Thursday, May 31, 2012

Glenn Greenwald writes today of the impending extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden and the likely rendition to the United States, where he will be persecuted by the Obama organized crime syndicate. I have some thoughts on the motivation of politicians and journalists who evidently feel deeply threatened, and certainly deeply angered, by Assange.

There are two issues, tangential to Glenn Greenwald's points, that deserve attention. Both revolve about the problem of perception and reality.

Greenwald notes that the New York Times's Bill Keller is the son of former Chevron CEO George Keller. So Keller is very unlikely to identify at all with poorer or middle class Americans. Increasingly, this is true of elite American journalists generally. They come out of elite universities, often having entered those schools out of elite backgrounds. They identify with the elite. This identification is bolstered by careful management by politicians and business titans. Andrew Ross Sorkin's close ties to Wall Street executives is a perfect example of this. Cokie Roberts, John Burns, Anderson Cooper, and many others, are excellent examples of this. They are very nearly diametrically opposed to a past generation of journalists who came up from nothing — people like Walter Cronkite or Bill Moyers. We see similar patterns in the Supreme Court, now proudly Harvard Law grads (but for one or two members, I think). Congress isn't quite so homogeneous, but it's going that way.

When the revelations of Wikileaks or others challenge the lies of government or industry, these elite journalists themselves feel challenged. What is Keller's whining about an unkempt Julian Assange if not a tacit assertion that Assange is 'beneath' Keller and those with whom Keller associates.

Comments like Glenn Greenwald's or revelations like those of Wikileaks threaten to make bare the reality of a media system that sees itself as part of the power structure, not investigating it. Nevertheless, Keller or Roberts or Burns want to believe their own lies, so they confront cognitive dissonance as they try to find reason to condemn Wikileaks.

There is a comparable, more specific, problem of perception and reality for Obama. He is a servile wannabe, but he wants to see himself as an outsider, a challenger — the challenger that many thought they were voting for in 2008. Why is Obama so determined to destroy whistleblowers? Because, more than most politicians in recent times, his public identity, and possible his personal one, rests on deception. He is not what he represents himself to be. He sees those who challenge that representation as threatening him personally. So he lashes out. Obama takes the Wikileaks revelations and other whistleblowing personally.

No comments: