Glenn Greenwald: “Professional jealousy” keeps media “silent on Assange”

07/06/21

Glenn Greenwald, the co-founding editor of The Intercept, slammed the lack of coverage of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s case in mainstream media, saying that “professional jealousy” as well as a desire not to criticize the Biden administration has kept several news outlets “silent.”

Greenwald joined Hill.TV’s “Rising,” on Tuesday to weigh in on Assange’s case after the WikiLeaks founder spent his 50th birthday in jail as calls for his release mounted. 

“I don’t think [the media] likely are going to start paying attention to this case in large part because they don’t regard Julian Assange as being part of their club and therefore don’t understand or don’t care about the grave press freedoms posed by this indictment and the precedent it could set that could allow them and their own work could be criminalized,” Greenwald said.

He went on to compare the coverage of Assange’s case during former President Trump’s time in office to its coverage now that President Biden is in office. 

“Now that Trump is gone and it is the Biden administration actively pursuing the prosecution, in fact it was the Biden Justice Department that appealed the judge’s decision to extradite Assange, which is what’s keeping him in prison, they’re now almost entirely silent. Because they don’t want to defend Assange. Because they don’t see him as a real journalist like they are and they also don’t want to criticize the Biden administration for attacking press freedom because it would force them to admit that the only real attack on press freedom during the Trump years was one that they largely ignored,” Greenwald said.

“Assange is just such an outsider that they have so much resentment and jealousy toward him that they would rather prioritize their personality preferences and allow him to go to prison and create a precedent that endangers all of the work that they do than stand for him,” he added.

Greenwald continued on blasting mainstream media for gatekeeping journalism based on credentials.

“Press freedom and the constitution like every other right in the bill of rights is not confined to one tiny group of like this credentialed priesthood called journalists. Because who decides who is a journalist and who is not. Its the right I think that all citizens possess. To use the press to inform your fellow citizens about what the government is doing. It’s a right that pertains to everybody not just to who, whatever you want to call a journalist,” he said.

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