This would be bizarre if it weren't typical.
Yesterday, there was a grand and glorious Hoo-Hah when it was announced by the Guardian and the NYT that the two publications had a mutual agreement to publish matters pertaining to the now rather crusty leak of documents by the redoubtable Edward Snowden currently at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Soviet Union, er, the Russian Federation, er, Russia.
The New York Times!!!! Yay!
Every time the New York Times is held up as The Standard of Journalism, I have to laugh out loud, guffawing indelicately to say the least. This paper is a virulent pustule of indecency, indignity and so much worse, including -- but by no means limited to -- warmongering, corporatism and imperialism. Hello? No one has noticed? Whitewater? The entire Judith Miller/Michael Gordon Thing? Forgotten so soon already? But they published the Pentagon Papers!!!! Yeah? So? It was more than forty years ago, for one thing, and has it ever occurred to anybody to ask why they published the PPs? Probably not. Any more than it has occurred to anyone to ask why the WaPo was so very dogged on the Watergate story.
Of course asking why something is done is incompatible with the need to polemicize and propagandize this summer saga of intrigue and danger. And asking who is involved is even more unacceptable than asking why.
Who is doing what to whom and to what object is something the Rabble shouldn't concern themselves with -- unless of course those matters are somehow part of the propaganda campaign that is under way. In other words, it is perfectly acceptable for the who and why questions to be asked by the propagandists themselves -- because they will always have an answer that fits their narrative. But it is never acceptable for the audience to do so.
No, when the Guardian and the NYT jointly announced their partnership in continuing to publish material from the Snowden trove, it became clearer to me what sort of operation has been under way, and there's little doubt in my mind that the effort to discredit the NSA (which has been partially successful) is being worked out of Langley, no doubt at the personal direction of the Spook Who Hasn't Moaned, a Mister Brennan I believe, recently confirmed to the position he currently holds.
Strangely, or maybe not, it was only a year ago that Greenwald himself was making much of the CIA-NYT connections in his own column at the Guardian. Of course, the issue then was somewhat different, but the notion that the CIA had infiltrated and was a primary motivator for national security stories at the NYT and nearly every other major news outlet around the world had long been taken for granted.
Greenwald was plowing a well-worked field, but to many of his readers, it was a "discovery."
After all, the NYT partnered with Assange and the Guardian on publishing the WarLogs and other Manning material. This had the effect of rather strictly controlling the release and interpretation of the material, especially in the United States, in service to some... interest or other.
Anytime libertarian jackals start pumping their fists and hooting victory over the NYT's involvement in particular stories, such as the current one, I shake my head. Are they that naive, or are they willing tools?
Do they not know of the CIA's direct involvement in American and international media, most prominently at the NYT? Or do they somehow approve? Or do they naively believe this story will be free of the taint of the Security Apparat? This story alone? As long as they agree with the reporting, the story is "true." Otherwise?
Critical thinking is so rarely part of the equation...