Outlaw Journalism!


One “Meet the Press” David Gregory had the opportunity to interview the investigative journalist who broke the NSA snooping story to the world, Glenn Greenwald. Since Greenwald’s denouncement of the NSA program for the Guardian, he and his informant, Edward Snowden, have been the conversation on everyone’s lips. Both men have been lauded and reviled in the national media, but Greenwald probably did not expect to have to defend himself to fellow journalist David Gregory.


take our poll - story continues below

Should Brett Kavanaugh withdraw over sexual misconduct allegations?

  • Should Brett Kavanaugh withdraw over sexual misconduct allegations?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Eagle Rising updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

During Sunday’s interview, Gregory, seemingly trying to play Devil’s advocate asked: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”


It was a remarkable moment seeing one respected journalist essentially join the Obama administration and argue that this other journalist had done something wrong by uncovering the unconstitutional goings-on at the NSA. Greenwald, obviously offended, responded that Gregory had embraced the Obama administrations talking points and that it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal…”


Gregory retorted, “Who is a journalist may be up to a debate…”



There is a greater problem here that neither Greenwald nor Gregory acknowledges, and that is the broader implications of Gregory’s question. Quite obviously Greenwald has considered what this attack on journalism means for journalists… but has he thought through the ramifications it could have on free speech in general? The Constitution lists freedom of the press and freedom of speech as two of our God given rights, but it does not separate for us who are journalists and who are not.


More specifically, does an amateur writer have less right to speech than a famous Pulitzer Prize winner from an important paper of record like the Guardian? Or, is the amateur guaranteed the same freedom of speech as the journalist?blogger shield law


I would argue that if professional journalists are given special free speech rights that it, in effect, waters down the general right to free speech. A “media shield” law doesn’t just ensure the rights of the media, but announces to the average citizen that we have “limited” freedom of speech. “Media shield” laws may seem like a good thing, but in fact they are simply another attack on free speech.


It’s an important question, and any answer we arrive at will have serious implications for all Americans.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

About the author


Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Send this to a friend