Greenwald and Carlson, having established to their mutual satisfaction that reports of Russian interference in the election should be viewed with extreme suspicion, moved on to the question of just why it was that the Post would publish such a scurrilous report. “It is so weird that Russia is the focus … ” mused Carlson, “and yet, all of a sudden, Russia seems to be villain number one. Why is that? It seems strange.” The obvious response —Russia is the focus because it interfered with an American presidential election — had already been dismissed, so Greenwald supplied a different explanation for why Russia was suddenly the object of tough coverage in the media. Greenwald explained that Democrats ginned up hostility to Russia entirely for political reasons:
“One of the really interesting things is, in 2012, when Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama, the Democrats mocked Romney mercilessly for depicting Russia as the number one geopolitical threat […] And throughout the Obama presidency, he tried accommodating Putin, he didn’t arm anti-Russian factions in Ukraine, he tried cooperating with him in Syria, it was really an election-year political theme that the Democrats manufactured out of whole cloth, that the Russian, that Putin posed some existential threat to the United States, that they’re our enemy […]”
It is true that, in 2012, the Republican Party had staked out a more hawkish stance on Russia than the Democrats. But the Democrats were hardly praising Putin’s regime. The dispute between Obama and Romney was a relatively narrow one centering on whether Russia was literally America’s number-one enemy, or whether that distinction belonged to Al Qaeda. In his 2012 convention speech, Obama said, “You don’t call Russia our number-one enemy — not Al Qaeda, Russia [Laughter.] — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.”
Greenwald presents Obama’s chilly relationship with Russia as nothing but an election-year ploy. He omits any mention of the event that changed the tenor of U.S.-Russia relations: the Russian attack on Ukraine. Obama responded to the invasion by imposing sanctions on Russia in 2014. That event, not some election-year need to gin up a foreign bogeyman, is what generated tension between Obama and Putin. For Greenwald to depict the administration’s chilly stance toward Russia as “an election-year political theme that the Democrats manufactured out of whole cloth” is a complete fantasy.
Carlson agreed that there was “only a political motivation” to explain Obama’s criticisms of Russia.
After this point was agreed upon, Greenwald went beyond merely questioning the certainty of the Post’s reporting and denounced “wild, elaborate conspiracy theories.” “To sit here and sort of suggest that Vladimir Putin lurks behind every American problem, to concoct these wild, elaborate conspiracy theories, to try and convince Americans that Russia is this grave threat to the United States … ” he explained, “I think it’s incredibly dangerous.”
Note that, at the beginning of the segment, Greenwald was just asking questions about how solid this reporting really was, and by the end of it, had described the Post’s reporting of a finding shared by the CIA and FBI as “conspiracy theories.”
“That’s the way it seems to me!” agreed Carlson. “So, it’s great to hear you say that, it makes me feel less crazy.” And the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already, it was impossible to say which was which.
Asked for his opinion of Breitbart News, acclaimed journalist Glenn Greenwald praised the news site’s editorial integrity and said the site was “very impressive in terms of the impact they’ve been able to have.”
While Greenwald was clear that Breitbart contains content he “sometimes find repellant” and Breitbart writers and articles he’s highly critical of “just on political grounds,” he gave Breitbart News high marks for “giving voice to people who are otherwise excluded.”
Note that second link is to Breitbart.