Then he attempted a dodge: David Gregory asked a strange question on Sunday’s Meet the Press.
He was speaking with Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden’s man at the Guardian. This is what Gregory asked:
GREGORY (6/23/13): A final question before you go, but I'd like you to hang around. I just want to get Pete Williams in here as well.That was a very strange question. In our view, Snowden is looking less savvy with each passing day. We haven’t followed this issue closely, but we wouldn’t be shocked if someone suggested that Greenwald has overstated some matters at times.
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?
But in what way has Greenwald “aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements?” Gregory made no attempt to say, even as he suggested that Greenwald may have committed a crime.
Gregory’s question was very strange—and Greenwald scolded him for it. In his subsequent response, Gregory dug the hole a bit deeper, then attempted a dodge:
GREENWALD (continuing directly): I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.Gregory’s response was puzzling. In the most obvious sense, Greenwald plainly is a journalist. In raising “the question of who is a journalist” without explaining his point of concern, Gregory dug the hole deeper.
The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence—the idea that I've “aided and abetted” him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced -- being a co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources.
If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal, and it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It's why The New Yorker's Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a "standstill,” her word, as a result of the theories that you just referenced.
GREGORY: Well, the question of who is a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing. And of course, anybody who is watching this understands I was asking a question. That question has been raised by lawmakers as well. I'm not embracing anything, but, obviously, I take your point.
Then, he attempted a dodge: “And of course, anybody who is watching this understands I was asking a question...I was not embracing anything.”
Please. We were watching Meet the Press, and we did not understand that.
Plainly, Gregory suggested that Greenwald may have “aided and abetted” Snowden in some unspecified manner, in a way which might even be criminal. He then suggested that Greenwald’s (unspecified) conduct raises the question of whether he’s even a journalist.
It’s true, as Gregory also said, that some “lawmakers” have raised these suggestions. But if that was the basis for Gregory’s question, his question would have gone something like this:
GREGORY REWRITTEN: Some lawmakers have suggested that you yourself may have engaged in criminal conduct—that you may have “aided and abetted” Snowden, even in his current movements. What is your reply to these accusations?Gregory voiced the suggestions in his own voice. He offered no basis for his suggestions.
He asked a very peculiar question. Then he attempted a dodge.