Truth, Democracy, and the Difficulties Involved

Glen Greenwald Interview following resignation

This is a dangerous undertaking, perhaps, because of the real possibility that the message of both this writer and that of the person featured in the video attached. But it is the stuff of an important concern that needs to be taken up because it has much to do with the possibility of a viable democratic discourse and, thus, the possibility of a viable democratic society, that is, a society in which citizens participate in civic discussion with a level of understanding of issues at hand that is high enough that the talk is about truth, the best approximations based in the honest attempt by all involved to understand what is real and the meaning of that reality for decisions that must be made for the good of the whole.
What Glen Greenwald is talking about in this interview is the difficulty of having such discussion in the context of our current political and societal realities, the level of polarization such that partisanship cancels out honesty, honest attempts to describe reality and its meanings rejected out of hand despite their potential for producing honest description of what actually is and what it means.
He is a reporter and commentator. The perspective that colors his reporting and commentary he does not hide. He is of the left and, it is the left that he criticizes here because he HONESTLY believes that both left and right, and center too, rarely care to engage in honest fact-based discourse or care to acknowledge viable evidence that may be harmful to the partisan cause.
He received considerable criticism from rightly anti-Trump people who wanted to suppress the real information contained in the Wiki Leak materials that showed foulness in and foul play by the democratic party, for example. Few disputed the truth of what was contained in those documents but many wanted him to shut up about them because they would be hurtful to the democratic candidate running against Donald Trump.
The good people, center and left of center who supported the anti-Trump candidate, for good reason did not want to hear harmful truths regarding their candidate.
The flap discussed in the video is related to Greenwald quitting the publication he founded because, he claims, against the agreement he had with those managing the Intercept, a piece he had written containing material perceived by management as potentially harmful to Joe Biden, was met with refusal to print unless that material were cut from the article.
Greenwald’s battle is over suppression of uncomfortable truths or potentially true information by partisans, here, directly, partisans of the anti-right, anti-Trump supporters of the alternative, here, this time around, that person being Joe Biden.

There is a lot to say about what Greenwald says here, about the Intercept resignation and the criticism that is following it. There is a lot to say about what Greenwald is saying about the American media and his appearances on Fox News with, of all people, the terrible Tucker Carlson. And much, too, to say about why this reporter/commentator, still very much left leaning, is not invited as he once was, with open arms, to appear on MSNBC.

Do think about this if you read this far and watch the video. There are many who do not like the truth. There are many who know that their causes can be hurt by the truth and their causes, good as they may be, in suppressing truth or attempting to do so, ultimately hurt their causes by doing so. Think of the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church. And the Democratic Party?

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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