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The Glemming

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Image from New York Magazine

Readers may not know this, but all “front pagers” at Lawyers, Guns and Money sign a rather lengthy blood covenant. I cannot, of course, disclose all of the terms. I can say that among its myriad privileges and obligations is a rather unpleasant task: to occasionally venture into Glenn Greenwald-adjacent space and document the atrocities.

So when Greenwald’s latest regurgitation of bog-standard right-wing talking points crossed my Twitter feed, I resigned myself to the inevitable: I would have to take to the Google and investigate.

What was the replacement-level commentary in question? Here’s FOX treating what someone says on their opinion shows as straight news:

He could really empathize with in a unique way with how uniquely heinous it is,” Greenwald said.

“And he spent about six seconds doing that and then immediately did a detour to figure out how he could squeeze and exploit this situation for partisan advantage.”

The Substack writer called Biden’s comments from there on “grotesque” but “unsurprising.”

But wait, there’s more:

Later, Greenwald said it is much too early in the postmortem investigation to determine what role gun laws or other factors had in the massacre.

“I think that the obsession that people who are doing politics full-time have with seeing the world through this prism of partisan warfare is so consuming that it basically drains their entire soul so that nothing is left but this kind of immediate need to use every situation, no matter how tragic, to gain some kind of an advantage,” he said.

I therefore set out to find what Greenwald had said about mass shootings when he was still consistently presenting himself as a member of the left. I began by searching for Sandy Hook.

I didn’t get far when I came across something interesting: a tweet from November of 2021 (the whole thread isn’t that important).

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I also found an interview of Greenwald from February of the same year:

It includes the following passage:

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As my kid pointed out, it’s hardly shocking that Greenwald is a liar. I still find this particular lie notable. I’m pretty sure it’s essentially the same tactic he once used to deflect questions about Carlson’s crypto-fascism: he’d claim that he didn’t regularly watch the show. (Now, of course, he just defends Carlson outright.)

Glenn may straight out lie when convenient, but it’s not the most frequent tool in his rhetorical arsenal. That would be, of course, to accuse his targets of hypocrisy.

  • Are you one of those sheeple who condemns Orbán’s war against independent media even while the U.S. seeks to extradite Assange?
  • Do you point out that FOX lawyers argued his viewers know not to believe everything he says? MSNBC lawyers made the same argument about Maddow!
  • Let’s not even get started on U.S. hypocrisy about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The cool thing about playing the hypocrisy card – over and over and over again, even when the equivalences are transparently false: Greenwald doesn’t have to actually take a position on the merits of the issue. Which is awfully convenient when you’re running interference for dictators and fascists.

Which leads to the other thing that turned up in my iniitial search.

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Now, admittedly, the overall piece is relatively thoughtful; I agree that Americans should care more about collateral deaths from U.S. strikes. But the really important thing is that Greenwald waited a whole four or so days after Sandy Hook to accuse – based on a poll about Guantanamo Bay and an ecological fallacy – grieving parents of hypocrisy.

Date-restricted searches for “Glenn Greenwald” and “Sandy Hook” turned up nothing other than the aforementioned line of argument. I suppose one might see this an example of using “every situation, no matter how tragic, to gain some kind of an advantage.”

Nah.

That would be a cheap shot, wouldn’t it?

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