July 19, 2020

It's obvious to Glenn Greenwald that "the Letter was signed by frauds, eager to protect their own status."


He continues in a series of tweets:
2/ I’ve been defending these principles for decades, as a lawyer & journalist — **not** as a way of protecting honored elites from criticism, but by defending those with no power punished for their views: often by people like those who signed The Letter: [link to "GREATEST THREAT TO FREE SPEECH IN THE WEST: CRIMINALIZING ACTIVISM AGAINST ISRAELI OCCUPATION"]

3/ That large numbers of the Letter’s signatories don’t give the slightest shit about principles of free speech & discourse — many have been at the forefront of “cancelling” — but are only petulantly objecting because they now hear criticisms is obvious. Dozens of them are frauds

4/ All that said, that many of the Letter’s signatories are frauds does not impugn the principles they’re cynically invoking for their petty, self-absorbed interests. I devoted our show yesterday to this: it’s the marginalized that need these protections: [link to the video "Elites are Distorting the 'Cancel Culture' Crisis - System Update with Glenn Greenwald"]
Also, in that thread, Matt Yglesias responds:
I’ll just say I had nothing to do with deciding who was and wasn’t asked, had no idea who else was signing it, but think the obvious spirit of the enterprise was that they should welcome as many co-signers as possible.
Greenwald answers Yglesias:
I’m sure that’s true. TCW has been clear that he worked with a small handful of people — 4 in particular — to help spearhead the letter and I’m sure they’re the ones who played the key role (“outvoted” as he put it re: me). I’m almost sure I know who did it but won’t speculate.
Poya Pakzad asks:
I think Chatterton was being unclear about who did the voting. In that interview he said they were five ppl that did the reaching out to people. Were it those five people that out-voted you and didn't want to associate with you, or were it some of the signatories?
Greenwald answers:
Yeah, one was George Packer. He and I have had harsh criticism of each other’s work over the years. I’m sure it was stuff like that that drove it. But that’s kind of ironic, no? They were all proud of themselves, claiming they wanted to sign with those they disagree with.

54 comments:

rhhardin said...

If they didn't ask Trump to sign it they're all frauds.

Darrell said...

ישראל לנצח
Israel Forever

Temujin said...

These people exist in a vacuum. It's as if they are small creatures living in a sealed terrarium, unaware of how small and insignificant they are. Rather, they have delusions of grandeur, thinking that, singularly, people wait breathlessly to hear or read their next thought, and as a group, in a letter signed by many of them, it would hold the weight of Magna Carta.

In the meantime, in the real world, people are wondering if their business will survive another week, let alone another 3 months closed. What is happening to their kids? What happens if they get the Wuhan flu? How do they pay their mortgage? And there this shit about everybody being racist and all white people are evil. And then our 'leaders' are dismantling our police, letting the punks take over our cities and destroy everything- not stopping them from the destruction.

What the hell is going on here?

And, off in a corner, in a sealed terrarium, there's this group who wrote a letter. Sure, I'll read it. Just as soon as I take a shit.

MayBee said...

I do not agree with pretty much any of Greenwald's politics, but he does believe in free speech. I don't think the letter was signed by frauds, but I do believe they have/had a huge blindspot.

gilbar said...

Remember The Old Days?
back when the Leftists still pretended that they were for civil rights? Like Free Speech?

tim maguire said...

At least some of them are (note especially the retractions once pushback started), but I’d bet most signers sincerely believe in the principles articulated even if they live them imperfectly.

BUMBLE BEE said...

And they call Trump a self promoter! Always Be Selling... Rule #1

Oso Negro said...

Now let's these brave scholars condemn the occupation of Constantinople.

MD Greene said...

What Temujin said:

It's as if they are small creatures living in a sealed terrarium, unaware of how small and insignificant they are.

Jeff Brokaw said...

If you don’t support free speech for those who disagree with you, you still have work to do in the “what real liberty looks like” department.

However I will still give them credit for executing on this project — they took risks with their careers to advance liberty. I will always applaud such efforts and we need to encourage even tiny steps in the right direction. Greenwald has a point, and an obvious axe to grind, but we must be careful not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good here.

Baby steps ...

Chris N said...

I still think it’s better than nothing. These days, that’s saying something.

Wilbur said...

They're just good little Leftists - and I emphatically state they are not Liberals - just following one of Alinsky's rules:

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions."

They are the enemy of freedom and liberty. Neither comes for free. Someday they'll force the people to wrench it back.

MikeR said...

Must've been hard, trying to get the letter to have as big a tent as possible, but with people on the edges of the tent pulling in both directions.

MikeR said...

I don't want to be in a letter with ___, is not the same as, ___ makes me feel unsafe and my company should fire him.
Greenwald understands this, he has pointed it out himself many times. But he is correct in pointing out that the "cancel culture" issue is more complicated than it's made out to be.

Rory said...

So the point is that if they really reached out they'd find thousands of signers, but they'd all be on the right.

Quayle said...

“ What the hell is going on here? ”

The advanced stage of pride in a society that has been blessed with freedom and wealth and thinks they did it all themselves. I define pride as the state of competition to be “above“ others. Pride is characterized by measuring success by counting the number of people “below you” one some way, and wanting to make that number grow.

Ken B said...

I hate to say it, but Hardin is right. This letter is anodyne. It’s better than nothing, but 50 years ago Gore Vidal would have wanted William F Buckley and Richard Nixon to sign it with him. And they would have.

Krumhorn said...

What Temujin at 7:03 said!

I look forward to the day when the sequel to the Daniel Oppenheimer book Exit Right is written about the current bug-eyed Marxists some of whom, like previous generations, will have turned away from their ugly, hateful, fellow traveler lefties in disgust much like Whittaker Chambers in reaction to the Great Terror when the Moscow purge trials of the Bolsheviks culminated in the murders of millions. Chambers, in his own book, Witness, wrote, “This is evil, absolute evil. Of this evil I am a part.”

When lefties feed on each other, it is a feast of Old Testament proportions. There is a famous line in the Odets play Paradise Lost, “We cancel our experience. This is an American habit.” Greenwald is a classic experience-cancelling example along with a very very long list of former Trotskyists, commies, and other assorted pinkos who later wrote tear-jerking Augustinian confessionals after having been mugged by reality.

I am becoming Manichaean. There is absolute evil, and the lefties are it. Let the feast begin!

- Krumhorn

Paul Zrimsek said...

HAHAHAHA they "cancelled" glenn in the anti-"cancel culture" letter.

That's not what "cancelled" means.

The Crack Emcee said...

This is healthy.

Fernandinande said...

I define pride as the state of competition to be “above“ others.

It's nice to have personal definitions of words, but nowadays "pride" means "homosexual".

narciso said...

they've wanted to cancel israel since the 70s, something daniel patrick moynihan, realized in the 70s, with the UN, greenwald, was certainly on the side of the terrorists in the iraq war,

Sebastian said...

"if they really reached out they'd find thousands of signers, but they'd all be on the right."

In which case they'd risk being canceled.

Even in its current form, The Letter caused prog-on-prog skirmishes. Imagine the outrage if Heather Mac Donald had signed.

Sane progs prefer to signal their virtue at low cost.

CWJ said...

No one has been completely confident and at ease since autumn 2008. And everyone is struggling to navigate the traps and snares of an America without even the facade of a unifying culture. Our elites in particular blow with the wind in an effort to maintain their individual status. The rest of us just want to get on with our lives with as little interrence as possible.

I put the Harper's letter in the same basket as any of the letters signed by some large number of faculty, scientists, artists, entertainers, politicians, take your pick. The subjects change, but the signers sign because they perceive some personal advantage to doing so. Strongly felt principles may be involved for some portion of the signers, but only to the extent they are congruent with the signer's calculation of advantage.

It's weasels all the way down.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

LEFTWING FRAUDS.

Cancel fascists and their high school letter.

Yancey Ward said...

I hope cancel culture claims all the signatories as victims- all of them. That is the only good thing that can come from this effort- an object lesson to steel the spines of the rest of us.

Rory, above, nails the problem with the letter, as did rhhardin with the very first comment. Were I Williams, Trump would have been my first phone call. As I wrote before, though- there are no enemies to the Left for the Left. Even Greenwald misunderstands the reason he wasn't asked- he wasn't asked because he has been one of the biggest and most prominent detractors of the Russian Collusion Hoax from the left side of the political divide, and as events have proven him correct in that regard, they couldn't dare ask him to sign.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't know about you, but, that's one bad journalist fired at the NYT, an astrologer (Andrew Sullivan) quitting at the NewYorker, and now the demise of the psychic-loving Ellen DeGeneres, which - if you're me - sounds like one DAMN week.

Unknown said...

If only Althouse expressed such outrage when caucasians are denigrated. Typical academic fraud.

rcocean said...

What Greenwald says is true, but it's so typical of the Left, that instead of being concerned with the principle involved, they're obsessed with WHO is associating with WHO. Reason? With the Left EVERYTHING boils down to Who? Whom?. They're in a struggle for power, and whether something helps the right people or hurts the wrong people is all that matters. So, Greenwald is super concerned about WHO signed the letter.

As for Bari Weiss, she's your typical Neo-con who wants everyone she labels an "Antisemite", to be banned and shut-down. As Greenwald says, she's a fraud. But does it matter? If she didn't sign, would the letter be less true?

Howard said...

George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor are examples of cancel culture you people support.

rcocean said...

One thing I've noticed about Sullivan is his complete lack of enthusiasm for fighting for free speech. He doesn't like being fired from NY magazine for not being a "woke" leftists, but he just took it in stride. Same with Antifa's rioting and trashing Washington and Lincoln. He's not OK with it, but he's not going to make a fuss about it either.

So, Sullivan does NOT have your back. He's that co-worker who'll express sympathy AFTER you're fired, but won't lift a finger to save you.

Michael said...

"Were it those five people that out-voted you and didn't want to associate with you, or were it some of the signatories?"

The subject of 'were' is 'it' and is singular. The usage is not subjunctive. It should be 'was.' This is trying too hard, like the signs in barbershops reading "It pays to look well."

Howard said...

It's Karens all the way down

daskol said...

Glenn Greenwald is a prickly, prolix pain in the ass, but he has a point here. He has made THE point here, in fact, but he also did something else. He's shaming them not only for their failure to embrace the free expression principle, he's also criticizing the letter writers from a "no enemies to my left" angle, for an extra helping of shame on them. Sometimes being prolix isn't helpful: he should have stopped after 1 or 2 tweets. Micky Kaus is another guy whose prickly manner turns off a lot of people, but he seems even more genuine in his embrace of principle at the expense of personal relations than even Greenwald. And I trust him more.

Phil 314 said...

Helluva punch line Temujin!

Phil 314 said...

Howard, just write RACIST!, its faster.

LordSomber said...

I was going to sign a letter that said the sky was blue but then I saw that Hitler also signed it so I guess I can't.

n.n said...

But is he viable, are they viable?

jeremyabrams said...

Why couldn't Greenwald say, I wasn't asked but I would've signed, or I wasn't asked by I would not have signed? He assuming his stature was such that it was an inexcusable faux pas that he wasn't asked.

Joe Smith said...

@ The Crack Emcee

Maybe we agree on something. Ellen is an evil cocksucker (well, you know what I mean).

ndspinelli said...

There are 3 free speech all stars from the left; Greenwald, Taibi and Turley.

MadisonMan said...

I have never heard of Geo. Packer but I have heard of Greenwald. Is Packer insulting upwards in hopes of grabbing some of Greenwald's fame?

n.n said...

Choose! I will not self-abort. I will not self-abort.

narciso said...

he wrote about iraq for the new yorker, putting forth the preferred narrative, of deep state players, he diversified some but not by much,

Drago said...

Howard is precisely the sort Greenwald is describing.

Drago said...

Crack: "...and now the demise of the psychic-loving Ellen DeGeneres, which - if you're me - sounds like one DAMN week."

Psychic?

How did she not see this coming?

bagoh20 said...

If we just stopped listening to people who are not willing to stand up for what they believe, we would have a lot less bullshit to sift through.

Wa St Blogger said...

George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor are examples of cancel culture you people support.

Howard, back that up with proof or you are treading on fighting words. No one here has said anything remotely close to supporting the killing of people in the way you mean it. And you wonder why people here hate you lefties with a passion. It's the lies and false accusations.

Darkisland said...

I get called "negro" a few times a month, often by strangers. It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

In Puerto Rico, negro as well as negra, negrito and negrita, is an affectionate term. Sort of like honey in English

John Henry

n.n said...

In Puerto Rico, negro as well as negra, negrito and negrita, is an affectionate term.

Context matters, of course, but it is a term of diversity which colors human standing and relations in America. Some, select Black Lives Matter. Very Pro-Choice.

Drago said...

ndspinelli: "There are 3 free speech all stars from the left; Greenwald, Taibi and Turley."

Michael Tracy, Jimmy Dore as well.

ken in tx said...

Negrito is an indigenous ethic group in the Philippines.

DeepRunner said...

So I disagree with Glenn Greenwald politically but I find him to be at least consistent, which is more than the woke left will ever be. I have occasionally read his stuff on The Intercept, and he rarely disappointed. He is, on this issue, correct. And this points to a greater truth, that, at their core, the woke left is small-minded, petty, and destructive of constitutional values. They see themselves as iconoclasts. They're merely junior high she-mob girls who never grew up.

lgv said...

I once again find myself agreeing with Glen Greenwald. The end times are nigh.

Then again, I agree with Alex Jones once in a while.

It's clear that signatories of the letter don't get it, once they started back peddling based on who else signed it. For many or most it was simply of means of getting ahead of the cancel culture before it devoured them.