ballistic front page headlines -- rather than the MI5 secretly manipulating them or whatever (um, no need to in this case)
posted by Bwithh at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2013


but that still isn't a case of "deep state" extreme action. though that doesnt rule out getting into that territory ( infiltration, blackmail etc much more likely than overt action)

Or financial manipulation to hasten the Scott Trust's bankruptcy?

On a tangent: wasn't there a rumour a while ago of Rupert Murdoch planning to launch an Auto Trader competitor fronted by Jeremy Clarkson and run at a loss for a few years, in order to hole the Guardian below the waterline financially?
posted by acb at 5:04 PM on October 10, 2013


Is there a word for being wary of something that's probably a net positive?

Skeptisfactory?
posted by JHarris at 5:38 PM on October 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


This recent interview of Greenwald by Kirsty Wark on Newsnight is worth watching for the righteous smackdown he delivers upon his fellow journalist for parroting GCHQ talking points.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:36 PM on October 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


Oh god that interview is amazing.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:53 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, Wark is obnoxious in that video! If anything, I would have gone farther than Greenwald does in responding to her.

I would have said, in response to the statement "don't you think this makes it easier for terrorists," YES, of course it does. Living in a just and civil society makes it easy for terrorists too! That's an AIM of terrorism: to make governments clamp down on freedoms for the purpose of stopping it. The attitude of we must do anything possible to stop terrorists is misguided and extremely dangerous -- oh, we could kill everyone who looks "foreign" too, but that would obviously be awful. Well, this unprecedented government surveillance is also awful -- not as bad as my purposely-ludicrous example, but still, inexcusable.

Terrorism is terrible, but there are other bad things in the world, and in our panic to do something about one we worsen many others. We have to stop being so hyper-reactive to the efforts of a small number of bitter bomb-throwers, and get back to making the world a better place for everyone. Because if we can do that, the terrorists will find it much harder to recruit, and that problem will be solved, eventually, too.
posted by JHarris at 9:03 PM on October 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


acb, I believe the Scott Trust sold AutoTrader a few years ago for a very healthy sum.
posted by pharm at 2:16 AM on October 11, 2013


CPJ : The Obama Administration and the Press
posted by jeffburdges at 5:33 AM on October 11, 2013


PATRIOT Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection 'out of business'
Compare with Sensenbrenner's pre-Snowden opinion (summery)

Also : "Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr Clapper say he gave the least untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution"
posted by jeffburdges at 5:44 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


acb, I believe the Scott Trust sold AutoTrader a few years ago for a very healthy sum.

Didn't they only sell 50% of it?
posted by acb at 5:46 AM on October 11, 2013


'Restore The 4th' Anti-NSA Activists 'Adopt' The Highway Right Outside NSA's New Utah Datacenter
posted by jeffburdges at 5:47 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Justin Amash: Mike Rogers Isn't Overseeing The Intelligence Community, He's Conspiring To Cover Up Its Activities
posted by jeffburdges at 5:51 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


He should be working on license plates
posted by knoyers at 10:25 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


IIRC, Guardian was the one that supported Simon Singh through the whole legal ordeal against Chiropractors' hokum and disastrous libel laws in the UK. More power to them.
posted by savitarka at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2013


The Guardian used to be the only British newspaper a serious left-liberal person could tolerate. About ten years ago it started to embrace the sort of cynically selective, hypocritical faux-liberalism I despise almost more than conservatism. It also embraced the most revolting religious accommodationism (personified by the truly vile personage of Andrew Brown)at a time when the world needs the polar opposite of that. I despise The Guardian now. So, that said, it is good to see a rare return to form like this.
posted by Decani at 11:28 AM on October 11, 2013


Decani, I'm genuinely curious about your perspective. Would you mind expanding on it a little bit? I'm an expat, and so not a regular Guardian reader for many years, but obviously seeing the more notable web stuff.
posted by idb at 12:00 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


acb, I believe the Scott Trust sold AutoTrader a few years ago for a very healthy sum.

To clarify, they sold a 49.9% stake to a private equity firm. The majority interest remains with the Scott Trust Limited via the Guardian Media Group.
posted by dhartung at 2:10 PM on October 11, 2013


While the Wark interview is not great by any means, it's a tradition on Newsnight to have hostile interviews where political figures directly confronted with common criticisms.

True, she could have asked a hundred better questions that he hadn't already addressed elsewhere, but as I see it Greenwald misinterpreted the tone as representing her actual beliefs and lost his cool unnecessarily. Nil-nil.
posted by forgetful snow at 4:20 AM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. That is interesting, although I still take her tone to be obnoxious. You can force people to defend and justify their actions without being venomous.
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


More Examples Of How The House Intelligence Committee Limits Oversight, Rather Than Does Oversight
posted by jeffburdges at 2:47 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


NSA Staff Whining That President Obama Isn't Defending Them Enough
posted by jeffburdges at 3:46 PM on October 12, 2013


Edward Snowden says NSA surveillance programmes 'hurt our country': Video clips posted to WikiLeaks website show former NSA analyst speaking for the first time since July asylum plea
posted by homunculus at 5:25 PM on October 12, 2013


Facial Recognition Software That Returns Incorrect Results 20% Of The Time Is Good Enough For The FBI
posted by jeffburdges at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2013


Chris Blackhurst the editor The Independent : If the Gov't Tells Me Publishing NSA Secrets Is Not In The Public Interest, Who Am I To Disbelieve Them? lol
posted by jeffburdges at 10:46 AM on October 15, 2013


Buzzfeed Exclusive: Glenn Greenwald Will Leave Guardian To Create New News Organization
posted by KatlaDragon at 6:07 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Security Researchers Want To Fully Audit Truecrypt
posted by jeffburdges at 8:41 AM on October 16, 2013


I guess if by the time David Cameron dies, he has dismantled the NHS, privatised the Royal Mail and destroyed the Guardian, he'll get to sit at Margaret Thatcher's right hand in Tory Valhalla forever. One can't accuse him of not aiming big...
posted by acb at 6:56 PM on October 17, 2013


Guardian wins two online journalism awards for NSA Files reporting
posted by homunculus at 12:59 PM on October 20, 2013


UK Prime Minister Urges Investigation Of The Guardian Over Snowden Leaks

UK Orders Wall Street Journal To Pull Details From Already Published Story

Court Won't Rehear Reporter James Risen's Appeal On Being Compelled To Testify About Sources
posted by jeffburdges at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feds confiscate investigative reporter’s confidential files during raid [without a warrant]
posted by jeffburdges at 12:20 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Vacuum That Created Anonymous, Wikileaks, and the Whistleblower Explosion
posted by jeffburdges at 6:58 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rep. Alan Grayson: I Learn Much More About The NSA From The Press Than From Intelligence Briefings
posted by jeffburdges at 6:42 AM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


David Cameron makes veiled threat to media over NSA and GCHQ leaks
posted by jeffburdges at 7:23 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Glenn Greenwald rips apart the ‘most radical and criminal conduct’ of Dick Cheney
posted by jeffburdges at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metropolitan police detained David Miranda for promoting 'political' causes: Justification for airport detention of partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald alarms human rights groups and Tory MP
posted by homunculus at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


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