In O'Reilly-like blissful ignorance, Schultz seemed unaware of the three NSA whistleblowers who'd loudly spoken up way earlier than Snowden -- and gathered for an illuminating USA Today interview a week before his tirade.
I watched one MSNBC host function as an auxiliary prosecutor in Obama's Justice Department, going after Snowden -- while trying to link WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald to criminal flight.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry has been condemning Snowden by contrasting him with civil disobedients who "love their country" and submit to arrest -- while Snowden just wants to "save his own skin." She proclaimed: "This is different. This is dangerous to our nation." Should we similarly dismiss Dan Ellsberg, who leaked the top secret Pentagon Papers to a dozen newspapers in 1971 by going on the lam from the FBI. Or Watergate's "Deep Throat," who saved his own skin by hiding his identity for 30 years after leaking secrets that helped crash the Nixon presidency?
In a bizarre monologue attacking Snowden (who's risked plenty, in my view), Harris-Perry hailed those who engage in civil disobedience for being willing "to risk your own freedom, your own body in order to bring attention to something that needs to be known. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested, attacked, smeared. Nelson Mandela went to prison for 27 years." (My emphasis.)
Nelson Mandela? He wasn't a civil disobedient who gave himself up. He was a fugitive, fleeing the apartheid police. He was on the lam domestically, like Snowden is now internationally. And some reports indicate that South African authorities were able to nab Mandela thanks to the U.S. CIA (one of the agencies now working to apprehend Snowden).
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has also disappointed. After doing a typically thorough presentation on the force-down of President's Morales' plane, she ended her report by expressing displeasure only that Washington had apparently gotten allies to go out on the limb "for nothing." Her objection to the harassment seemed to be: it hadn't succeeded. I didn't hear opposition to the action had Snowden actually been on board and apprehended.
The Snowden/NSA story proves once again that -- especially on so-called "national security" issues -- we need strong, independent media not enmeshed with the corporate/political power structure and not allied with one of the two corporate parties.
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