Even before he quit The Intercept, the investigative news organization that he helped found, in protest of its refusal to report the Hunter Biden laptop story so it wouldn’t hurt Joe Biden’s prospects in the 2020 election, journalist Glenn Greenwald was calling out the mainstream media for flagrant dishonesty and partisan reporting during the Trump administration. Greenwald, who is a non-partisan critic and a libertarian muckraker, is now being accused of being a “traitor” by progressives because he’s doing what reporters used to regard as their duty. How dare a journalist deliberately undermine a false narrative being advanced by the news media for “the greater good”?
His recent exposé shows why Greenwald is an ethics hero as well as a possible savior of his profession, which looks like it is going down for the proverbial third time.
Since it is “Pride Month”—yes, we have a special month celebrating how people have sex and who they have sex with—politicians decided to use the approaching five year anniversary of the PULSE massacre in Orlando to grandstand about LGBTQ hate crimes, and, by extension, those evil conservatives who clearly hate gays and transsexuals. Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people on July 22, 2016 at an Orlando gay nightclub, so the narrative has become that Mateen, was motivated by anti-LGBT hate. This is simply untrue; it isn’t even a matter of controversy. Mateen was an Islamic terrorist, and his motive was to punish innocent Americans for President Obama’s bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He made that undeniable in what he wrote and said. He probably didn’t even know PULSE had a gay clientele. All evidence shows that he chose PULSE at random.
Never mind: Facts Don’t Matter. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called the massacre an “unspeakable act of hate toward the LGBTQ+ community.” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said that “the LGBTQ+ community was targeted and killed—all because they dared to live their lives.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) claimed forty-nine lives were lost due to “anti-LGBTQ hate.” The leader in this lie was President Obama, who said in the wake of the shooting, “This was an attack on the LGBT community, and hatred towards people because of sexual orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of what’s best in us.” Then-candidate Hillary Clinton went to Orlando and pronounced the shooting by Matteen to be “ an act of hate” on “an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch, referencing the shooting, said that “a cruel irony that a community defined almost exclusively by whom they love [LGBT people] is so often a target of hate.”
To be fair, it should be noted that President Trump, undoubtedly to prove that he had nothing against “the gays,” also adopted the narrative, saying in a speech, “A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub, not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens, because of their sexual orientation.”
Greenwald saves his harshest venom for the “liberal propagandists who pose as journalists” that promoted the lie as fact:
“Jeet Heer wrote in The New Republic. “Let’s say it plainly: This was a mass slaying aimed at LGBT people,” Tim Teeman wrote in The Daily Beast. In USA Today, James S. Robbins speculated that Mateen was likely “trying to reconcile his inner feelings with his strongly homophobic Muslim culture.” In the days following the killing spree, one writer in USA Today, Steph Solis, even accused those of questioning this narrative of propagating bigotry and exhibiting cruel indifference to gay suffering: “Those who insist the shooting was solely an Islamic terror attack try to erase the LGBT community from the narrative, causing only more pain by invalidating their experiences in this ordeal.”
For the rest of his report, Greenwald reviews the overwhelming evidence showing that anti-LGBTQ animus played no role in Matteen’s crime. He concludes in part,
“Lying about what happened dishonors Mateen’s victims. It harms the cause of LGBT equality, which does not need lies and fabrications to be a just movement. It obscures how often U.S. violence in the Muslim world causes “blowback” — to use the CIA’s term — by motivating others to bring violence to the U.S. as retaliation and deterrence for violence against innocent Muslims…No matter how noble the intent, journalism — and activism — becomes corrupted if it knowingly supports falsehoods. That the PULSE massacre was an act of anti-LGBT hatred is a fiction. Unless you are a neocon, there is no such thing as a “noble lie.” It is way past time for politicians and activist groups to stop disseminating this one.”
What a traitor.