"Pierre" has never had any kind of public profile or persona to speak of. He's always been in the shadows -- at least until recently. Now that he's declared his intentions, however, he's come under a lot of scrutiny, from people already in the media (such as Mark Ames and Yasha Levine who've been plugging away on the oligarchy beat for many a long year) and many others.
Greenwald has a long and storied history of turning on, attacking and smearing individuals who are natural allies in what he says he wants, in the quest for civil rights and liberties, and in the realms of media, law, and justice.
Together, the scrutiny of "Pierre's" dealings with the world and his companies' actions (particularly eBay and PayPal -- but there is more, much more) and Greenwald's... social difficulties... seem to be combining into a perfect storm that may lead to the undoing of the "new global media" venture before it even goes live for the first time.
The difficulty of the project was inherent, of course. The idea of forming a media partnership with a somewhat shadowy billionaire to concentrate on investigative journalism exposing government secrets and wrongdoing sounds pretty straightforward and necessary... until...
When you realize that "government" is operating today essentially as a service to and adjunct of corporate interests and power, the notion of exposing its secrets and wrongdoing may not be what it initially appears to be, especially when the exposition is being underwritten by one of the oligarchs (for that is what "Pierre" truly is) who is intimately involved in the nexus of government-corporate power through his companies and apparently through his charities as well.
If you don't ask what the intent is and just blindly and mindlessly accept that any exposure of government secrets and wrongdoing is a priori a Good Thing, then you probably don't understand the nature of government operations today and the many connections between corporations and government that have almost completely blurred the lines between the two.
To set an objective of exposing "government" secrets and wrongdoing while not mentioning the level of corporate control of the governments under which we live, suggests that the real intent of this "new global media" venture is to enhance corporate power and authority and diminish (perhaps extinguish) "government" authority over certain corporations.
Ultimately, one has to ask, "Is it all that wise to sacrifice what little government power and authority remains and submit entirely to corporate authority and control?"
I always ask, when people are pontificating about 'civil liberties' -- "Liberty for whom? To do what?" They never have an answer. But in Greenwald's case, it has long been clear that he is an advocate of "liberating" corporate interest from government control or authority, and he has little or no interest in personal liberties beyond his own. His defense of the abomination of the Citizens United decision was a clear enough indication of where his sympathies lay. And it's not with the People at all.
This may be why, in some measure, he tends to alienate so many people who would otherwise be his natural allies.
On the other hand, "Pierre" and his various enterprises (including a small media venture in Hawaii) seem to be allied with the National Security State in many intricate and intimate ways. The prosecution of the PayPal 14 is one of the highest profile examples of that alliance.
And that's where things have started falling apart.
Alexa O'Brien, who is as dogged and intrepid a New Media journalist as there is, who calls them as she sees them, covered the trial of the PayPal 14 and was horrified at the case presented by PayPal -- owned by "Pierre" -- that asserted falsehoods and damages that were never done, insisted on prosecution for relatively minor online offenses, and required severe punishment for those involved. Wait, said Alexa, this is wrong. This is corporate wrongdoing on a significant scale and an abomination. "Pierre" is involved in this matter, and his companies are pursuing to the limit these individuals that did not damage him or his companies in any sensible way but who fought back against his blockade of WikiLeaks, a rival in the "new global media of wrongdoing" game...
And Greenwald is now linked with this outfit?
She called "Pierre" out on it, and she's called Greenwald out on it. How can you be against "government" secrets and wrongdoing while protecting the kind of corporate viciousness she's seen in full cry in the case of the PayPal blockade of WikiLeaks and the trial of the PayPal 14?
She gave an interview in Germany (Episode 105: Jung und Naiv) in which she reiterated her reservations (linked in a previous post) about "Pierre" and his new media venture and refusing to endorse it or Greenwald's participation in it.
Shortly, Greenwald and O'Brien met on Twitter and had at one another in a very public spat in which, apparently, Greenwald was so rattled, he outright lied about whether Alexa had ever raised the PayPal 14 issue with him when he spoke to her about joining the New Media Conglomerate.
Understandably, Alexa is pissed.
Greenwald has a tendency to double down in these sorts of situations, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him smearing Alexa in numerous full-throated denunciations. It never seems to matter to him who he alienates or what sort of wreckage he leaves behind him as long as he gets what he wants. Which -- among other things -- is power, fame, and money.
Alexa is strong. Greenwald is ruthless.
And "Pierre" wants... what?* Well, that remains to be seen, doesn't it? But from the signs he wants to make government subject and subservient to his demands.
Oh, and any bets on how soon Snowden is offered immunity and repatriated?
* The intimacy with which "Pierre's" companies are allied with the Security/Surveillance State is a subject of a good deal of crowd-sourced research at the moment. Every day, something new comes to light, as should be expected given the depth of penetration the Oligarchy has among those who surveil us and secure them from us. There seem to be a number of overlaps -- shall we say -- between Omidyar's empire and that of the Booz Allen investment conglomerate (IIRC, Booz is
But time will tell. Unraveling this thing is going to take a great deal of investigative journalism, and we can bet that none of the principals in First Look will have the slightest interest in doing it.
This particular document may be getting close to the "smoking gun..."