Greenwald: Big media, big tech, and Dems wield repressive weapon of information control

by Glenn Greenwald 

Republished from a lengthy series of Twitter posts September 6 

A series of “crises” have been cynically and aggressively exploited to inexorably restrict the range of permitted views, and expand pretexts for online silencing and deplatforming. Trump’s election, Russiagate, 1/6, COVID and war in Ukraine all fostered new methods of repression.

During the failed attempt in January to force Spotify to remove Joe Rogan, the country’s most popular podcaster – remember that? – I wrote that the current religion of Western liberals in politics and media is censorship: their prime weapon of activism.

It is astonishing to watch Dems and their allies in media corporations posture as opponents of “fascism” – while their main goal is to “unite state and corporate power” to censor their critics and degrade the internet into an increasingly repressive weapon of information control.

With a free internet and free speech, dissent is an illusion.

– Glenn Greenwald

There’s now an entire new industry, aligned with Dems, to pressure Big Tech to censor. Think tanks and self-proclaimed “disinformation experts” funded by Omidyar, Soros and the US/UK Security State use benign-sounding names to glorify ideological censorship as neutral expertise.

The worst, most vile arm of this regime are the censorship-mad liberal employees of big media. Masquerading as “journalists,” they align with the scummiest Dem groups to silence and deplatform.

It is astonishing to watch Dems and their allies in media corporations posture as opponents of “fascism” – while their main goal is to “unite state and corporate power” to censor their critics and degrade the internet into an increasingly repressive weapon of information control.

A major myth that must be quickly dismantled: political censorship is not the by-product of autonomous choices of Big Tech companies.

This is happening because DC Dems and the US Security State are threatening reprisals if they refuse. They’re explicit.

But the worst is watching people whose job title in corporate HR Departments is “journalist” take the lead in agitating for censorship. They exploit the platforms of corporate giants to pioneer increasingly dangerous means of banning dissenters. These are the authoritarians.

This is the frog-in-boiling-water problem: the increase in censorship is gradual but continuous, preventing recognition of how severe it’s become. The EU now legally mandates censorship of Russian news. They’ve made it *illegal* for companies to air it.

So many new tactics of censorship repression have emerged in the West: Trudeau freezing bank accounts of tucker-protesters; Paypal partnering with ADL to ban dissidents from the financial system; Big Tech platforms openly colluding in unison to de-person people from the internet.

All of this stems from the classic mentality of all would-be tyrants: our enemies are so dangerous, their views so threatening, that everything we do – lying, repression, censorship – is noble. That’s what made the Sam Harris confession so vital: that’s how liberal elites think.

This is why I regard the Hunter Biden scandal as uniquely alarming. The media didn’t just “bury” the archive.

CIA concocted a lie about it (it’s “Russian disinformation”); media outlets spread that lie; Big Tech censured it – because lying and repression to them is justified!

The authoritarian mentality that led CIA, corporate media and Big Tech to lie about the Biden archive before the election is the same driving this new censorship craze. It’s the hallmark of all tyranny: “our enemies are so evil and dangerous, anything is justified to stop them.”

How come not one media outlet that spread this CIA lie – the Hunter Biden archive was “Russian disinformation” – retracted or apologized? This is why: they believe they are so benevolent, their cause so just, that lying and censorship are benevolent.

The one encouraging aspect: as so often happens with despotic factions, they are triggering and fueling the backlash to their excesses. Sites devoted to free speech – led by Rumble, along with Substack, Callin, and others – are exploding in growth.

But as these free speech platforms grow and become a threat, the efforts to crush them also grow – exactly as AOC, other Dems and their corporate media allies successfully demanded Google, Apple and Amazon destroy Parler when it became the single most-popular app in the country.

It is hard to overstate how much pressure is now brought to bear by liberal censors on these free speech platforms, especially Rumble. Their vendors are threatened. Their hosting companies targeted. They have accounts cancelled and firms refusing to deal with them. It’s a regime.

It’s not melodrama or hyperbole to say: what we have is a war in the West, a war over whether the internet will be free, over whether dissent will be allowed, over whether we will live in the closed propaganda system our elites claim The Bad Countries impose. It’s no different.

In even the most despotic nations, the banal, conformist citizen thinks they’re free. As Rosa Luxemburg said: “he who does not move, does not feel his chains.” 

Of course the Chris Hayes’s and Don Lemon’s think this is all absurd: Good Liberals threaten nobody and thus flourish.

The measure of societal freedom is not how servants of power are treated: they’re always left alone or rewarded. The key metric is how dissidents are treated. Now, they are imprisoned (Assange), exiled (Snowden) and, above all, silenced by corporate/state power (dissidents).

For more than a month, I’ve removed myself from the news cycle and The Discourse because my only priority right now is my family, my kids and my husband’s health. But distance brings clarity. 

This censorship mania consuming Western liberals is deeply dangerous — and growing.

As I’ve often said, the media outlets screaming most loudly about “disinformation” are the ones that spread it most frequently, casually and destructively (NBC/CNN/WPost, etc). 

It’s equally true of those now claiming to fight “fascism”: real repression comes *from them.*

I’m going to remain detached until the health crisis in our family is resolved. But internet freedom and free speech are not ancillary causes. They are central. This was the core cause of the Snowden reporting. 

Without a free internet and free speech, dissent is an illusion.

Above all, stay focused on who your real enemies are. 

They’re not your neighbors who have been deceived into supporting the wrong party or wrong ideology. They are victims of the repression, which is all about maintaining a closed system of propaganda that can’t be challenged.

The worst of all – the most repugnant and despicable – are those calling themselves “journalists” while doing the opposite of what that term implies: they serve rather than challenge power, they deceive rather than inform, they demand censorship rather than free and open inquiry.

Heap scorn on the corporate outlets and their deceitful, pro-censorship employees abusing the “journalist” label. Read them with full skepticism, or just ignore them.

Support outlets and platforms that want to protect free inquiry and the right of dissent, not rob you of it.

The author is an American journalist, author and lawyer. In 2014, he cofounded The Intercept, of which he was an editor until he resigned in October 2020. Greenwald subsequently started publishing on Substack.

Categories: Commentary

4 replies »

  1. Very concise commentary, Mr. Greenwald…thank you.
    The cat is definitely out of the bag for anyone who pays attention that a predominant portion of the private media is decidedly pro-democrat/progressive. That applies to cable and broadcast television networks, print media and internet-based social media. The same can be said for most of academia, especially the curricula that train the next generation of “journalists”, other media operatives and educators. Education is now expanded to include “early childhood ed” so what used to be babysitting and day care is now professionally moderated indoctrination…at taxpayer expense. On top of all the private entities doing their bidding, the democrats have weaponized many agencies of federal and state government. Most recently, this has even included the National Archive making claims against a former republican President who they harbor an unhealthy obsession over vanquishing his future prospects. The democrats have used the national investigative powers if the FBI as a weapon against their political enemies up to and including acts of VOTER SUPPRESSION. The last democrat President used the powers of the IRS to target the party’s political opponents. Democrats currently prefer to utilize the suit and tie wearing upper echelons of the FBI as their private army to sic on their political enemies. The democrats’ former private army also went by a 3 letter acronym…the KKK.

  2. Great article.

    Once you remove yourself from the media for a short period of time it becomes very obvious that the point of all of the media is just to divide and conquer.

    Spend time with your family spend time with those you care about and talk amongst yourselves read the news as a commentary on the side and you’ll start to understand what’s really happening.

    It’s a big club and you aren’t in it. ~Carlin

  3. Yes Rich, and Nixon used the IRS to target who he saw as his opposition. People need to get it straight, this behavior is not unique to one political faction or another, it resides deep in our DNA, people in power want to maintain and expand that power, and profit from it to the extent possible while they hold it. This is why censureship and media bias of the nature we are seeing at MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and NewsMax is very dangerous. Taking sides and attacking one bias while ignoring the bias one tends to align with is just as much a part of the problem, insidious and dangerous. Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, Dubya & Trump were all very engaged in manipulating public opinion and presenting biased information to achieve their ends. We haven’t seen a good US President since Ike and JFK. I am happy that Guy Page continues to present the news, ALL OF THE NEWS, that he comes across, and allows us to draw our own conclusions. Thank you Guy.

  4. The media, big tech and the democrat/progressive socialist want to control what you see, hear and do and if you don’t conform to their doctrine then scream you are a bigot or a racist