Glenn Greenwald takes on the sycophantic media

Michael Hayden during his time as the head of the CIA

Michael Hayden during his CIA years

Glenn Greenwald blogs for The Guardian on issues related to the tension between security and liberty.  He is suspicious of politicians of both parties, the national security state, and what he calls a “sycophantic” mainstream media.

In this piece, he castigates Bob Schieffer for using Michael Hayden, former head of both the CIA and the NSA, as a credible spokesperson on national security issues.

Hayden was the mastermind of an NSA operation dedicated to spying on US citizens that the Department of Justice investigation found to be illegal.  That was when Hayden headed the NSA.

Now Hayden works as a shill for the Chertoff Group:

a private entity that makes more and more money by increasing the fear levels of the US public and engineering massive government security contracts for their clients. Founded by former Homeland Security secretary Michael Cheftoff, it’s filled with former national security state officials who exploit their connections in and knowledge of Washington to secure hugely profitable government contracts for their clients.

So how does a highly regarded reporter like Schieffer justify treating a man like Hayden as an objective public policy expert instead of a pitch man for the fear industry with a dark past?  It’s simple, says Greenwald:

“Objectivity” in Washington journalism does not mean being free of opinions; it means the opposite: dutifully echoing the official opinions and subjective mindset of those in political power. In the eyes of official Washington and its media mavens, spouting opinions is not a sin. The sin is spouting opinions that deviate from the ones expressed by and which serve the interests of those in power.

I encourage you to read the rest of this well-researched piece.