Glenn Greenwald is a fine US writer who, like a few others, has found one way around his own country's corporate media: writing for a UK based outlet.
However, Greenwald just took aim
at the Guardian's latest "interview" of Chomsky. It is hard to see how the editors – as well as the journalist – could avoid feeling stung by Greenwald's criticism.
The article Greenwald targeted is far from being the Guardian's worst hit piece on Chomsky, and it is not remotely as nasty as a recent "interview" with Julian Assange
I put inverted commas around "interview" because there is no transcript of questions and answers. These "interview" pieces in the Guardian allow the writer to quote selectively and then fill in the rest with gossip and cheap shots. For example, this
"'There really is an alpha-male dominance psychology at work there,' a colleague once said of him. 'He has some of the primate dominance moves. The staring down. The withering tone of voice.'"
[from the latest Chomsky "interview"]
"…he [Assange] seems more like an in-patient than an interviewee, his opening words slow and hesitant, the voice so cracked as to be barely audible. If you have ever visited someone convalescing after a breakdown, his demeanour would be instantly recognisable. Admirers cast him as the new Jason Bourne, but in these first few minutes I worry he may be heading more towards Miss Havisham."
The only email reply I have ever received from Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian's chief editor, was a form letter apology for an Emma Brockes "interview"
of Chomsky which the Guardian took down from its site. Rusbridger mass mailed the apology to the hundreds of people who complained. That was eight years ago.
You'd have thought that this humiliation alone would have prompted the Guardian to start doing real interviews.
Apparently, all the Guardian learned was to be more careful with its put downs – at least with Chomsky – as we see in this latest "interview".
As Greenwald describes,
"'The more one dissents from political orthodoxies, the more the attacks focus on personality, style and character"
Unfortunately, if Greenwald tried to rebut every hit piece the Guardian did about Julian Assange then he would not be writing there for very long.
Until newspapers democratize, internal dissent will be very rare.