Greenwald: A Backfire Effect Exercise

by Dave

I’m curious if anyone who believed in Russiagate can make it all the way through Glenn Greenwald’s lengthy takedown of the many “bombshell” claims, which he was helpful enough to first quote, then append the Mueller Report’s conclusions which effectively destroyed each particular “bombshell”.

I’m betting the Backfire Effect – created by two years of watching endless repetitions of “bombshells” on CNN, MSNBC, and others – will make it very hard for you to do it.

In case you don’t know, Glenn Greenwald is emphatically not a Trump supporter.  Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a constitutional attorney for 10 years, and he was Snowden’s key contact in 2012 and 2013.  He is a demonstrated “old fashioned liberal” – first amendment supporter, critic of the intelligence services and the DoD, thorn in the side of the Washington bureaucracy.  (full disclosure: he’s one of my heroes).

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Those responsible for this can refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing. They can even claim vindication if they want and will likely be cheered for doing so.

But the contempt in which the media and political class is held by so much of the U.S. population – undoubtedly a leading factor that led to Trump’s election in the first place – will only continue to grow as a result, and deservedly so. People know they were scammed, that their politics was drowned for years by a hoax. And none of that will go away no matter how insulated media and political elites in Washington, northern Virginia, Brooklyn, and large West Coast cities keep themselves, and thus hear only in-group affirmation while blocking out all of that well-earned scorn.

I wonder if “Newsguard” will change any of the ratings it has assigned to any of the news organizations who got this story so horribly wrong.  Bets, anyone?

Greenwald is an example of a liberal who got the story right.  I think Taibbi is another.  Getting a story right whose conclusions run contrary to your own political leanings is the litmus test of good journalism.  Both of these guys passed with flying colors.

We should come up with our own list of “trusted news sources”, with the test being, “did they get the tough story right?”


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