Amy Goodman interviews Glenn Greenwald on the corruption of the American media

April 18, 2008 | By | 3 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald, a former constitutional law attorney, is now a contributing writer at He is the author of a number of books. His most recent book is titled Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.

Greenwald, a severe critic of the American media, discussed the state of the media with Amy Goodman of One focus of the discussion was the recent presidential debate sponsored by ABC. Based on the lack of substance of most of the questions by the ABC moderators, Greenwald alleges that the media now specializes in insipid substance-free personality-based attacks. The ABC debate was only one example of what is done constantly. Progressives are portrayed as weak, ineffectual and not patriotic, whereas conservatives are portrayed as stable, strong and moral. The evidence is irrelevant to these portrayals.

Obama Misspoke

[Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News]

The media reporters claim that the people want to hear these sorts of questions that amount to character sniping, but (according to Greenwald), the politicians don’t hear these sorts of shallow questions back home from their constituents. Instead, constituents want to hear about solutions to the many serious problems now facing America.

In sum, Greenwald argues that the mainstream media is “rendering our political process toxic.”

The interview (available through video or audio) is about 20 minutes long. I highly recommend this discussion by two of the media professionals I trust the most, Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald.

BTW, Jon Stewart has also ridiculed the ABC debate. You can see his five-minute segment here.

One last thing. Here is a great illustration of the mindset of the American media. Just listen to the neocon talking points spewed out by this FOX reporter:

Contrast the shallow questions of the reporter to the thoughtful responses by this priest (his name is Michael Pfleger and he is, indeed, an impressive and patient man). BradBlog has more background on this captivating discussion involving FOX and Pleger.  BradBlog also describes the personal crusade by Bill O’Reilly against Pleger.

[Note from Erich: DI publishes cartoons, including the cartoon posted above, pursuant to a license from Cagle Cartoons. We are proud to support the work of these cartoonists. ]


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Category: American Culture, Media, Politics, snake oil

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Indeed, that's an excellent interview with Rev. Pfleger. I especially like his observation that even Jesus could be made to appear insane if some of his words were taken out of context and endlessly looped to a national audience.

    I keep struggling with the question of whom to blame for the vapid "reporting" we see on television: the corporate media executives who appear to be only concerned about profits, or the apathetic American public who appear to be only concerned about minimizing the use of their brain cells.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Today on George Stephanopoulos Show, John McCain admits the following:

    "The American People are angry. . . . They're fed up."

    "A lot of Americans are angry about the economy."

    It sounds like McCain is agreeing with Barack Obama, that Americans are bitter . . .

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    I was interested to see George S., on his weekly program yesterday morning, apologize to the country for his disappointing performance in the debate last week. He even played a comedy clip that lampooned him. Looks like he got the message.

    However, what I still don't understand is why Obama & Clinton fielded those moronic questions about their religious beliefs without pointing out the disconnection between the questions and the job they are seeking. They are as much to blame as anyone else for such questions passing unchallenged.

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