The Friends of Glenn

UPDATE for stupid people: The post below does not hold Glenn Greenwald personally responsible for all the many individual acts of debate-stopping bullshit committed daily in his honor on the internet. It simply says that these many individual acts of debate-stopping bullshit are the perfect complement to all the individual acts of debate-stopping bullshit he commits himself, and that there is a mutual attraction and interdependence between him and his most avid fans because of it. Put another way, the piece suggests that Glenn’s most avid fans reflect on Glenn in ways that, say, Obama’s most avid followers reflect on Obama.  In fact, the two groups are quite similar, though each group would certainly insist that their vastly superior politics set them very much apart.

When I say ‘Friends of Glenn Greenwald’, I simply mean the mostly informal network of debate-stopping authoritarians that operate on Greenwald’s behalf in high places and low, though some of them are also his friends in the routine sense.

——–

Here’s my Twitter avatar.

tarzie_real

Here’s a customization tweeted at me last night from an anonymous account, one of many in a barrage from multiple accounts that began during a conversation I was having about Glenn Greenwald.

troll_rendering2

Note how childish, dumb and technically inept it is. Also how homophobic. Then wonder what kind of person attracts fans such as these and even, on occasion, incites them. This incident is no anomaly. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this nicely encapsulates what The Friends of Glenn Greenwald have been saying to me for six months now. It rarely gets better.

As anyone who has ever been insufficiently deferential to Glenn Greenwald in public knows, the alleged civil libertarian/savior of journalism cultivates and periodically incites a pack of internet brownshirts who enforce discipline on his behalf. Most of the commentary on this has come from Greenwald’s right, because until recently that’s where most of his acrimony was directed. But as his status increases and his affiliations change, the rare lefties calling him to account are getting a taste of this as well.  Recently British independent journalist Jonathan Cook capitulated completely on some very tepid criticism he had offered only days before, after a swarming by Glenn’s fans and a self-serving lecture by Greenwald himself.

I have become something of an expert on Greenwald’s frothy minions since he first sicced them on me six months ago via this fallacious rant on my blog, in which he deliberately mischaracterized practically every point I had made and obliquely suggested that I kill myself.   Since writing the post that sent Greenwald into a tizzy,  I have been the target of routine trolling on Twitter, usually in the form of extremely childish verbal abuse, but also in the form of lengthy, angry interrogations, akin to visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses vexed by my stubborn unwillingness to see the light. The research wing trawls through old tweets and blog posts looking for things that can be damningly quoted out of context. I am the subject of six Twitter ‘parody’ accounts,  at least one of which simply mixes real tweets with fake for the sole purpose of mischaracterizing me. Glenn himself even cracks wise with this Tarzie parody — which of course endorses its smeary intent — though since vomiting on my blog six months ago, he never replies to me directly.

It’s important to point out that this is not simply the work of the weird anonymous accounts that spring up literally overnight every time I post. I am talking about pillars of civil libertarian society, like Kade Crockford of the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union, who excoriated a blog post of mine at great length on Twitter, even though it was cringe-makingly obvious that she hadn’t read a word of it. Not long after, she attempted to do the same thing about an Arthur Silber post she hadn’t read, until fans of Silber, including me, pointed out the foolishness of  talking out of her ass yet one more time. Wikileaks trolled me at length one evening, admonishing me to shut my mouth in so many dreary, condescending words. As I recounted in an update to my last post, the British watchdog group Media Lens approvingly quoted a pathologizing smear Glenn left on this blog in September and, just a few days ago, risibly retweeted a faux smear against me by the parody account Glenn Greenbacks. 

Now the mob would like to convince itself and everyone else that what I have done to Greenwald is no different from what the mob routinely does to me. But even putting aside the absolutely idiotic obliviousness to disparities in numbers and power embedded in that idea, this is just simply not true.  I hurl invective certainly, but I do not lie or smear. More importantly I have raised a lot of questions and concerns, the vast majority of which have not been seriously addressed.  That’s because the mob isn’t simply settling a pathologically petty icon’s scores for him. It’s shielding him from scrutiny.

This is some odd,  shitty stuff, and also very revealing, as Glenn might say, were he its object and not its beneficiary. Never in my entire life have I been subject to so much discipline for a point of view.  I am talking about it now not because I am suddenly fed up with it — this shit rolls off my back at this point. But I think it’s time to realize that this bullshit is by no means incidental. It is very much a part of the Glenn Greenwald story. See, Glenn’s brownshirts really get Glenn and he gets them. Where others see a crusading, fearless journalist, they see what I see — a smeary, dishonest, bullying demagogue. The difference between them and me is they like it, either because they’re smeary little bullies themselves, or because they think the left needs, for tactical reasons, a smeary, bullying demagogue it can call its own, even if he is only a liberal/libertarian knockoff with a reactionary past.

Glenzilla they call him, not because his arguments are good, but because they are so effectively shabby — mostly witless verbal abuse and fallacies. Calling someone a ‘moron’ or ‘insane‘  — which Glenn does frequently — is a bon mot for this crowd.  ‘Serious ownage’, a Long Island brocialist tweeted at me after Glenn had called me stupid 20 different ways. The mystery to me is why anyone who isn’t aligned with the mob in spirit would align themselves in fact. As I’ve remarked before, I see nothing discernibly left or anti-authoritarian in this little subculture, especially as more and more Glenn and his minions punch as hard to his left as they do to his right. Even if I still respected Greenwald, I would be disquieted by this, if not by Greenwald himself, who becomes more weirdly self-intoxicated by the day.  If this is the future of transparency, journalism and ‘the left’,  we’re in pretty bad shape.

UPDATE 6

Well, it’s not like I didn’t see this coming. (See update 2)  Libertarian sharp tack David here is onto the NSA plot to undermine GG with anon ‘critics’ who say, ‘leak more NSA documents’ and ‘stop redacting.’

UPDATE 5

Greenwald proving my thesis again that a shared fetish for Tu Quoque fallacies is among the things holding his tribe together.

Glenn, like his “friend”,  peerless troll “Mona Holland”, (Update 3, below) would like to frame this as being all about the avatar when, in fact, its about his whole network of trolls and apologists that he inspires, cultivates, and incites in high places and low. Glenn wants people to believe I am blaming him for the trolls. To the extent that he cultivates and incites them I do. But my main point is how they reflect on him. He’s an authoritarian creep. He attracts authoritarian creeps. Really not hard.

I opened with the avatar, not to blame Greenwald for it, but because it succinctly captures the quality of their ‘arguments’ to date. As so often happens when I post, Glenn and Co are today busily vindicating me, by mischaracterizing the post so as to close debate on it. If these people ever get self-awareness, hide the razor blades. No, don’t.

I can’t speak for RancidSassy, but just for the record,  @JBJabroni10 is someone with whom I chat from time to time, and, as it happens, we have differed with each other over language use. But see, he doesn’t use the language we differ over on my behalf, nor do I make light of it.  Glenn’s “Friend of 20 years, former law partner” and troll captain, “Mona Holland”, repeatedly trivialized the homophobic harassment I described here for two days straight. Then with more of Glenn’s and her patented Tu-but-not-really-tu Quoque panache she tweeted this:

I am by no means obliged to answer for Edmonds about a slur in a blog post, as if it somehow relates to homophobic Twitter harassment directed at me on Glenn’s behalf, nevertheless, let the record show:

UPDATE 4

From today:

UPDATE 3

So in keeping with how Glenn and his brownshirts unfailingly vindicate everything I write within 24 hours of my having written it, there was much authoritarian troll merry-making on the interwebs. I don’t have the stomach for seeking it out but I sometimes keep a line open to “Mona Holland”,  Glenn’s alleged “Friend of 20 years and former law partner”, because “her” shtick of dis-informative deliberate stupidity is sometimes entertaining. Nowhere on Twitter is there a person(a) more willing to debase themselves with such monumental acts of crassness and feigned point-missing on behalf of another person.

“Mona” is well-known to anyone who disparages Glenn, as “she” trolls every forum — the Guardian, Twitter and now The Intercept —  busily running interference against the insufficiently adoring. Mona used to show up here in sock puppet form, or rather, with a different name than Mona.  We who she trolls all wonder how she finds us. Even if you don’t use Glenn’s tag or his full name,  “Mona” will find you and set you straight.  She seems to be kitted out with every monitoring device a troll needs.

Anyway, “Mona” trolled me for a half an hour last night, disinformatively insisting, again and again, that my main issue was the homophobic visual slur, not the network of bullying debate-stoppers, like her, that the vandalized avatar simply embodies.  Indeed it was striking how many people think sending homophobic visual slurs to a gay man is the tiniest of things when done in service to a cool gay celeb. “Get over us, you big baby” was the gist of her message. Mona is far from the worst but she’s about the only one I have the stomach for, since she is one of the few who doesn’t act like a psychotic 12-year-old pretending to have grown-up politics.  She’s just an amusingly creepy dumbass for whom Glenn is far too dimwittedly shitty himself to be embarrassed.  Multiply the following by a few hundred at least, add more hatred, shake and you’ll have Glennbot Twitter from yesterday.

UPDATE 2 ( link to this update )

There has recently been a minor fissure in the Greenwald is God consensus: some splintering over things like the PayPal 14; more people are wondering aloud about the slow timing of the leaks and the involvement of the government in reviewing disclosures; a handful of Twitter parody accounts making fun of The Intercept and Greenwald have emerged. Of course, there can be but one explanation for this minor fissure, and just in the nick of time it has been newly filed by Greenwald on The Intercept:

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

To summarize, dude who travels the internet with gang of creepy thugs who intimidate, smear, disinform and create division, posts cryptic documents alongside highly speculative ‘analysis’,  revealing that creepy government agents work the internet to intimidate, smear, disinform and create division.

It’s only shitty when the government does it, not a billionaire’s lackeys.

I like the bit about “fake victim blog posts.”  So timely!

UPDATE 1 ( link to this update )

Ah shucks, an ex-Mother Jones-er that I hardly ever read just tweeted this:

Funny, how this ‘obsession’ thing goes only one way. Aronsen, who writes probing investigative pieces about conspiracy theorists no one gives a shit about, isn’t fazed at all by the obsessives who’ve smeared and badgered me for the past six months, nor that these people include employees of the ACLU, Wikileaks people and alleged media watchdogs.. The homophobic harassment embodied by the doctored avatar I received last night is no biggie either:

Who cares? He has like 30 followers, what does that have to do with Glenn Greenwald?

Well, actually the account has a password published in the profile. It’s for harass and bounce trolling so we don’t know how many followers the person has. But that’s beside the point anyway, because the tweet was an attempt to harass me during a conversation about Greenwald. What does this have to do with Greenwald, he asks, with the probing curiosity we’ve come to expect from our press. Why nothing at all, except that such things became routine on the very day Greenwald commented here on my blog six months ago. Read the post again, dumbass. Note that bit about how GG interacts with parody accounts.  Read Jonathan Cook’s unprecedented, bizarre capitulation. Read your own tweet and wonder why you aren’t lamenting all the people obsessed with me.

But to speak to the issue of my ‘obsession’,  I already covered that here, when one of your peers attempted a Greenwaldian smear about it. I will add that I would write less about Greenwald if:

1. He lectured the left less. The Snowden Event has been one long, tiresome lesson in incrementalism aimed entirely at people to his left. I was sick of it six months ago and it’s only gotten worse. Glenn thinks expertise in parlaying whistleblowing events into cash and prizes equates to expertise in creating change. I beg to differ and am likely to say so from time to time as long as these lectures continue.

2. His minions trolled me less. One thing about anti-authoritarians, the best way to get us to do something is to insist that we should not. This piece, for instance, was inspired by a troll. Greenwald has never repudiated any of this shit. To the contrary, his interaction with Tarzie parody accounts is an explicit endorsement. Troll me less, and watch the Greenwald posts disappear. That means you too, Gavin!!!

3. Other left bloggers and journalists would take this up. Pay special attention to this one Gavin: I would have stopped writing about Greenwald ages ago if others, like you, were on the job. But we both know why that hasn’t happened don’t we? Remember this conversation about why you and others were standing down? I really wish I had the vague promise of a juicy job to hold out to you and everyone else Gavin, because, if I did, potshots like the one you just took — and all the other bullshit covered in this post — would end immediately.

Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 1.58.10 PM

Related

The Absorption of Matt Taibbi by First Look

My Reply to Glenn Greenwald on his Comments

Fuck The Guardian Part 2: Take Your Drip and Stick It

Omidyar’s First Look Introduces The Intercept

No, Pierre Omidyar Does Not Want to Topple The Government

A Harbinger of Journalism Saved

Greenwald Still Covering for Omidyar on PayPal

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127 Responses to The Friends of Glenn

  1. mspbwatch says:

    Thuggery is so much easier than discourse and power sharing, but these leftists pretend they’re enlightened. It’s all a big con game.

  2. BRUCE TYLER WICK says:

    Whether “Friends of Glenn” or “Friends of Greenwald”–F.O.G. spells fog!

  3. The Rt. Hon. Tarzie Gruenwood says:

    The more effort you spend pretending you’re not Greenwald, the more you’re obviously him.

  4. Hooker Jay says:

    I’ve concluded the true face of Greenwald can be found here, and I was unaware of that exchange with Gavin back in October. Surprised Gavin didn’t channel Robin Williams: “Praise to heeem, JimBawb! He who gives me stuff and finds me a jawb! Jim-Baaaawb!”

  5. Pimanx says:

    A knob pic with cum! That is almost offensively rubbish homophobia. Knob pic. Cum. I will be laughing myself to sleep.

    I appreciate your blog Tarzie. Fuck em. Keep it going.

  6. Romancing the Loan says:

    I read the Covert Agents piece and thought if trolling and Soc 101 are all the NSA’s contractors have to offer on how to manipulate public opinion, then we can all sleep soundly in our beds. I wondered more where the money came from to pay for that piece of crap powerpoint, and how much of it.

    • Steve says:

      Had the exact same reaction. Doesn’t look like analysis to me, rather something along the lines of, “Let’s just include everything ever known about how to be an asshole, keep adding to it to make it incomprehensible, and maybe the stupid fuckers will believe we really know what we’re doing so we can keep cashing those six figure annual checks!”.

      And I really had to laugh at this:

      ” … these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception … ”

      As if readers had not read anything longer than a tweet …

  7. Mallam says:

    If you’re such small potatoes then why are they so obsessed? All I’m sayin’…

    It’s the same bullshit that the MRA’s had with Anita Sarkeesian or Richard Dawkins with Rebecca Watson. Rebecca Watson says, “If you’re in an elevator with me at 3 am and ask me to your hotel room for coffee…just saying, don’t do that.” That’s immediately responded with sexism, violence against women, and misogyny…proving Watson’s point.

    Or Sarkeesian looking at sexist tropes in videogames, only to have this as a response:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118310-Flash-Game-Makes-Players-Beat-Up-Tropes-vs-Women-Creator

    Wtg, guys. You’re definitely proving your point and everything!

    • Tarzie says:

      Wtg, guys. You’re definitely proving your point and everything!

      It never fails. But these people are not afflicted with any debilitating self-awareness.

      • AmishRakeFight says:

        Through all the ugliness and disheartening events that have ensued since June, the one thing that has brought me a great deal of amusement is how quickly many of the criticisms levied against Greenwald et al. have been vindicated. In some cases, if I recall correctly, some of your posts or tweets were vindicated within 24 hours. Another example is how the more subtle parody tweets have been just a hair short of passable, as evidenced by their being mistakenly re-tweeted.
        It’s nice to enjoy a few smiles and laughs amidst the fortress of shit Greenwald et al. have been erecting.

      • Tarzie says:

        In some cases, if I recall correctly, some of your posts or tweets were vindicated within 24 hours.

        Oh yes, normally well within 24 hours. Here’s me at the end of Take Your Drip and Stick It, posted at 1 in the morning on Sept 10:

        Having asked these questions, I fully expect to be frothed on and trolled by Greenwald’s revoltingly dimwitted fans.

        Glenn posted his troll-inciting comments at 3:00 the same afternoon and a still-raging troll fever was born.

        It’s funny that a cult that in some part owes to a shared fetish of doltish Glenn’s dim-witted Tu Quoque fallacies is too entirely lacking in self-awareness to ever stop being such laughably ridiculous scum. Last night, they replied to this post about trolling with much authoritarian troll merry-making. Mona Holland, the Mrs. Baylock of the cult, trolled me for a half an hour, yucking it up over what a tiny little thing homophobic visual slurs are, and how inane I was to give a shit. ‘Get over us, you big baby’ was the gist. Every time she does this shit, some part of me imagines Glenn wincing — the old part of me that mistook him for something other than an asshole — but of course he doesn’t, because it works. He probably pays her. She certainly is tireless.

        Another example is how the more subtle parody tweets have been just a hair short of passable, as evidenced by their being mistakenly re-tweeted.

        Yes. I enjoyed ridiculing servile dimwits Media Lens over that. The parodies are great. It’s heartening to see others taking a cudgel to these creeps and with such trenchant humor. I love intercept_this and ggreenbacks. Great humor and also great analysis. They really know their way around char limits. It’s a gift to radical twitter. Too bad most of radical twitter is waaaaaaay too stupid to get it. What a waste dump.

      • AmishRakeFight says:

        The thing that really pisses me off about people downplaying the homophobic avatar image is that if someone did the exact same thing to Glenn, these people would be falling over themselves to condemn it. As usual, it’s all about punching downward at people who have far less power. There’s nothing remotely “left” or anti-authoritarian about these fucking assholes. [And that’s all aside from he fact that this post is not about this isolated incident, but rather a series of related events that have been evolving for months].
        I enjoy the two parodies you mention as well. The person(s) running them are quite savvy. And perhaps my favorite aspect of them is that Greenwald et al. are clearly well aware of them and likely get exposed to a lot of the tweets (voluntarily or involuntarily), so at least the mockery is penetrating to the higher levels.

  8. walterglass4 says:

    Not that I’m saying anything new, but isn’t it fucking weird how basically one guy has access to all these documents and can just publish them at his leisure? No one else from the Intercept is credited anywhere on that piece. Greenwald can just dig through the trove and print whatever he happens to be interested in that week, whatever whim he feels like indulging, whatever narrative he feels like creating.

    Reading The Intercept feels like going to a rich kid’s birthday party where the only activity is watching the birthday boy play alone in the bounce house. Literally all you get out of it is proximity to the rich kid, but people still show up for some reason.

    • Tarzie says:

      Greenwald can just dig through the trove and print whatever he happens to be interested in that week, whatever whim he feels like indulging, whatever narrative he feels like creating.

      You left out, whatever score he feels like settling. The amount of influence being consolidated here is truly remarkable. He’s obviously a complete cynic about people and he is not wrong.

      These stories really do just shape narratives. They hardly tell us anything new, but they direct focus. Tonight he clearly wanted to set the stage for immunizing himself and his colleagues from criticism by spreading distrust.

      Reading The Intercept feels like going to a rich kid’s birthday party where the only activity is watching the birthday boy play alone in the bounce house. Literally all you get out of it is proximity to the rich kid, but people still show up for some reason.

      God, Walter, that is just an amazing line.

      Remarkable the idea that they’re his leaks is pretty much cast in stone at this point, and that so many people place so much emphasis on Greenwald’s objectives for the leaks vs. any objectives the rest of us might have. At first glance, it looks like people taking the same supplicating, passive position they take toward the government, except there is this really weird layer of vicariousness, as your great closing line suggests. It’s very weird, all of it.

      • anolen says:

        Tarzie, the people trolling you are shameful, and unfortunately, your experience is not unique. Check this out, from a *very different* side of the political spectrum.

        http://www.t-room.us/special-report-naval-war-colleges-involvement-in-personal-cyber-attacks-no-mere-aberration/

        The thing that people like yourself and Masden have in common is that you’re exposing cracks in the narrative. I’d say that your writing is more dangerous than Masden’s because you’re coming from the left, which really scares the intelligence community.

        I’ve felt strongly for some time that what the NWC is doing, and what ‘F.O.G.’ do, are just two sides to the same coin. In their their own way, each does their own part to contain the problem that Snowden created. If both camps are pulling on the same rope, using the same tactics, are they really two different camps?

  9. Donald Smith says:

    That’s entertainment! Being a roady for a rock star is sufficient for those hoping that a little tinkle of Tinseltown will drip into their lives.I know a guy that cleaned a Presidential toilet once and it was the “Almost Touched By Greatness” moment for him.
    Just found your perceptive site, via Mr. Silber, going to take a while to read the archives. I like it.

  10. Janice Golden says:

    hi tarzie,

    it pains me to see the smears against you. fucking ridiculous and like you ..(may have) said?, it’s junior high school crap.

    but it occurred to me while I read your post yesterday, tarzie might be being manipulated by the biggest manipulators of all.
    the nzis in the usg. and their paid trolls. the hard(on) rightwing and fascist-loving, puke-for-brains trolls might be doing this, don’t you think?!

    I’d definitely suspect them, if I were you. I do suspect them, always. they hate gays, libs, anyone with a brain, don’t you know?

    so unless you’re sure it’s “friends of glenn”….. and how can you be?
    call that possibility out .. or play along with it?

    then I’m reading (or starting to, skimming for the lovely documents first ) the new intercept article and its documents. and…. WTF! … so HIDEOUSLY EVIL…. but .. we knew it….
    still, to see they actually make a … what’s it called?… slide show ,computer show thing, out of the pages..
    !! they’re the ones that REALLY suck………… not glenn greenwald, no matter how you disagree,
    at least I see it like that.

    hey, maybe even you are part of “slime the people” ploy? I just thought of that.
    things are twisted!

    hey, maybe I’m part of a ploy and don’t even know it!

    have a good day, tarzie.
    who is that beautiful face, anyways, on your “avatar”? cuz I don’t know.. and guess I probably should.

    can you fill us in to more on how Arthur is? I hate when he doesn’t write.

    🙏 peace,… goddamit.
    Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:09:58 +0000
    To: jan.golden@hotmail.com

    • Tarzie says:

      but it occurred to me while I read your post yesterday, tarzie might be being manipulated by the biggest manipulators of all.
      the nzis in the usg.

      The people I mean are very much on Glenn’s team and operate very much with his approval as his interaction with them shows. If they are working for the government, then so is he. I will concede, however, that they operate very much how I imagine disinformation campaigns work, but I think a lot of people instinctively know how to use social networks this way without government assistance. I did not find Glenn’s recent news about JTRIG at all remarkable. I found it thoroughly predictable, like all the stories so far.

      who is that beautiful face, anyways, on your “avatar”?

      I forget the guy’s name but it is from Andy Warhol’s film, Blowjob.

      can you fill us in to more on how Arthur is?

      I have not heard from Arthur since I posted the appeal on his behalf. He was having computer problems so that might be the main reason why he is incommunicado.

  11. I think I’m the Long Island brocialist in question who tweeted that Glenn owned you in that post. I’m only posting here to make it clear that, far from being some kind of acolyte of his, I don’t even particularly like Greenwald. I think his ultra-right-wing posts from a few years ago, when he was in his late thirties, are basically unforgivable, and TBH I think a lot of what you say about him is accurate, in terms of him being a chameleon with no real coherent ideology. Calling him Glenzilla is a fucking joke, man. It refers to the fact that he is one of the most famous journalists in the world, yet someone who is so easily incensed that he will devote hours, days, weeks, months (if you believe the sock puppet stories) to engaging in brutal and obsessively detailed arguments with any random person who calls him out on anything. That’s all.

    As for saying he owned you in that post, yeah, I think his fundamental point about risk is valid. You are an anonymous blogger criticizing a whistlebower in exile, and the journalists who regularly hear calls for their arrest, for not doing more. Which, honestly, is fine. I would never say that being an anonymous blogger somehow disqualifies you from criticizing them. But I do think there should be some sense of humility and self-awareness to your criticism that, from what I can tell, is just missing. Which, in the end, causes you to be taken less seriously. I don’t know how you don’t see that.

    You seem to sincerely believe that all of humanity has been forced to choose sides in some epic, Manichean divide between you and Greenwald. Please consider the possibility that some of us might A) appreciate what Snowden and Greenwald have done, in broad terms, but also B) consider some of the pointed criticisms that you, and others, have made to be perfectly valid.

    • Tarzie says:

      As for saying he owned you in that post, yeah, I think his fundamental point about risk is valid.

      Well then I guess you don’t know what a logical fallacy is or don’t care. Greenwald’s steady refrain about his risks vs. everyone else’s to stave off criticism or questions is every bit as insubstantive and evasive as militarists who say you can’t criticize their wars. Since he was invoking this tiresome bullshit to answer a call for dumping that I never made, your ‘owning’ assessment is even more baseless. Far from calling for Glenn to ‘do more’, my post closed with a series of questions, only one of which Glenn answered. Since you’re wrong on three counts — while quoting Glenn’s mischaracterization back at me no less — I guess I needn’t dwell on how he called me stupid twenty different ways. Or is that ‘serious ownage’ also? The way he conflates journalists risks with whistleblowers is quite simply disgusting. The two are not nearly the same. Did you read my reply, or was Glenn’s ownage via fallacies and insults enough to seal the deal?

      I am curious, at what point are the billions of people affected by leaked secrets free to ask questions or, god forbid, object to the way they’re being handled? How much deference is required when the leaking starts to look unmistakably like suppressing, while movie and startup deals roll in?

      But I do think there should be some sense of humility and self-awareness to your criticism that, from what I can tell, is just missing. Which, in the end, causes you to be taken less seriously. I don’t know how you don’t see that.

      I don’t see it because I do not admire Glenn or Snowden particularly. Nor am I in great need to be taken seriously by people whom I never really respected, doing an elaborate performance of everything I loathe, via Twitter parody accounts and homophobically vandalized avatars. I also don’t think the deferent approach you and others say I lack would change things one bit. Look what happened to Jonathan Cook. His criticism could not have been more anodyne nor his approach more polite, yet he debased himself with a bizarre capitulation, the likes of which I have seriously never seen before in an online debate between two public figures.

      When I began writing this stuff I was open to all objections. But nobody came at me with anything but Glenn’s talking points and insults. Seriously I can count on one hand the people that did something else. People who engage me without base assertions and insults find me quite open to discussion and also to correcting myself. Your contribution at the time was your ‘serious ownage’ remark and a complete inability to back it up with anything. Why should I engage with that bullshit? And why should I regard it with anything but contempt when its wedded to childish mob that really just can’t shut up about me. Having seen yourself mentioned in this post, you’re back not with arguments about anything in the post but with a litany of my deficiencies. I’m not impressed with anything but your self-unawareness, so I guess we’re at an impasse on who’s the better person, but the difference is, I don’t care. I’m all about the arguments and you haven’t made any in relation to this post or to any other claim I’ve made. Ever.

      Here’s the thing: I don’t see all whistleblowing events as invariably good and I think this one is actually politically toxic. I therefore do not feel obliged to share the loyalties or appreciation that arise from your very different assessment. I find your, and others’ insistence that I should see things as you do on faith, extremely egotistical. But if you want to place the extremely trivial matter of tone above everything else, you and the others who lecture me should at least be honest and thorough-going about it. If you review the record beginning with my first post about the Manning smears you can easily observe how my tone and my respect evolved in response to Glenn’s, who has consistently been the least civil party in each volley. The case will be made even more compelling by his conduct on Twitter around the same. I believe your different assessment is rooted either in status-consciousness or an assumption that you needn’t review the record at all before having an opinion about it, which also seems to tilt toward status. In retrospect I actually think I was far too nice about the disgusting use to which Greenwald and Snowden put mainstream smears about Manning, and on the week her trial started no less. I find it quite awful really that people like you seem more troubled by my lack of deference, than that one, Greenwald and Snowden did that and two, I am still one of only a small number of people to object to it publicly, even though many did privately.

      You seem to sincerely believe that all of humanity has been forced to choose sides in some epic

      Nope, that’s not how I see it. That’s just another shitty psychologizing smear, breathed straight out of the Twitter fumes. The Manicheans I see are all on Team Glenn, busily smearing me, tweeting homophobic visual slurs, ridiculing me for objecting and and doing one hundred other things to close down debate. I do believe that whether intentional or not, the Snowden Event is a co-option event, the most conspicuous outcomes of which are Glenn’s move upward and a huge media grab by a toxic billionaire. It’s the people trolling me who see it as some kind of confrontation between Good (Glenn/Pierre) and Evil (NSA/Tarzie) and thus betray how fucking little they know about how true dissidents are really treated in this country. Spoiler: they don’t end up with movie and startup deals.

      The ‘some’ of you who are willing to consider some of my criticisms ‘perfectly valid’ are few in number and not vocal, and still seem weirdly more preoccupied with my tone than my valid or invalid points. As this comment suggests, you are unable to even identify common ground with me except as prelude to a patronizing lecture and a pat on your own back for finding the sweet spot between your ever-so-principled objections to Greenwald and your appreciation for all he’s done. This would be annoying enough had I not seen you throwing in with smeariest, creepiest trolls when the beatdown first began so…self-unaware dude, heal thyself. If you, or any of the rest, want to reach me, you’ll quit with the elaborate performance of things I loathe. Why can’t you see that???

      PS: ‘Serious ownage’ is just fucking gross as language goes.

    • “I do think there should be some sense of humility and self-awareness to your criticism that, from what I can tell, is just missing. Which, in the end, causes you to be taken less seriously. I don’t know how you don’t see that.”

      This is total bullshit. Someone wrote about their issues with the Snowden affair. It was spit at and shit on by Greenwald and others and the author called crazy and told he should kill himself. At this point, there is no reason at all to be gracious to fuckers like this. But even so, why should this one person be attacked, trolled, and the worst, totally misrepresented by many people with lots of followers who did not read what he wrote? And are purposely repeating falsities only semi-related to the writing to obfuscate the real issues?

      Two possibilities, the way I see it: you didn’t read even most of the posts — which fine, probably not many have, but then shut the fuck up about what you don’t know. Seriously, basic shit there. Or, you read it all and don’t care and just think Tarzie should blow Snowden and Greenwald et al because they “risked it all” to bring us the most insignificant, marginal, reformist “debate” a society has ever had.

  12. Bitman says:

    Who is running the pool for FL’s next hire? What kind of odds can I get on Dave Zirin, given FL’s stated desire to broaden the portfolio of offerings?

    • Tarzie says:

      I dunno. I think at some point they’re going to start broadening their portfolio with people who arent identified with the left. This top-loading with lefts is just to keep the lefy journos on Team Glenn with no nasty talk of billionaires and wikileaks blockades, the PayPal 14 and whatnot. They’ve already hired one sports writer, I think. I forget his name.

  13. Pingback: Åbent brev til Peter Kofod | Du er Journalist

  14. Everything that has crossed my radar from the Snowden package has nothing in it but the provision of scary dynamics of superior strength and ability to monitor, yeah, criminal etc. but nothing even close to Chelsea Manning’s reveal.
    All of it reduces to “They’re watching”, with the object of observation being this or that, from little folks to whole countries, but nothing beyond that staring eyeball.
    Sort of like how the agents of various covert agencies will sometimes reveal themselves. To intimidate the subject. Intentional disclosure of the surveilling eye.
    Sort of like that self-erasing paragraph that Guardian guy is talking about.
    “They’re (we’re) here, and we’re watching, you and everything and everyone.”
    That is, or seems to be, the central message so far.
    And that’s supposed to be some kind of revelation. For the benefit of the scrutinized.

    Your response to Doolittle is a further example of gallantry under pressure.
    Dude, you’re the Errol Flynn of activist discourse.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      The reason focusing on the Snowden docs is so useless and counterproductive is because it’s the symptom of the disease, it’s not the actual larger problematic disease itself, which is capitalism. A bourgeois government has to protect its interests, it does that by spying on people, spying on their “allies,” spying and infiltrating businesses and industrial espionage.

      Greenwald wants to get rid of the symptom but not eradicate the disease. That is some major cognitive dissonance.

      • thombrogan says:

        Greenwald wants to profit socially and materially from the symptom, not eradicate anything. In Omidyar, he’s found a way to extend partisanship beyond Democrats and Republicans and include the nearly anarchistic of the far right and far left. Sure, most billionaires are ardent supporters of the corporatism that made them rich, but not Glenn’s guy. He wrote an op-ed against his company’s helping the US/EU defund wikileaks and had it published in a Hawaiian newspaper all by himself!, so; just like Glenn; he’s one of the good guys…

      • Tarzie says:

        He wrote an op-ed against his company’s helping the US/EU defund wikileaks and had it published in a Hawaiian newspaper all by himself!, so; just like Glenn; he’s one of the good guys…

        Actually it wasn’t even that good. The op-ed repudiated the government but endorsed PayPal’s compliance, and Greenwald helpfully covered for him on this twice.

  15. Steve says:

    It’s been instructive reading your blog, Tarzie. I admire your willingness to research, to go back and forth, to engage, to defend your positions, to ward off trollings and other assorted attacks with a wicked good sense of fair play, an acidic carefree attitude of linguistic fearlessness that outs the poseurs, the would-be lefties, and generally clears the horizon for those of us new to your brand of journalism. Thank you.

    But it’s all become too fratricidal for me, too internecine. It reminds me of when I went back to the States and couldn’t relate because most conversations were about what people saw on the teevee. I tried the local book club and it was all about Deepak Chopra or the bridges in some county somewhere (granted, it was a while ago).

    Just to say that I won’t be commenting here any further. Not that it makes any difference. I have a garden to look after, fewer fires to build to ward off the damp of the winter, fruit trees to trim. That kind of stuff.

    The Snowden Franchise will, like most other heavily backed endeavors, probably grow for a while, and generate some buzz. But, at this point, who really cares? For me, it’s just another blot on my personal horizon that I would prefer was not there, another busy-making distraction adding to all the other bullshit that’s already out there. Having spent most of my adult life outside the American “hologram” (thanks to Joe Bageant), I can sympathize but can no longer really participate.

    You’re a good one, Tarzie. Keep minding your kettles.

    • Tarzie says:

      But it’s all become too fratricidal for me, too internecine.

      I can’t stand this bullshit. There is no fraternity between me, a billionaire and his lackeys. Particularly when they troll me for 6 months from places high and low. I honestly don’t understand why people insist on trivializing a phenomenon that has literally immunized a billionaire’s news venture and his relationship to government secrets from scrutiny. I also can’t believe there are people that would call this internecine. Maybe you’re rich. Maybe that’s why this concept seems idiotic to me and not to you. If you think lefts can’t criticize lefts, you have been hanging out at the wrong blog for waaaaaaaay too long.

      But, at this point, who really cares? For me, it’s just another blot on my personal horizon that I would prefer was not there

      Well then, time to move on. I am working at closing up on left icons too, but I feel I still have a bit more to say. I had moved on from Snowden but then the Intercept was a piece of crap and one thing led to another..I think the authoritarian quality of Glenn and Co. is worth examining. I’m sorry if you’re too grown-up for it, but not everyone is. I also think you may underestimate the importance of the Snowden Affair.

      But anyway, this was one helluva patronizing, passive-aggressive comment, entirely uncalled for, so good fucking riddance.

      • Harpfool says:

        “…this was one helluva patronizing, passive-aggressive comment, entirely uncalled for…”

        Not sure you should feel this way – it doesn’t appear to me that you are Steve’s issue. Seems to me he’s had it with feeling the futility of fighting with these assholes, even if it’s you doing the fighting and he’s spectating. Remember when you had the temerity to disagree with the circle-jerk that’s taken over the comments at Chris Floyd’s blog? Didn’t take too long for you to give up on trying to deliver the wheel to the neanderthals. Because, why bother, right? I’m guessing Steve feels this way, but it’s not down to you.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, perhaps you’re right. Wasn’t clear to me, but since he’s decided to leave the blog, I dunno…Not in any hurry to edit.

      • Steve says:

        Jeeeezus Tarzie, lighten up! I was not being, or even thinking of being patronizing. Au contraire, I consider your blog to be one of the best written, informative, brain tickling, and engaging there is. I appreciate the time you take to respond even to the likes of me, though this spanking was a bit of a surprise.

        I am not trying to trivialize anything. It has just been “my” experience that I have to choose my battles. And I am certainly not fighting with you. It’s just that the Snowden Franchise (not Snowden himself), the Gatekeepers, the Permitted Left, leaves me cold. The fact that they have found sanctuary, whether it be tenure or in the pocket of a billionaire, is something about which I can do nothing. It’s there, it exists. Thanks to your blog, I can argue from a more enlightened point of view. But I don’t think my little voice will have any effect on how GG (or anyone else, for that matter) goes about his business.

        That said, you got me to thinking about doing my own blog (tech illiterate as I am) from over here in order to create an across the pond conversation. Something I may, or may not do.

        At any rate, you are still up there on my address bar, and I’ll be checking back to see your next article.

        Thanks to Harpfool for calming the waters.

        And no, I am not rich. Just decided long ago to lead a dreamy kind of life and surprised I’m still here.

      • Tarzie says:

        Oops sorry.

        All this stuff is leaving me cold too. The Passing Chomsky series was intended to be my farewell to the Establishment Left, but I got sidetracked by the First Look car wreck.

        I think your blog sound like a great idea. I want to hear more about your dreamy expatriate li life.

      • anolen says:

        NB. Don’t run with the pruners.

      • Steve says:

        Thanks for that. You are precious. Willing to listen, to think about stuff, and then reply. Aren’t too many people out there willing to spend the time to do what you do.

        As for the blog, that’s going to take some time, some soul searching, and an assessment of what I can really offer.

        As for my dreamsy life style, that’s a really long story. You have my email, if your are really interested.

  16. To employ some Greenwaldian parlance:

    Those who respond to complaints of harassment by trolls with “Suck it up nancy!” are revealing much about themselves only.

    • Tarzie says:

      Seriously.

      It’s really sad that there is coalition forming between people who love Glenn and people who really love Twitter beatdowns and will simply not hear them aspersed. It’s bizarre.

    • Tarzie says:

      The other thing about that is he’s so fucking thin-skinned. He doesn’t suck up anything. He doesn’t have to. What a fucking clown.

      • Well the way I figure it, if someone comes along that lives up to his standard of courage and self sacrifice and levels some criticism at him, he’ll then accept it and respond with equanimity. We may find such a hero someday. Someday.

      • MickStep says:

        If Greenwald was the self sacrificing Jesus figure you see him as, and not the self interested, self aggrandizing megalomaniac I see him as. He would put all his personal profits from his movie that he will not be writing, starring in, or labouring on in any way, making those profits entirely from IP, and donate them, to the Freedom of the Press foundation would be acceptable.

        Although if that was his plan he would have surely announced that already.

      • Just to be clear, the html of the comment above would show it contained within the tag.

      • MickStep says:

        What exactly is this “it” of which you speak?

        Here’s the html I don’t see anything sinister http://pastebin.com/6g3tQJnd

      • MickStep says:

        Oh I get it! You think IP in my comment stands for Internet Proxy (which makes no sense given the context) rather than Intellectual Property.

        You must feel a bit sheepish, thanks for the warning though, but no-ones IP will appear in the html, unless you are logged in as Tarzie, or someone with administrator access at wordpress.com.

      • MickStep says:

        Damn it! I mean’t Internet Protocol.

      • Hah, well my pseudo clever attempt to clarify that my comment was sarcasm was lost as the fake html tag in the comment was gobbled up as real. Anyway, the upshot is the comment was sarcasm in case that was not clear.

  17. WM says:

    Forgive me, as I’m not a follower of either yours or Glenn’s. In fact I found this through Gavin’s TL. So I apologize if there’s some context I’m not missing, but from reading this post there’s one thing that isn’t clear: Is there something that actually links Greenwald to the abuse you describe?

    For instance, the instance that sparked this whole post and that you repeatedly discuss–which, to be clear since you’ve elaborated since, is only one example of the type of harassment you say you have been receiving for some time here, but seems to have been one that angered you more than average–was posted by some apparent novelty account that has posted similar images of phalluses painted over avatars and head shots of all sorts of other people, including politicians, journalists (including Glenn himself), comedians, and Richard Dawkins. Surely this doesn’t appear to be some kind of Greenwald-defending hit account–the targets are too diverse and unfocused. And though you don’t explicitly say that the poster is a “Friend of Glenn Greenwald,” but you say that the image “is what The Friends of Glenn Greenwald have been saying to me for six months now.” Is there some kind of connection between Greenwald and the poster, or someone else who said the same/a similar thing to you? From your first Update, you even acknowledge that it’s an open account for anyone to use–is there anything linking the picture of you posted by SBA to Greenwald, other than that it was posted while you were talking about him?

    I tried reviewing the rest of your links and just can’t find the type of harassment you describe. It does sound like John Cook had a lot of feedback from fans of Glenn, but what you call a “self-serving lecture” reads to me like a response to topics that Cook asked GG for a response to over Twitter, and it sounds like Cook accepted those explanations in the blog post you identify as complete capitulation (“Glenn has posted an eloquent clarification that has salved my nerves. I urge all of you who took an interest in my two posts on this matter to read his reply.”). Likewise what you describe as lengthy trolling by @wikileaks appears, from an outside perspective, to be a pretty interesting sustained back-and-forth conversation. (The conversation with the MA ACLU staffer isn’t linked, so I can’t tell what happened there.)

    The update focusing on Mona Holland is just bizarre, since you’re heavily suggesting that she either doesn’t exist (repeatedly putting her name and pronoun in quotation marks, referring to her bio as alleged, etc.). I have no trouble believing she actually is a longtime friend and former coworker of Greenwald’s – I went to Google Scholar and searched the case law for her name and found her credited for the brief in a case argued by Greenwald in front of Sonia Sotomayor in 1999 (196 F.3d 89). Do you have some reason to think she isn’t real?

    I guess I’m just having a hard time seeing what the egregiously bad behavior is here. You repeatedly slam Glenn and others for interacting approvingly with accounts that are parodies of you, then in the comments of this article you say that you love the Greenwald and Intercept parody accounts. You disparage the tone that GG uses (his comment was a “childish rant,” etc.) at the same time that everything in this post, and the other posts about Greenwald linked herein, are pretty aggressive and over the top. And the examples of “harassment” that you link all seem to be unrelated to GG (the StuntBirdArmy post) or actual back-and-forth conversation about substantive topics (the conversation between you and @wikileaks, the conversation between GG and Cook).

    Anyway, the whole reason I’m commenting is that all your most recent posts seem to have a monomaniacal focus on Greenwald, so I thought maybe you were just some single issue blogger and this criticism was a bit hypocritical. But I looked through your archives and found a lot of well-written, amusing, and incisive commentary – your OWS coverage, the #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 championship, etc. I find it very believable that you’re finding yourself in some kind of ouroboros of trolling and countertrolling that started innocently six months ago, when you made valid points about Greenwald and got pushback from the same types of fans that Cook heard from. But your reading of the situation seems much less grounded in reality than Cook’s – he noted the “firestorm” of comments, but responded calmly to their criticisms, whereas you call people brownshirts; he continues to cover a broad range of topics while you’ve slowly gotten sucked into a weird, all-Greenwald/Omidyar/First Look all the time holding pattern (with exceptions, thankfully–e.g., the Chomsky post–but which are few and far between these days); etc.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if your uncharitable reading and offensive characterizations GG fans causes them and others who read them to respond with offensive statements back. Nor would I be surprised if your hyperventilating prose and laser focus on Greenwald and his media ventures makes you an easier target for trolls looking to make parody accounts. Which is why I’ve spent so long writing this comment – I’m on neither side here, I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I hope a more detached perspective could prove useful.

    By all accounts you are an intelligent observer, a talented writer, and you have the potential to be a powerful voice online. I just worry that you’re in a kind of nosedive that’s hard to pull out of, where certain people and topics, your reaction to them, and others’ reactions to your reactions, and so on and so forth, are having an unjustifiably negative impact on your life and your output. I hope that whatever the case, and whatever the eventual solution, you find a way to free your life of negative influences and find peace.

    • Tarzie says:

      My for a disinterested person you certainly have put a lot of work into this. My replies:

      is only one example of the type of harassment you say you have been receiving for some time here, but seems to have been one that angered you more than average–was posted by some apparent novelty account that has posted similar images of phalluses

      No, it didn’t anger me more than average. I felt it encapsulated the general level Team Glenn hits with me when they get past the wall of blocks I have had to put up because they are so aggressive.

      It is a novelty account but until recently it published the password on its profile and anyone could jump on. Prior to tweeting the dick pic, the same account tweeted a screen shot of a private email I had sent to someone, so we have some idea of who it is and the level of harassment they are capable of. However, this is all beside the point. The picture was tweeted at me in the midst of a conversation about Glenn with the intention of harassing me for doing so. Today they continued to harass me with more dick pics. Lest there be any doubt as to their purposes or allegiance:

      SB Screen Shot

      If you look at today’s timeline for the same account, you will see that like many of Glenn’s fans today they were busily tweeting about me.

      And though you don’t explicitly say that the poster is a “Friend of Glenn Greenwald,” but you say that the image “is what The Friends of Glenn Greenwald have been saying to me for six months now.” Is there some kind of connection between Greenwald and the poster, or someone else who said the same/a similar thing to you?

      Oh Good God. This is just gross, lawyer guy. What I meant was, the level of debate sucks. I have been subjected to constant online harassment since Glenn first unleashed a litany of insults and fallacies that included calling me stupid 20 different ways and suggesting that I kill myself because I’m so stupid. You know, the usual classy Glenn stuff raising the level of our debate. The stuff that doesn’t incite trolls at all. But if your question is “Did Glenn ever say, suck a dick, Tarzie” the answer is no. It’s also completely beside the point. I should also point out that Glenn could dial this shit back any time he wanted and I once emailed him with a request that he do so. He basically gloated in reply. Today he wouldn’t even repudiate the dick pic. Lead troll Mona Holland belittled the idea of being concerned with it at all. As far as I’m concerned the conduct of Glenn, Mona and their acolytes completely vindicated this post.

      It does sound like John Cook had a lot of feedback from fans of Glenn, but what you call a “self-serving lecture” reads to me like a response to topics that Cook asked GG for a response to over Twitter, and it sounds like Cook accepted those explanations in the blog post you identify as complete capitulation

      Ok, we do agree that Cook had the usual ‘feedback’ no need to argue that. The nature of Glenn’s lecture is a matter of both taste and interpretation. I find all of Glenn’s lengthy disquisitions lately on his extraordinary immunity to cognitive capture and the value of working within the system for big money self-serving, perhaps because he’s working within the system for big money and it’s paying off big. As to Cook’s stated reason for his capitulation, I take it with a grain of salt. It was bizarre. I have honestly never seen an online debate end like that and a lot of observers found it odd. No one who capitulates because they feel professional consequences for doing so is going to say that’s why they’re doing it. I admit, I’m speculating. I’ve provided links. People can make of it what they like.

      Likewise what you describe as lengthy trolling by @wikileaks appears, from an outside perspective, to be a pretty interesting sustained back-and-forth conversation.

      Well that’s nice. I found it patronizing and it was the usual excuse-making for Glenn pursuant to getting me to dial things back. Also this counts as something more explicit:

      Me: “I have been told to shut up about 1000 different ways, by alleged anti-authoritarians and transparancy advocates.”
      Wikileaks: “Not by us. We’re telling you to ask more interesting questions. You’re capable of it on a good day.”

      As another commenter pointed out: “That has got to be trolling. An order, followed by a pat on the head”
      To which I replied: “we’re not telling you to shut up. We’re telling you to say something else. They’re hilarious.”

      Please don’t split hairs with me over this conversation. I was being scolded, at length.

      Do you have some reason to think [Mona Holland] isn’t real?

      Mona Holland, real or not, trolls full time on Glenn’s behalf, deliberately stirs shit and disinforms and seems extremely well-equipped technically and time-wise for doing so. I have no doubt there is a Mona Holland. But she could have leased her name for the account. Or it could also be her. The most important thing is that she operates like a professional troll. The quotes are a flourish to simply suggest that I think she is more guerilla publicist than pal, because that is the way she behaves. This is a blog, not a biography.

      You repeatedly slam Glenn and others for interacting approvingly with accounts that are parodies of you, then in the comments of this article you say that you love the Greenwald and Intercept parody accounts.

      Are you sure you don’t know Glenn? Because he and his acolytes are the only ones who don’t seem to get that power is everything when making distinctions of this kind. Glenn has power. I don’t. But lets’s assume, like fucking idiots, that the rules for powerful people and the rules for very small people who criticize them are the same where something like parody is concerned, that it would just be totally cool for say, the White House, to set up a parody account to mock Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden and that would be exactly like Chelsea Manning setting up an account to mock the president. Let’s be that fucking deliberately dense about how power fucking works. It’s still a non-starter because the parody accounts set up against me operate in extreme bad faith. They mix things I say with things I don’t. And Glenn’s trolls RT that shit as if it’s all me. Like everything else so very many of Glenn’s associates do, they are disinformative. Intercept_this on the other hand, is obvious parody and does not represent itself as something else. Intercept_this does not aim to shut anyone up — because it can’t. Nor does it say people said shit that they didn’t. Also, crucially, like all good parody, and good activists, it punches up, not down. I mention Glenn’s interaction with the Tarzie parodies to signify that he endorses both the punching down and the disinforming they represent. In other words, he endorses their entirely authoritarian character.

      You disparage the tone that GG uses (his comment was a “childish rant,” etc.) at the same time that everything in this post, and the other posts about Greenwald linked herein, are pretty aggressive and over the top.

      This would be a really solid point if one, my only complaint about Glenn was that he rants childishly and two, there is anything published anywhere that compares to the puke he left on my blog when he was vexed by something I’d written here. We both get heated, but you will not find me calling Glenn stupid 20 different ways, nor telling him she should kill himself. In the same post he mischaracterized what I had written completely in all the ways I pointed out in my posted reply. Glenn spews fallacies and invective. My posts are dense with arguments and quotes. As I said in another exchange, if you review the record, Glenn is the least civil party in every exchange both here and on Twitter. However, civility is really not the issue and never has been The issue is that he responds almost entirely with fallacies, as do his trolls. You’re doing it now with this Tu Quoque bullshit. I don’t have a gang of trolls than I can sic on people by mischaracterizing what they say. Makes a big difference.

      And the examples of “harassment” that you link all seem to be unrelated to GG

      See where I said how his trolls reflect on him. I didn’t say he controls them, though he does incite them. It’s amazing how close your and Greenwald’s debate points are on this. You’re smarter than he is at least. As I told Glenn and Mona today: just as Glenn thinks the Obamabots tell us things about the political culture surrounding the Obamas, I think the Glennbots tell us things about the political culture surrounding Glenn. He’s a creep and creeps like him. I have spent a lot of time elsewhere on the blog showing the ways in which he’s a creep and an authoritarian. I don’t have to prove it over and over again.

      I guess I’m just having a hard time seeing what the egregiously bad behavior is here.

      Get trolled and smeared for six months because you say mean things about Glenn Greenwald and maybe you’ll start to understand. Individual trolls and people acting in bad faith, that’s one thing. Hundreds of people doing it, that’s quite another. I find it fascinating that people are mystified by my monomaniacal focus on Glenn, but people who harass me on his behalf, who set up not one, not two, but six parody accounts, and who filibuster for long stretches about how terrible I am, that doesn’t provoke any questions at all. In fact, people clearly think it’s ridiculous that I object to it. That people, like you, for instance, can’t distinguish one gadfly blogger, a simple, single thorn in an extremely powerful journalists side, from people, like Mona Holland, who dedicate entire days to smearing me and inciting countless others to do the same, says everything one really needs to know about this whole fucking scene. I can’t believe this interrogation you’re doing here. How much work you’ve put into it. What about GG and his conduct toward me? Why don’t you ask him why I and several others have so many open questions, after all this heat?

      Anyway, the whole reason I’m commenting is that all your most recent posts seem to have a monomaniacal focus on Greenwald, so I thought maybe you were just some single issue blogger and this criticism was a bit hypocritical.

      If your failure to distinguish the difference between a blogger criticizing a powerful figure, and a personality cult that tirelessly bullies that critic is such that my complaints are ‘hypocritical’, you are either a complete fucking buffoon or just a particularly wordy and disingenuous troll. But as to my monomania — as opposed to the monomania of the FOG — I actually had turned my attention to Chomsky, but The Intercept sucked so much I had to comment. Then a friend got more interested in this shit. And that got me more interested. In any case, I think Omidyar’s big media grab is important, and that Greenwald’s role in it is important too. So I write about it from time to time. And then people harass me. Which makes me dig in my heels. Talk to them about it, because I am least making arguments. If you really have looked at my blog, you should see that my interest in Greenwald/Omidyar follows naturally from my interest in how the professional left manages dissent. I think that the Omidyar/Greenwald venture is particularly potent and interesting in this way, not least because GG is a cultish figure. This makes the dynamics of his following a perfectly reasonable topic. He is a pathologically petty piece of shit who needs to get the fuck over it along with his idiot fans, or whatever he fuck they are.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if your uncharitable reading and offensive characterizations GG fans causes them and others who read them to respond with offensive statements back. Nor would I be surprised if your hyperventilating prose and laser focus on Greenwald and his media ventures makes you an easier target for trolls looking to make parody accounts.

      Yeah I said mean things about a powerful media figure which the media figure mischaracterized pursuant to getting an internet beatdown started, so naturally I deserve everything that’s happened. I shouldn’t be so mean to trolls either. This has never ever happened with anyone I have ever written about, but it says nothing at all about the dynamics around Glenn. I totally brought this all on myself by having an opinion about a person with vastly more power and resources than I have and should just shut up. But see, I’m not really complaining with this post. Once again, lawyer dude, I am saying this shit is REVEALING. That you have written a long long series of questions that I am obliged to answer because if I leave them alone or delete them, it will look evasive, this to me is also revealing of the current situation. So much effort dedicated to my opinion. Why? Why do you care so much?

      By all accounts you are an intelligent observer, a talented writer, and you have the potential to be a powerful voice online. I just worry that you’re in a kind of nosedive that’s hard to pull out of, where certain people and topics

      Ah thanks for caring, but I think things will be fine. My following and my readership are holding steady. Lots of people like what I do. I am not fazed by people who disgust me like Glenn and his puerile thugs. I find your comments here extremely disingenuous, so I don’t give a fuck what you think either. But rest assured, Glenn is starting to bore me, because apart from what a peerless creep he his, he is banal as all fuck, like all reactionaries. My Chomsky series was basically a farewell to the topic of left charlatans and that’s likely to wrap it up. I am actually kind of glad for the conflict around these posts. I’ve met better people and I’ve burned bridges that I’d burn sooner if given a second chance. But trust, I am moving on.

  18. Ché Pasa says:

    Re: “Friends of Glenn.”

    I’m not convinced Greenwald has any friends in the normal sense of the word. We know he has followers, sycophants, current and former life partners, professional colleagues (or whatever you want to call them), hangers on, suppliants and so forth, but friends?

    Hard to say, and I’m not convinced at all. His problem, of course, is finding anyone he would consider to be his “peer.” There are in his mind (a handful of) people “above” him and (many, many) people “below” him. None of those can be his “friends,” can they? Only someone he would consider to be his equal could be a “friend” in any normal sense, and I doubt he sees anyone else as his equal.

    I think it is hilarious that someone who is clearly one of Greenwald’s crew, as it were, takes it up him or herself to psychoanalyze you and offer you his or her counsel. Easy to spot the lawyerish blather, isn’t it? Greenwald has any number of JD followers, some of whom want to appear rational in public –as opposed to Mona, who obviously doesn’t care and who acts as nutzo as she wants to and thinks it’s cute.

    This one may not be a lawyer, though. Instead, it may be one who’s putting on a not-very-clever act (the psycho-analysis bullshit is the tipoff for me.)

    The irony of Greenwald’s GCHQ online mindfuck revelations is that he and his followers are rarely reluctant to engage in such tactics themselves. In fact, they’ve been doing it from the outset of his online career — and some were no doubt doing it well before that.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they try every possible tactic they can think of and some they can’t until they get your goat.

    • Tarzie says:

      The irony of Greenwald’s GCHQ online mindfuck revelations is that he and his followers are rarely reluctant to engage in such tactics themselves.

      Yeah, exactly. I mentioned it in my update. Even the publishing of that article itself, coming as it did on a spate of criticism and web parodies, seems in the same vein.

  19. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Radical change would scare the fuck out of Greenwald and his sycophantic minions. He doesn’t do what he does to effect change, he does it to serve Greenwald. Like I said before, he and his followers, minions, and hangers-on are for the most part reactionary capitalists. They no more want the kind of radical economic or social changes that would shift power to the less powerful than Omidyar does.

    I think there were two pivot points on which these libertarian/reactionary/Republicans like Greenwald became “disenchanted.” One was Iraq and the enormous amount of spending that went into it, the unending nature of it, etc. Shit, even Buckley Jr. was fired from the National Review for supporting Obama in 2008. Repubs were jumping like rats from a sinking ship.

    The other was an earlier issue, that fundie shit infiltrating the administration, the brain-dead girl they tried to keep alive (whose name escapes me) being one example of the control and religiosity of these assholes.

    So while these conservative assholes like Greenwald talked a great line about being angered by Bush and Iraq, they continued to support the economic programs of the capitalists. Because after all they were libertarians, not for nothing but property is god to those assholes. And I’ll bet many of them really don’t give two shits about Iraq or our imperialist adventurism, but toward the latter years of the Bush administration, it just wasn’t “cool” to continue supporting Iraq as more and more evidence of the whitewash kept coming out and the spending skyrocketed out of control.

    So Greenwald just ended up latching onto the entire debacle as a blogger sucking in the liberals and the libertarian capitalists. He’s got plenty of racist and classist commenters in his threads, that’s been the case all the way back to Salon. Notice he never comes out swinging against THOSE comments, just the ones that outright disagree with him.

    Greenwald consistently supports and defends capitalist elites and aspects of imperialism, so it’s pretty obvious that radicalism isn’t and never will be part of his agenda. The entire lot of them are completely useless as far as I’m concerned.

    • Hooker Jay says:

      The other was an earlier issue, that fundie shit infiltrating the administration, the brain-dead girl they tried to keep alive (whose name escapes me) being one example of the control and religiosity of these assholes.

      While the name of Terri Schaivo was easily forgotten, that brain dead rictus of hers certainly wasn’t. That was one of many things that drove the libertarian Ayn Randian idealists like Greenwald absolutely bananas because of rightwing Jebus freak pundits and their own Buyer’s Remorse. They voted for Bush/Cheney in droves. Loved the Iraqi War in droves. Wanked their puds laboriously over all that Shock and Awe war porn. Absolutely adored the tax cuts and crony capitalism they and that 8 year long Republican “Ownership Society” championed.

      Yet damned near everything Billmon blogged about that war was absolutely true, and every time Billmon uttered the phrase “the Bush/Cheney fedayeen”, it was those libertarian conservatives like Greenwald that shrieked in self-recognition.

      They indeed were the true-believing fedayeen. Because deep inside their brown-shirted little hearts, they want to be the owners someday like the Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy famila, and often prefer their company over that of the lippy, uppity, uncouth rabble-rousers of American’s burgeoning underbelly since schmoozing with the rich and famous and living vicariously through their ribald tales of conquest and conquer is the closest thing to the real McCoy. Until one becomes a card-carrying member of the real McCoy.

      But there was also another thing that drove them completely bananas that — in an odd way — might just be kinda-sorta relevant depending on ones degree of sick twisted humor and irony. See, libertarians of that stripe have no problems with rising through the journalistic ranks to such a degree that one becomes the defacto shill and mouth-piece for the political and economic views of the oligarch(s) whose signature ensures the checks don’t bounce, and the very governments that provide said oligarch with the FDIC insurance and/or offshore bank accounts to keep that blood money coming.

      None whatsoever.

      They just don’t like it when the oligarch and the “journalist” are cajoined like Siamese twins out of the fucking gate – especially when they’re planted directly into the White House Press gallery by the oligarch’s connections and vested interests because eventually, they’ll end stepping on the same shriveled stack of 8 dimes they smeared all over Tarzie’s avatar … *cough* … I mean HotMilitaryStud.com. When that happens, it’s pretty much “glue factory time” as Matt Taibbi would say (and Mona Holland admirably demonstrates) …

      • Tarzie says:

        it was those libertarian conservatives like Greenwald that shrieked in self-recognition.

        Do you have any evidence that Greenwald did this, or are you just describing his ilk? Greenwald in his early days just seemed like a run-of-the-mill conformist to me, with bits and bats from both libertarianism and liberalism, the kind of stuff privileged dirtbags pick and choose from the ether as self-interest and vanity suit them, though the liberalism part wasn’t too obvious sometimes. Civil liberties is the only common theme running through.

        I agree with GTI that there is no evidence at all of any anti-capitalism, or even an inclination to question it. I think he has expressed support for the social safety net, but it’s clearly not among his chief concerns. He’s built his brand with the left almost entirely on civil libertarianism and generalized contempt for Washington, which is why he is as beloved to libertarians as he is to disaffected liberals and those to their left. Never has political allegiance been more cheaply bought. He is to journalism what Obama and Clinton are to politics, except he appeals more strongly to libertarians.

  20. Jesus Christ.

    First of all, Sassy, I never even remotely suggested Tarzie should write in a “deferential” manner about Greenwald or Snowden or anyone else. I’m the guy who published a piece in Salon attacking veterans on Veterans Day. Accusing me of tone-trolling is laughable. I don’t give one-tenth of a fuck about tone, or civility, or any of that bullshit, and I sure as hell don’t think anyone is obligated to write with a deferential tone toward anyone else.

    Second, you’re right, I haven’t read all of Tarzie’s posts on this, for the simple reason that I don’t share other radicals’ obsession with this story. But this brings me to my next point.

    Tarzie, why do you write? I tried asking you this on Twitter. I write in order to advance an argument, or to expose something that I think has value, and try to persuade people. I have a group of friends (IRL & Internet) who are more or less guaranteed to agree with everything I write, share my articles, etc. I think you do, too. For me, though, writing solely for my friends is just fucking boring and pointless. Is your only interest writing for your friends? From what I can tell, you have no interest whatsoever in attracting new readers, or persuading anyone who doesn’t immediately demonstrate sufficient hatred for Greenwald and anyone and anything remotely connected to him.

    When I came across your blog sometime last year, I thought it was good, and I bookmarked it. I don’t agree with you on everything. But I liked that you were doing criticism of liberal media figures and institutions from the left, which is what most of my writing is, so I had a natural interest in many of your posts. And, I would have been perfectly open to criticism of Greenwald, provided it was accurate, dispassionate, grounded in reality, etc.

    But, one throwaway tweet about Greenwald getting the better of you in one fucking exchange, and you immediately considered me an enemy for life. How is this rational? You’re humorless, and paranoid, and your lack of self-awareness is mind-boggling. When you have people making parody accounts of you, and most of the people who are aware of you see an emotional and genuinely bizarre obsession with Glenn Greenwald, you have two options. You can either consider the possibility that there is some reason for all of this, or you can just mindlessly dismiss every single person as a status-conscious, sycophantic Glenn-bot who is receiving cash payments from Greenwald himself, or the CIA, or the NSA, or whatever the fuck your latest theory is. We know which way you decided to go.

    You are taking motivated reasoning to new heights. You write about how The Intercept sucks as if there was even the slightest possibility that you would have ever said otherwise. You are not thinking clearly on any of this anymore because you have an emotional obsession and people with emotional obsessions do not think clearly. From what I remember, your early posts on this story were dispassionate, and insightful. But then it spiraled into something else entirely, to the point that now, you are unironically writing long posts about someone on the Internet pranking you with a picture of a dick (with five updates).

    • Tarzie says:

      Oh Justin, still tone-trolling, now with an extra dollop of gaslighting and still too lacking in brains or self-awareness to realize what a preening, disingenuous piece of shit you look like to anyone with a clue. It’s actually comedic. Pure gold is admitting that you don’t read my Snowden/Greenwald posts and then reciting a litany of my defects both as a person and a writer lifted straight from trolls and parodies. Truly tells me how seriously I need to take you, which, frankly, is how seriously I’ve always taken you on the rare occasions when I am aware of you at all.

      I’m the guy who published a piece in Salon attacking veterans on Veterans Day

      Which would hav been brave ten years ago. It’s banal in 2014 and risks nothing in terms of the social capital you aim for. Also completely irrelevant to the point. This is tone-trolling – “But I do think there should be some sense of humility to your criticism that, from what I can tell, is just missing” – whether you cop to it or not.

      writing long posts about someone on the Internet pranking you

      If you think my last post is simply about a dick pic, you really can’t read or simply haven’t. I have, however, put in an update at the front of the post specifically for people like you. Check it out. The post is quite obviously about people obsessively condemning me for my POV for six months now. Those include people from Wikileaks, Media Lens and the ACLU and I think it reveals something about the political and social culture around Greenwald, something everyone who has ever crossed him remarks upon. Make fun of the updates if you like but I think they help clarify things for people who are being hammered on Twitter with the idea that this is all about the dick pic. As I say to so many other dullards who go straight for the pathologizing, if it’s so fucking ridiculous, show me why. You haven’t done that. I guess that means you’re ‘owning’ me.

      [Blah blah The Intercept] You are not thinking clearly on any of this anymore because you have an emotional obsession and people with emotional obsessions do not think clearly.

      Justin, even if I am not thinking clearly, you will not impress that upon me except by contending directly with the claims against The Intercept that I made. That should be easy since, well, as you say, I’m not thinking clearly, but that’s not what you’re doing. I guess this is more of that ownage stuff. Show me that my assessment of the Scahill/Greenwald story was wrong. Prove that the photo gallery wasn’t banal. Give me a reason why it’s not ridiculous to have a blank Documents page. For all that is holy, dumbass, learn what a fucking argument is. You should know by now that this pathologizing shit doesn’t work with me. It just convinces me more of your complete and utter dickishness.

      receiving cash payments from Greenwald himself, or the CIA, or the NSA, or whatever the fuck your latest theory is.

      What ARE you talking about? Justin, this is where you demonstrate what a complete fucking conformist you are. I know this because after having admitted that you don’t read my Greenwald posts you’re talking shit about some theory I have. A theory that you will find neither on Twitter nor on this blog. I have no specific theory about Greenwald or his minions other than that I reject the David/Goliath scenario so beloved to his fans. Apart from that, I am agnostic. Perhaps you are talking about the time that, after being accused of being a government agent, I turned it back once or twice, in which case you should take it up with the people who started it. If I have openly speculated about professional trolls — that is, publicists — it’s because I can’t imagine people doing this shit for six months for free, but then, I can’t imagine why you’re doing what you’re doing now, and certainly no one’s paying you for this crap. If I speculate it’s because I am in complete wonderment at just how much time and energy is going into attempts to persuade everyone, including me, to the insane ridiculousness/wrongness of my alleged obsession.

      You can either consider the possibility that there is some reason for all of this, or you can just mindlessly dismiss every single person as a status-conscious, sycophantic Glenn-bot

      Of course, if a mob of people I never really respected extravagantly demonstrate via trolling, lies and gaslighting for six months how right I was to never respect them, it must surely mean I must rethink everything I did to provoke them. And I’ll credit your extravagant demonstration here of so very much of what I don’t like with making me see the light on this.

      But, one throwaway tweet about Greenwald getting the better of you in one fucking exchange, and you immediately considered me an enemy for life.

      Oh my, and they call me grandiose. Justin, the remark stuck in my mind because one, ‘serious ownage’ is just, well, uniquely awful and two, when I asked you at the time why you thought I’d been owned, your reply suggested you had no fucking idea what a fallacy is. That placed you among the first of the dumb trolls that have spent the last six months convincing me of how jaw-droppingly stupid a lot of GG’s fans are. That’s the beginning and end of what I think of you. For this post, I thought your phrase nicely encapsulated the dimwitted character of people who admire Glenzilla’s famous ‘smackdowns’. If I cared about you, I would have named you, and far sooner than this. Among the many things dividing me from you is that you clearly can’t comprehend a person who doesn’t give a shit what most other people think. Your opinion means, literally, nothing to me. I am responding mostly to amuse other readers who have met your type before and dislike it as much as I do.

      Tarzie, why do you write?

      That’s a complex question which I might happily answer in full for someone who I thought might engage it in an interesting way. But for you, I’ll just answer in part. Certainly writing is about meeting minds, exchanging ideas and whatnot. Since writing my Snowden posts I am much happier with the crowd I run with online than the people I ran with when I uncontroversially savaged less beloved liberals. I also get told quite a lot by readers that I have induced them to look at things in a new way and that pleases me too. See Justin, a lot of people don’t mind my tone, or my alleged obsessions. What you and your Twitter pals don’t get is that you are a very very small thing when you are not trying hard to make yourself a bigger thing by punishing me for thought crimes. My readership is as high as it ever was. The conversations around here are a lot better than they used to be and involve more people. I feel lucky to have readers that are much smarter than I am like the person who wrote this and kicked off a great discussion about journalism. That was a reply to me just cracking wise about Jay Rosen. Go figure.

      I write in order to advance an argument, or to expose something that I think has value, and try to persuade people.

      That’s nice. But you haven’t advanced any arguments that I can see here, except that you’re peachy keen and I’m not, and not at all persuasively. Show don’t tell, as the writing teachers say! But y’know, we’re very different people, which is actually just fine by me. Let it be fine with you, my brocialist. Now run along and play with the fine people who smear and gaslight me on Twitter because I deserve it. PLEASE don’t come back if you’re gonna take another dump of this kind. It’s non-responsive, it’s non-argumentative, it’s in bad faith and I’m likely to delete it for no reason but to impress upon you what a complete waste of time it was to do it a third time.

  21. john says:

    maybe, like Steve above, it’s mostly geography that limits my interest in the whole Greenwald-centric culture. i mean, nobody around here has even heard of the guy. but you fucking americans really think you’re at the center of the universe, and of course, in capitalist circles, you kind of are, and, as such, yeah, there’s really no such thing as bad publicity, is there? but still, it’s all such low hanging fruit. and i don’t mean to sound haughty… you’re a talented enough guy.

    and speaking of capitalists, has there been any financial disclosure on the part of Greenwald, Taibbi, et al? i mean, these guys left high paying gigs with widespread circulation and, well, the numbers often tell the real story, no? for the nothing that it’s worth, i’ve predicted that their new venture’s gonna flop, but i guess it’s too early to really tell. you think GG might sub out an editorial or two to Glen Ford or Carlotta Gall? To Chris Floyd or Thierry Meyssan? To Paul Craig Roberts or Margaret Kimberley? etc., etc. i remember Arthur Silber had some very specific ideas about stirring up the masses and sticking it to the man…and GG read that stuff for sure. anyway, from what i’ve read so far the ‘new venture’ seems pretty run-of-the-mill. i compared this article to this one and found the intercept version far less ‘adversarial’, but it’s all kinda house of the low goals.

    as an irrelevant aside, regarding all the pitiable trolling antics you’re apparently enduring, i gotta say that tweeting under a ‘Blowjob’ avatar and blogging beneath a ‘Querelle de Brest’ banner probably ain’t gonna solicit any extra comprehension. cheers!

  22. Milo Minderbinder says:

    Don’t have much of an opinion about Greenwald. There is a lot to regret about these leaks. Snowden’s early swipe at Manning made me sad, but people escaping from a criminal state don’t shed their indoctrination right away. Snowden had self-preservation instincts that Manning needed, while Manning had a more intuitive feel for the rights he was defending. Ideally, a whistleblower would combine Snowden’s mad-scientist sang-froid with Manning’s moral vision. Thinking back on my own little toot on the whistle, if I had to do it over again I would have disclosed much more up front. I hinted and pointed to stay in the background. I’ve since had a nice peaceful life but I could have bounced a lot more shit off the fan. Individuals typically get to take one shot. It’s the culture that improves with practice.

    • Tarzie says:

      Thinking back on my own little toot on the whistle, if I had to do it over again I would have disclosed much more up front. I hinted and pointed to stay in the background.

      From the sound of things you did it exactly right. Whistleblowing is overrated. High risk, low yield. I don’t agree on the Manning smears but that conversation has been had and then some.

  23. So… yeah. Team Glenn and his concerned neighbours seriously want you to stop, don’t they? (To stop for your own emotional welling-being, I should add.) It’s like…. well, I don’t know what it’s like. Usually, people get pissed off with a blogger or a blog, and so they move on. Not these guys.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I’d love seeing a wrap up piece before you left this all behind. The Chomsky stuff was pretty tight, and your writings (I think I’ve been reading for about a year now) have got me interested in how a culture of left (or left-seeming) commentary, ranging from amateur blog posts to the routines of professional comics, grew during the Bush II years, and then cashed out or swung right or something when Obama took over. I know others have written a little about it, but you’ve got a nice way of dismissing the excuses made for influential people, as well as looking past personalities to uncover the machinery at work.

    Sorry. That sounds like I’m asking for a whole lot of work. I’m not. Well, yes I am. There it is. 🙂

    ____
    P.S., I’m having problems getting this comment / log-in thing working. If the comment shows up about 8 times, please delete, you know, 5 or 6 of them. 😛

    • Tarzie says:

      That is a lot of work.

      I am probably not gonna write about First Look/GG/Snowden again and Chomsky, if I get back to it, is likely going to finish the job of adios to the icons.

      Getting more interested in looking at alternatives than petitioning or shooting spitballs at despicable people in a despicable system.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      Is there really that much to say about why so-called lefties support Obama, though? Clearly they were never leftists to begin with, otherwise they would not support the bankrupt economic policies that Obama pushes or the imperialist actions around the world.

      I would just say they’re partisans supporting one faction of the capitalists over another (the more liberal wing as opposed to the reactionary [Republican] wing). That would mean they were just bummed out that it wasn’t their boy getting the wars on. That doesn’t make them leftists, it makes them capitalists.

      Tarzie’s great work on dismantling Greenwald and his entourage reminds me of the California Nurses Association dogging Arnold all over California while he was governor because of his bullshit policies on health care and everything else. At one of Arnold’s rallies, the nurses set up in a nearby park and roasted a pig on a spit.

      I’d love to see tarzie keep loading up the spit and roasting the pigs 🙂 There’s a reason the Greenwald groupies come after him – they’re threatened. Otherwise why not just ignore. Now Greenwald is posting pieces about organized takedown tactics – dude look in the mirror! And I agree it’s not a coincidence that he wrote it.

      As much as Omidyar wants to try, 250M$ won’t stop the truth from coming out. Omidyar can hoover up as many of the co-opting reactionaries and fake leftists like Greenwald, Scahill, Taibbi, and whoever else, but he can’t get everybody.

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

      • Tarzie says:

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

        You’re more optimistic than I am. I am about to throw in the towel on this particular topic, for no reason but that watching people being predictably awful is not really something I care to do much longer.

  24. Adam says:

    I too was once a more or less blind believer in Greenwald, Chomsky, etc., but your posts are so well-reasoned and thoughtful that having my mind changed has been a real pleasure. Please keep writing, even if it is about something completely different. Yours is one of the very few blogs I really look forward to and I’m sure there are many who feel the same way but do not always have something to add in the comments.

    • Tarzie says:

      Thanks. I appreciate the comment.

    • BlanchoRelaxo says:

      Adam’s comment is enthusiastically seconded, Tarzie. It would be a real shame if this debacle discouraged your keen insights and wit from reaching the platform where many would agree it belongs. At the risk of sounding miserably trite on my first comment on your site, my dad always told me to live by the maxim: “illegitimi non carborundum”. Keep it up man.

    • LP Steve says:

      I join Adam in saying that this is one of the few blogs i really look forward to. Just want to add that it is the only blog for which I look forward to reading the comments. Good writing brings good readers. Keep it up, please.

    • Mallam says:

      Adam’s got a third (or fourth at this point?) nod from me. I still read (and support) many people whom you detest, Tarzie, and I even *gasp* vote. But in the meantime, your blog still reaches out to where my true ideologies and feelings lie, and each post has me screaming “YES!”

      Keep it coming, please. Besides, maybe twitter is the vice rather than the blog itself? Then again I may not have found you if not for twitter. Not that I have a handle myself, but blogs I read who read twitter who read blogs probably linked to you at some point.

      • Tarzie says:

        Not sure what’s happening to provoke all this love, but whatever the reason, I’ll take it! Thanks a lot for the kind words. It’s always nice when you drop by. This is extra nice: “each post has me screaming “YES!””

        Twitter is a vice. But it has a few fine qualities that make it hard to quit, despite how shitty it gets sometimes. I think we all should migrate to more secure, non-commercial alternatives at some point, though.

  25. diane says:

    For whatever it’s worth, I had that same instinct as you, …. that perhaps Glenn was using his disgusting ability to time the Snowden documents news (actually not news at all, to anyone with a working mind) of this particular Snowden doc ‘revelation’ that the powers that be are [actually, have historically been – on sites such as Daily Kos, Fire Dog Lake, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera] quite active in infiltrating any online attempt to discern and address the violations and abuse running rampant.

    I had the same instinct as you: that Glenn was using his ghastly new podium to discredit anyone criticizing him, and him only; otherwise, with his not that slow mind, he would have made a point of this quite some time ago, when he was still suggesting that voting for one of the two major and worthless parties was the answer.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah, it really is such a speculative, shitty little story and, if Twitter is any indication, idiots like David Seaman (see latest update) have happily taken up the cudgel. Shocking that no one takes issue with a setup that puts First Look at liberty to just release shit as it suits their purposes. But why would anyone take issue: if you do it under your own name, you’re likely to be smeared and you sure won’t be offered a First Look job. If you do it anonymously, well, that just means you’re working for the NSA. Quite a lot of immunity there.

      • diane says:

        Shocking that no one takes issue with a setup that puts First Look at liberty to just release shit as it suits their purposes.

        I’m pretty sure there are an abundance with online access who take issue; those currently being labelled and Moderated [Erased] as Trolls as we “speak”, and an abundance forced to reveal personal data at State Owned Libraries (if they can physically make it to, and be allowed into …. if they are homeless, those State Owned Libraries) in order to even read – let alone comment on, Web commentary (which looks like could be/or has end up being Arthur Silber’s fate).

      • Tarzie says:

        Actually, just heard from Arthur. He’s doing a little better.

      • diane says:

        very ‘glad’ to hear he is at least still able to “connect” and has mustered the funds for another few days of living in this monster.

        such a horrid existence to continually beg for breath when one is not a criminal.

      • Tarzie says:

        such a horrid existence to continually beg for breath when one is not a criminal.

        Yup.

      • diane says:

        After fifty plus years of being born and living in this fucking country (the U$ [only], a United Kindom petri dish experiment in Corporatization and ‘Free’ [Slave Dependent] Markets!), my personal opinion is that anyone who truly attempts to follow a path that they believe is the least harmless, has been historically doomed, or is being currently doomed: to beg for breath.

  26. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Give ’em hell, Tarzie.

  27. You’ve probably seen this piece by Mr. Ames already, but for your fans (and foes alike), this certainly adds spice to the story:

    http://pando.com/2014/02/28/pierre-omidyar-co-funded-ukraine-revolution-groups-with-us-government-documents-show/

  28. Milo says:

    For every left icon that needs to be confronted with his trimming or his self-aggrandizement or his senior moments, there’s an honest-to-goodness prophet howling in the wilderness. Take Francis Boyle. He’s so frickin orthogonal to the canned left-right discourse here that nobody knows what to make of him. The left pisses on his ideals, the right pisses on his treasonous consistency. Only heroes or martyrs can relate.

    His problem is, he’s an old-time advocate of rule of law: all the stuff the US put in place and then renounced. It’s now second nature in the civilized world. But the stronger the consensus in the outside world, the more it becomes unspeakable here in the hermit kingdom.

    Manning’s lawyers were a bunch of good cops sending him up the river. If Manning had access to Boyle, boy, that trial woulda been a shitstorm.

  29. Reilly says:

    Just ran across this, Tarzie. Sure to give you a laugh.

  30. Hieroglyph says:

    I am currently following the dickwavey\handwringy (™ Tarzie) news cycle regarding Ukraine. Man there is truly some epic manly dickwaving going on. And the handwringing is truly sublime. At the same time, I’m following this very amusing thread, and I note that everything has come together at once. PO funds Greenwald and Co. PO personally funds the ‘revolution’ in Ukraine. Putin protects Snowden, who was responsible for Greenwald’s alliance with PO. Putin invades Crimea, in response to Western interference, sponsored by PO. Everywhere we go, PO is fighting an epic battle with Putin personally. I see it now. It’s PO and Putin, struggling on the Great Board, for mastery of … whatever. And Glen Greenpawn and Snowden are just small pieces in this 11th dimension Game Of Master Dickwaver. I’m just honoured to be watching, to be honest.

    I think I’m joking. I did laugh when Obama wittered some truly patronizing wibble about Russia interfering in Ukraine. I mean, does he even read his speeches? I’d bet his writers could put in the words ‘Mine is much bigger than Putin’s, and I’d look better in a dress’ and BO would scarcely notice.

    I shouldn’t laugh, it’s all rather serious. But Greenwald has, hilariously, gotten himself probably the worst sponsor imaginable, and appears, quite genuinely, not to see it, and gets increasingly annoyed when people point out the simple fact that, well PO is a billionaire, and a very clever man, and possibly not really your friend at all. Maybe he does see it, and reckons it’s a price worth paying. From the out edges of the internet wittersphere, yours truly is not convinced.

    I also started following the parodic Celebrity Leftist (Thought Leader), because I think the phrase Thought Leader is one of the worse phrases ever devised by humanity. I believe Barack Obama uses it in his speeches, and I make no further comment.

    • Tarzie says:

      They’re still calling me crazy on Twitter for finding this all uniquely horrible and interesting. Sad how people can’t resist the pull of a mob. Still not sure I understand how Putin’s protection of Snowden fits in your scenario since it benefits PO.

      First Look is interesting for yet on more reason that I hadn’t anticipated in that it shines a spotlight on the routine doings of a billionaire. Also on the people who so quickly debase themselves on his behalf. Until now — with few exceptions – they’ve been hiding their media influence behind corporations and foundations. PO might not have thought that through entirely, though it seems like what passes for a ‘left’ can get used to anything that Greenwald puts his smeary vulgarian brand to. I am looking forward to robust left defenses of billionaire-hired private militias breaking up strikes.

      Celebrity Leftist isn’t really a parody, but it is a great account, so you’re right to follow it. If you are not following intercept_this and ggreenbacks, you should. Those are parodies and they’re both really good.

    • babaganusz says:

      well put. perhaps the most optimistic remaining spin for those who still have a shred of–let’s say “relatively conditional”–faith in Greenwald’s [motives/journey/something] is that he is straining to make the appropriate noises to… put Omidyar at ease? yeah, that’s a stretch.

  31. mspbwatch says:

    Not sure if this is up your alley but here’s an email from someone admitting to being asked to do “dirty work” on behalf of the Government Accountability Project (lawyers for Snowden): http://mspbwatcharchive.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/gap-wants-me-to-do-the-dirty-work/.

    I’ve battled with them before and the same themes arise of disempowerment, marginalizing dissent, etc. This is a behind-the-scenes look. One of the recipients is Jeffrey Wigand, the tobacco whistleblower portrayed in The Insider (1999). Not sure what his involvement is.

  32. davidly says:

    I initially thought I’d post this link here solely for amusement value:
    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/01/stan-van-gundy-questions-integrity-of-advanced-statistical-data-at-sloan-sports-analytics-conference/

    But this quote stands out as making it not just tangential, but informative to the topic at hand:
    “I don’t trust most of it,” Van Gundy said, beginning an exquisite rant on the topic. “I read some of the stuff that people write on ESPN.com, you know, I’ll read stats on pick and roll defense and stuff that came off Synergy or somewhere else — I don’t know who the hell is recording that information!”

  33. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Not sure if you know about this, I guess you’re not the only one GG has crossed off his BFF list…
    http://joshuafoust.com/pathetic-slap-from-lying-bully/

    • Tarzie says:

      yeah, there’s bunches of them. I recently linked to three of them in my piece — including Foust — since after you read it. The bots are widely known. Marc Andreesen did a long series of tweets about them yesterday.

      Because GG has mostly pulled these stunts with people that people like us are supposed to hate, no one gives a shit. Now the same thing is being unleashed on people to his left, which should surprise no one really.

  34. Mallam says:

    Chris Floyd nails it:

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2374-oligarchs-triumphant-ukraine-omidyar-and-the-neo-liberal-agenda.html

    This seems so elementary that it’s almost embarrassing to point it out. Yet for the most part, anyone who raises these kinds of questions about Omidyar’s media enterprise has been immediately shouted down, sometimes vociferously, by those who otherwise evince a savvy skepticism toward Big Money and its agendas. Many of those assailing the Pandodaily report about Omidyar and Ukraine pointed out that “this is the world we live in” — a world dominated by Big Money — and you have to make the best of a bad lot. And anyway, news outlets have always been owned by rich and powerful interests, and First Look is no different.

    Well yes, exactly. And thus First Look — owned solely by a neo-liberal billionaire, who, as Jeremy Scahill has pointed out, takes a very active interest in the daily workings of his news organization — should be subject to the same standards of scrutiny as any other news outlet owned by the rich and powerful. But this doesn’t seem to be happening; quite the opposite, in fact.

  35. tricia says:

    HI tarzie,

    Just wanted to add my thanks for exposing early on GG. I love the links you posted to the parody accounts – some funny tweets. In many ways it is strange how GG has been shown to be as tone deaf and similar in stance as those whom his leaks expose. although I am not sure even who they expose. the NSA, KA, JC, Obama – seems the documents expose the “how they do it” but is short on “what they do with it” “how they used it”. “who (names) authorized it and approved budgets. not that it matters anymore, as the thing became the GG show long time ago.

    I for one sleep well at night knowing that no matter what, GG will never be told what he can write. so long as GG voice is never stifled we will all be free.

    look forward to reading more posts on other stuff. You have a real talent with the written word. Don’t let GG sidekicks, sidetrack you. They obviously have issues. especially that Mona chick. I mean, I have friends, and some would come to my defense, if needed, but they all have lives, and none of them would personally stalk the internet seeking out people they think are slighting me.

    • Tarzie says:

      I for one sleep well at night knowing that no matter what, GG will never be told what he can write. so long as GG voice is never stifled we will all be free.

      Then we agree. This is the most important thing.

  36. Mardy says:

    Uhh..”http://catsnotwar.blogspot.co.at/014/03/the-intercepts-interference-notes-on.html” this was awesome.

    Second Mallam. Im being introduced to writers who help delineate the authoritarian culture that surrounds powerful people – especially mainstream liberals.

    Btw, here’s the pathway through which I found your blog; Jay Rosen, in his post titled, “Why Pierre Omidyar decided to join forces with Glenn Greenwald for a new venture in news” linked to Christian Christensen’s blog and called it a “devil advocates view”- http://chrchristensen.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/the-omidyargreenwald-deal-what-should-we-think/ — Christian wrote the following in that peace, “2. Has Greenwald used as-yet-unreleased NSA/Snowden data/story as leverage to get a much better deal? Who knows, but it is hard to imagine this deal without the Snowden material. That raises some further thorny questions, particularly about whether or not the speed of the release of the Snowden data has been managed in order to maximize value, and the ethics of such a practice. A suggestion, by the way, which drives Greenwald *crazy.*”

    Crazy was the anchor text by which he linked to your “Fuck the Gaudian” post. The rest is history.

    I wrote this in that maybe you’re interested in knowing where your readership comes from, but also to note the irony. I no longer have as much trust for Jay Rosen’s analysis on media activities due to Jay’s inclusiveness of dissenting opinions about his own media activities.

    • Tarzie says:

      I love the story of how you got here. That’s so funny. Jay Rosen should be careful with his links.

      So glad you found us.

    • Reilly says:

      Several years ago I tried, briefly, to find something of value in Rosen’s writing but always left with the same feeling I have when listening to certain stoners who are so obviously in thrall to their own thought process that they can’t recognize the banality of their conclusions. At one point he wrote a piece in which he posited, quite earnestly, that “political journalists are ironists.” I replied in the comment section:

      I agree. They don’t like too many wrinkles, they’re always on board, they’re full of hot air, they’re always trying to impress themselves on starched collars, they’re careful to avoid pressing buttons, they’re constantly tugging on sleeves and holding onto other people’s shirttails, and they’re preoccupied with getting things off the cuff.

      That was the last time I visited PressThink

      • Tarzie says:

        I tried, briefly, to find something of value in Rosen’s writing but always left with the same feeling I have when listening to certain stoners who are so obviously in thrall to their own thought process that they can’t recognize the banality of their conclusions.

        Thats a gem. Don’t know if you saw this, but I, with extreme patience and charity, once transcribed a video Rosen did on why he loves Rachel Maddow. Your description suits it to a T. Much fun was had in comments too.

  37. Reilly says:

    Thanks Tarzie for your Rosen loves Maddow link. It’s clear from this…

    …in which he drinks whiskey and makes soul-crushingly banal observations with the clueless self-importance of the privileged grind who has been rewarded all his life for deference and assumed the whole time it was for brains.

    …that we see the same man.
    I read the transcripts but took the bait of “grim amusement” and watched a few minutes of the video. Fuck me if I didn’t want to jump out the Overton Window while he was describing it. It was like watching a younger Wallace Shawn after a bad stroke and minus any idiosyncratic charm.

    • Tarzie says:

      Fuck me if I didn’t want to jump out the Overton Window while he was describing it… minus any idiosyncratic charm.

      You are a gem.

      • Mardy says:

        “Thats a gem. Don’t know if you saw this, but I, with extreme patience and charity, once transcribed a video Rosen did on why he loves Rachel Maddow…”

        It was this post, actually, that opened my eyes about Rosen. I had no choice but to discount his analysis.

      • Mallam says:

        It really is disheartening, isn’t it, Mardy? I still think Rosen provides some value, but jesus tap dancing christ…

      • Tarzie says:

        I don’t get the Rosen value thing. I thought he was hilariously useless long before he jumped to First Look.

  38. Dissent Now says:

    As always, it’s very simple, at least coming from a simpler one like me: you are just ahead of this curve, and that is all. As such, you’re very dangerous, and so steps are going to be taken to marginalize you. It’s truly so classic as to be laughable. There has been exactly not a single breaking outrageous revelation coming from the whole camp that has surprised me even in the very least. At all. Not one. Anyway, very nice to come over and read. Thanks.

  39. Eldoy says:

    Anyone else think it’s a bit weird that GG gets his own header tab on The Intercept? Header tabs in order: NEWS; GLENN GREENWALD; VOICES; DOCUMENTS; STAFF; ABOUT; ARCHIVES. Simple analysis, but pretty “revealing” – 2 spots before documents, and 3 before the rest of the journalists. Though, at least they listed the “staff” in alphabetical order under that tab.

  40. Happy Jack says:

    I guess I need to check in more often. I never knew that the person who is going to protect me from the people recording phone calls was reprimanded by a judge for secretly recording phone calls.
    http://www.leagle.com/decision/20011275159FSupp2d1116_11178

    Oh, I’m not on twitter, so maybe you can say hi to Mona. Haven’t seen her since she was running interference for Dubya’s Iraq adventure on Hit n’ Run a decade ago..

    • Tarzie says:

      Haven’t seen her since she was running interference for Dubya’s Iraq adventure on Hit n’ Run a decade ago..

      Please do elaborate with citations please.

      • Happy Jack says:

        She was a running joke because she always threatened to cancel her subscription because the writers opposed the war. I’ll see if I can find examples in their archives. Found the following link that mentions it, and she shows up in the comments.

        reason.com/blog/2006/08/09/the-hit-run-b-team-breaks-out

  41. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Chris Floyd is back with more 🙂

    “Responsible” NSA Revelations

    One of the Glennbots, Shrill Owen, hit the comments with his own brand of bullshit. These creeps are like Greenwald’s bully protectors on the playground.

    LOL @ the best the Intercept can do is report that the NSA has a Dear Abby. Omidyar is patting himself on the back: $250 million well spent!

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