The Time of Monsters
The Time of Monsters
Podcast: What Happened to Glenn Greenwald?

Podcast: What Happened to Glenn Greenwald?

Eoin Higgins on how a onetime radical has become a Fox News conservative
Glenn Greenwald (photo: David dos Dantos)

Last week I described Glenn Greenwald as Tucker Carlson’s PR man. Since then, Greenwald has proved dismayingly eager to confirm my harshest characterization of him. In a recent interview for the Stateless Patriot podcast,  Greenwald said, “I have never ever, ever, ever heard Tucker frame immigration or any other issue in the racist terms that you attributed to him. In fact, he believes that what is racist is liberal discourse, the idea that we should judge people based on their race.”

Tellingly, Greenwald defends only his own assertion about what Carlson may or may not believe about racism. He doesn’t defend any particular statement Carlson has actually made about immigration, such as this one the Fox News host made on air in December 2018 about “waves” of poor people entering America: “our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided.”

Earlier this year, Carlson endorsed the white supremacist “replacement” theory, which holds that immigration is designed to displace the white majority of America. “I know that the left and all the gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement’,” Carlson said, “if you suggest that the Democratic party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world.”

Greenwald’s descent into being a mouthpiece for some of the worst people in American public life is a source of sadness for me. I once admired Greenwald’s reporting and his radical criticism of American foreign policy. 

I often ask myself what happened to Glenn Greenwald? To answer that question, I turned to the fine reporter Eoin Higgins, who runs the Flashpoint substack, who has been a sharp Greenwald watcher. Among other things, Eoin did a fascinating post tracking Greenwald’s increasing tendency to praise Carlson. 

Between the two of us, Eoin and I mourn over the loss of the journalist Greenwald once was and cast a cold eye on the talking head Greenwald is now. 

(Podcast produced by Julia Elinore Peterson; post edited by Emily M. Keeler)

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The Time of Monsters
The Time of Monsters
Political culture and cultural politics.