Glenn Greenwald Blasts Media For Rehabilitating Bush Officials and Neocons, From Nicolle Wallace to ‘Lincoln Project Scumbags’


Glenn Greenwald blasted cable networks MSNBC and CNN for having “rehabilitated” the reputations of neoconservatives who were advocates of war and who in some cases served in the George W. Bush administration.

“I mean, so this is probably the most stunning thing to me,” the journalist told Aidan McLaughlin on Mediaite’s podcast, The Interview, when asked about the mainstream media turning to members of the Bush administration during the Trump era.

Greenwald, a fierce critic of the Bush administration throughout much of its tenure, also took issue with longtime national security state stalwarts like former NSA chief James Clapper being invited on cable news to give their perspectives. Clapper was famously asked during a Senate hearing in 2013 whether the NSA collects “any type of data at all” on millions of Americans. He replied, “no.” But mere months later The Guardian published an expose by Greenwald, to whom former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided documents showing the NSA was indeed collecting data.

“You know, these news outlets started hiring one after the next of John Brennan and James Clapper and Michael Hayden, who was George Bush’s NSA and CIA chief in the wake of 9/11,” said Greenwald. “And these are the ones who now are being presented as the experts, the oracles of truth, to whom liberals should listen and get their news from.”

He added, “So that was one shocking part of it to me, and one disturbing part.” He continued:

And then the other was exactly what you just said about George Bush and Dick Cheney, because when I started writing in 2005 and what had prompted me was reading a lot of liberal blogs that had been this counterweight to the mainstream media back in 2002 and three and four, arguing that the media had become too deferential to the Bush-Cheney administration in the war on terror, George Bush was spoken up by liberals. People forget, especially Dick Cheney, the way Donald Trump has spoken about liberals now as this not like, oh, this kind of noble politician who has an ideology that you don’t agree with but is a monster.

Greenwald then singled out former Bush White House communications director Nicolle Wallace, who now hosts a show on MSNBC. He also called the members of the Lincoln Project, a Never-Trump conservative super PAC, “scumbags”:

You know, I wrote three books on how the Bush-Cheney executive power theories were overturning American democracy and imposing authoritarianism in this very formal way. And so to watch these Bush-Cheney operatives like Nicolle Wallace and Matthew Dowd and so many other ones, the Lincoln Project scumbags, but also, you know, all those security state operatives, again, like Michael Hayden at the time, or John Brennan, who was working with the CIA and especially neocons who were the worst of the worst from that perspective, like Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jen Rubin. All those kind of – Max Boot now be turned into – icons and leaders of American liberalism was I can’t find the words for, you know, how damaging and how stunning that is.

And it wasn’t just it was so clear a kind of alliance of convenience as it was claimed, like, oh, we’re just joining with them to get rid of Trump. And then once he’s gone, we’re going to go back.

But, Greenwald said, these are “authoritarian elements” that remain in Democratic politics.

“And it was clear that that ideology had taken over mainstream Democratic Party politics in a way that I found very dangerous and very repellent,” he said. “And I think you see all these authoritarian elements that were once associated with Bush and Cheney back in the day now defining how American liberals think about politics.”

Watch above via Mediaite, and listen to the full episode here.

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Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.