9 February 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars Sliming Snowden, February 9, 2014
John Young "Cryptome" (New York, NY)
This review is from: The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most
Wanted Man (Vintage) (Kindle Edition)
Luke Harding wraps the Snowden story in shades of patriotism, conveying
compromised journalism pretending opposition to government while seeking
its approval for titillating stories of national security expose, editors
redacting as commanded, airbrushing embarassments, withholding details needed
to combat the global spying disease while helping spread it by self-serving
Harding self-serves his mendacious industry: valorous, vainglorious Guardian,
New York Times, Washington Post, varieties of global media, headlining gravest
news of NSA violations of public trust only after careful consultation with
national authorities, thereby doubling public trust infidelities.
Harding embellishes protestations of resistance to government control, but
does not reveal the extent of self-censorship the news outlets have engaged
in: only a tiny number of Snowden documents -- between .0062% (of 1.7 million
by USG), and 1.7% (of 58,000 by the Guardian) -- have been released, with
thousands of melodramatic stories written about the near total censorship
of what Snowden called his gift to the public.
Worst fault: there are no Snowden documents in the book, total censorship
of credible evidence, instead only rhetorical blather composed of rewrites
of news accounts and a bit of inside-the-Guardian gossip and much
This is a sales brochure for the Guardian, characteristically bloviated by
editor Alan Rusbridger, puffed-up with profiles of daring journalists --
Ewan MacAskill, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald -- hyper-aroused at the unexpected
Snowden windfall, dancing and laughing at their good fortune, of journalism's,
rescue for a declining industry beaten by truly courageous unjournalistic
(Harding smears Julian Assange for his arch-enemies Guardian and New York
Times, only glancingly mentions Baron Gellman's seasoned, superior and less
flamboyant reports on Snowden.)
Editors of the Guardian and the New York Times are portrayed without blemishes,
valiant, brave, stalwart, while cultivating governments to participate in
a mutually beneficial campaign of the illusion of risk and assurance long
practiced by the press and officials at lunches and private conferences here
amply admitted as if just wonderful buddies giving a hand to bollix the public.
Snowden is praised for speaking exactly like a perfect hybrid of Guardian-NY
Times-lawyerly journalism and official press officers oozing concern for
the public interest while relishing controversy and public attention by
explaining (with ample redactions and omissions) what spies do to save nations.
Pacts are set among all parties for roles to play, words to say, actions
to take, increased profits and budgets to be enjoyed. Harding crows it will
takes years, even decades, for the story to run, run and run some more. In
synchronicity, Jill Abramson, NYTimes editor, said recently at a public gathering
titled "Journalism After Snowden," "thank god for Snowden, we want more stories,
we need more stories."
Harding has provided a tawdry romance of illusory national security journalism,
sweaty and heavy breathing of adrenaline rush on airliners, breast and chest
baring videoed in Hong Kong hotels for later private showings, bountiful
informaton copulation in the rathole salons of London, New York, Washington,
DC, and Rio de Janeiro.
With books, videos, films, TV, news cascading endless Snowden gush, no wonder
billionaire Omidyar leaped to fund a $250 million bordello to service this
natsec investment adventure with exciting jaunts to Rio to sit at the feet
of Marquis de Greenwald (amidst leg-humping dogs) for instructions in the
sexiest of journalism following the slimy Internet pornography industry.