Thanks to the far-left striking against another private individual — this time the Libs of TikTok creator — Elon Musk's attempts to buy Twitter now is more important than ever. Glenn Greenwald, Author of 'Securing Democracy,' joins Glenn to discuss the far-left's 'censorship regime.' It has 'become a very powerful tool in the hands of the corporate media,' he explains, and it's one of the only tools they have to shut down voices that oppose it. Which is why Elon Musk — who Greenwald says wants to 'overturn the censorship regime and reinstate a framework of free speech' — is making the left PANIC.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
So we have Glenn Greenwald joining us now. Hi, Glenn.
GREENWALD: Hey, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: I'm very good, thank you so much for joining. I don't even know where to begin. I guess I want to start with Taylor Lorenz, and the Washington Post, exposing the person behind the Libs of TikTok. I would love to hear your opinion. Mine is, this has nothing to do with anything other than that particular thread was popular. And the Libs of TikTok was making it --
GREENWALD: And conservative.
GLENN: Right. And conservative. So it's got to be shut down.
GREENWALD: Exactly. You know, this is my view on it is: If you want to have some kind of journalistic debate in the abstract about whether it's newsworthy once a person accumulates a certain level of influence on social media and begins to do things like appear anonymously on cable shows, like she has on Fox. That it somehow is journalistically justifiable to tell the public, who the person is. Who has become so influential. I wouldn't agree with that. I don't think that's a proper way, especially for corporate giants. Media giants. Like the Washington Post. Owned by Jeff Bezos. To be spending their time unmasking private citizens. But if you wanted to argue that you can fit that within the definition of newsworthiness, that's something I could swallow. Even though I wouldn't agree with it. If it would be really applied consistently. Meaning that today, I could go and find out the real life identity of some popular trans woman, who has a following -- a big follower account on Facebook. And expose her. Even though she claims her anonymity is not necessarily for her safety. Or maybe tomorrow, Fox could send a camera crew to the homes of Taylor Lorenz' parents and siblings, in order to ask questions about her, the way she did, to the family members of this private person behind this Twitter account.
But, of course, that would never be permissible. If any of that happened, the media would have a complete meltdown. They would declare some sort of National Day of Mourning. If anybody did that to Taylor Lorenz or Black Lives Matter activists or a trans person on social media, this is nothing more than an attempt to punish private citizens for having the wrong political ideology. Under the guise of journalism. So this whole extract debate about what is newsworthy. It's just a fraud. It's a pretext to cover for the fact, that this is a political operation, designed to punish somebody for making their voice heard with views that the media dislikes.
GLENN: Is this any different than the Twitter story with Elon Musk?
GREENWALD: I think in a lot of ways, there are similarities, in that, one of the things that has happened. The censorship regime that has grown so quickly, on these Silicon Valley monopolistic platforms like Facebook and Google. And Twitter. You know, I think people have forgotten that the real cascade, the first time it was done, was only three years ago, in 2018, or 2019, when these corporations united and decided they were going to ban Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos from the internet. Deperson them all at once. And most people cheered, because most people don't like those two figures. And they ignored the precedent. And we tried to warn them that the president was going to create a censorship regime. And I think what has happened, the censorship regime has become a very powerful tool in the hands of the corporate media. Because it lets them silence dissidence to their orthodoxies, and people who compete with them, who develop a large audience. Liberals of TikTok has a larger audience than a lot of media people do. She's more popular. She's more influential. They want to silence her. So I think that's one big benefit. But the other big benefit of it is it's become a very valuable way of propagandizing the public.
I don't know if you saw, I reported on it yesterday, a bunch of former intelligence and national security officials issued a letter denouncing attempts in Congress to rein in the monopolistic power of big tech by saying, it's important that big tech have this power centralized in their power. The sense of the internet. Because that's how we advance U.S. national security interest. And a lot of power centers, see this as an important tool to enforce liberal orthodoxy and to be able to punish and silence and censor and banish any dissidence from it.
GLENN: Let me switch again. Talk to you just about everything. You're so plugged in. I don't know if you saw this story, I'm sure you did. About the CIA tracking Trump phones, and this seemingly -- this seemingly goes all the way back to 2014. It's my understanding CIA cannot do that, inside of America. Does anybody care?
GREENWALD: I do not think they do. Because the reality is that the contrived and fraudulent scandal that to me natured U.S. politics for five years, basically during the entire Trump presidency, and the capable, which was Russiagate. Was cooked up by the CIA. They were the ones who wanted to manufacture that false political scandal, as a way of undermining and subverting a president who they disliked, who nonetheless had been elected by the American people.
And before the 2020 election, when they were so desperate, to ensure Trump wasn't reelected, they did the same thing.
The completely false and fraudulent claim, that the Hunter Biden laptop and emails that reflected Joe Biden's business activities in China and Russia, were Russian advertise information. Despite being a complete lie. Was used by big tech to censor that reporting right before the election. Was used by the media to discredit it. And that also came from the intelligence community. Because many of the same intelligence officials that I just said, signed that letter for big tech, were the ones who signed this letter that this was Russian disinformation.
For me, this is, Glenn, the most important and the most undercover story of the last five or six years, is the increasing use of whatever you want to call it. You know, the security state, the deep state. The CIA-led blob. That increasingly, their attention is not directed to foreign countries or adversaries, or even foreign populations, which by charter, where they're required to operate. But instead, is being -- the dark guards of these agencies are being used inward, domestically to manipulate U.S. public opinion. And U.S. elections. And I can hardly think of anything more dangerous, than discriminate unelected power factions in Washington now seeking a major role, in trying to dictate how the American public thinks, and how they vote. And the outcome of elections.
GLENN: So some of the reaction to some of these things. For instance, the Lorenz and the Twitter, you know, insanity over Elon Musk. Says to me, that they are afraid. Really afraid. And people are starting to wake up.
Are we starting to turn a corner, or is that wishful thinking? Where are we?
GREENWALD: Yeah. I think that's a great question. Because if you look at every metric, there is no doubt that public faith and trust in mainstream, large media corporations is at their lowest level ever.
Nobody watches cable news. Because they don't find any value in it. They don't trust the -- the hosts with one exception. Which is Fox. It still has an okay audience. But CNN and MSNBC are completely dying.
For all these new heralded liberal digital outlets, you know, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, Vice, and all of those are completely collapsing.
I mean, they're disintegrating rapidly. They probably won't exist anymore. It's kind of like a complete consolidation where only the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal actually commend their audience.
So they know the public has completely turned against them. Then at the same time, what you see, the rise of independent media. You know, there's a time when I would say, just a short time ago, the most influential voice in the United States and the media was yourself.
Looking at your audience. And the influence that you have. And you still have a lot of that. I would say, now the most influential media person is someone who completely is disconnected from any media corporation, or even the discourse they produce. Which is Joe Rogan. If you look at the sites that are growing, as opposed to collapsing, the way mainstream media outlets are. It's all of the independent sites that promise free speech, that promise heterodox news.
And, of course, the people who work inside media organizations are looking at this, and they're petrified. And they want to keep hold of the only things they still have, which for the moment are the ability to censor the internet, using big tech platforms. So when Elon Musk comes and says, I want to overturn the censorship regime, and reinstate a framework of free speech, of course, they panic. That's one of the few weapons they have left, to perturb the little power they have. And also the ability to banish their competitors. People of independent media. Is also something they're really desperate to keep as well.
And it does make me optimistic, but at the same time, power centers don't lose power without a huge fight.
GREENWALD: And even though Elon Musk is the most powerful or the richest man in the world. If he were really serious about buying Twitter and really serious about allowing freedom of speech, allowing Trump back on the platform. Allowing views that are banned now to be heard. I think he would be in for a kind of a fight from the media, from the intelligence community, from the government. Unlike anything he's ever seen.
GLENN: Oh, I agree.
And I will tell you, that I think we're dealing with people that kind of had the attitude, if I can't have it, no one will.
GREENWALD: Yeah. There's so much bitterness. And professional jealousy. A columnist at Substack. And a writer. Super interesting guy. Mostly on the left, Glenn. Very independent-minded. Freddie Dabor (phonetic) wrote an article about six months ago, basically saying that the reason that these people in the media are so vindictive and they love to destroy people's lives. Like you just saw Taylor Lorenz do, by unmasking this woman, to the applause of most of her colleagues is because they absolutely have a very miserable existence. You know, they work for gigantic media conglomerates. They -- these media conglomerates. Are not doing well. Nobody is consuming their product. Which means, the pay is bad. The work conditions are bad. They're required to turn out eight to ten kind of trivial, superficial articles, a day or 20 a week.
Just to keep the content bill grinding. They're reaching middle-age. They have no job security. No one trusts them. No one likes them. The work is unfulfilling.
That's why they're so angry. And I think a lot of it is exactly what you said. That if you find success, outside of their constraints, their corporate constraints, they despise you.
That's why they're so happy to see Julian Assange being imprisoned from his journalism, even though he's broken more major stories than anyone. Because she's he's not part of their club. And if you succeed like Joe Rogan has, or anyone else, you become their target. Because that's the only thing they have left is that anger and rage, about how the public has turned against them.
GLENN: You -- or, there was a Twitter story out from Jared Rabell (phonetic). He said, I boarded a plane today with my son. And mid-flight, the pilot announces that the mask mandate is over. Flight attendants pulled over their masks, sneezed directly into their hands, while screaming, this is MAGA airspace! My son turned to me in tears and said, I don't know what to do.
Then after posting that, he got messaged from the New York Times. A journalist. That said, I would like to talk to you over the phone about what happened on your flight this evening. Can you please give me a call at this number, or let me know how I can reach you. Hope this isn't coming too late for your day. Thank you. They didn't know that it was a joke.
GREENWALD: Imagine how completely detached you have to be from just basic American conservatives. Or just ordinary people who don't -- who aren't affluent liberals who live on the coast. To believe a story like that. That conservatives are so vindictive, that they would not only celebrate the elimination of masks, which is a very reasonable thing to do. But then to start purposefully sneezing into their hands, to try to declare this is my -- how much of a caricature you have in your head, about half the country, in order to believe that. The satire was, you know, extreme. It was designed to be immediately recognizable. And the New York Times reporter, believes it. Because that's what she believes about conservatives. So this gigantic breach we have between the elite, affluent, liberal, postal elites. And the entire rest of the country. At least in my lifetime. Has never been wider. And it's one of the main reasons why no one trusts them.
Because they live in a different world and speak a different language. And their lives are completely removed from those people's experiences.
GLENN: Glenn Greenwald. If you could hold for one more minute. I just want to ask you one more question.
And that is, what is the thing that we should really be paying attention to? What is the thing that is keeping you up at night, like this is so critical that we pay attention to. We'll do that in 60 seconds.
Let me tell you about the Tuttle Twins books. The, you know, knowledge -- knowledge is power. And you need to really understand what's going on. Right now, they're blaming inflation on everybody. And you can blame inflation on the incredible spending, in Washington, DC. On both sides.
But the one that you really have to worry about is the Federal Reserve. People think, oh, the Federal Reserve. That's part of the government. No, it's not. No, it's not. It's a corporation owned by the biggest banks in the country.
They're bailing themselves out. They're -- they're printing money like there's no tomorrow. It is the creature from Jekyll island.
It is critical for every family to understand, what inflation is. How it works. What causes it. How you stop it. And what the fed's role is, in all of this. These books aren't going to last for long. I asked the Tuttle Twins, if they would make this one for free. Because I think every family needs to have it. It's the creature from Jekyll island. The Tuttle Twins. And you can get it now at TuttleTwinsBeck.com. While supplies last. The Tuttle Twins. And the creature from Jekyll island. TuttleTwinsBeck.com.
Ten-second station ID.
Glenn, I am -- I am torn on stories between SEL and what's happening in our schools, to our kids.
And The Great Reset. And ESG. I don't know where to go. What is the story, or stories that you think everybody needs to pay attention to this?
GREENWALD: Well, you know, we -- you could obviously make a case on multiple different stories, as sort of the most important. I come at it from more of a civil libertarian perspective. That's how I started writing about civil liberty abuses, on American soil in the name of the War on Terror. So for me, there's a second War on Terror, that has been launched. Not with -- with very little fanfare. In the name of January 6th, that is entirely domestic in nature. And it's entailing a whole variety of rollbacks of civil liberties. The way the January 6th defendants have decreed it. When you think of the January 6 riots has been, I mean, unprecedented.
GLENN: I agree. Yeah.
GREENWALD: And it's creating all kinds of precedence about being able to turn protesters into felons, about the ability to punish people for their political views. And then at the same time, we have an actual foreign war as well, which is ostensibly between two other countries on the other side of the world, which the United States is increasingly involved in. Biden announced $500 million today, every kind of ten days. There's another $750 million just flowing to Ukraine. Weapons being bought. Given to Ukraine.
GLENN: It's bad.
GREENWALD: And, again, whatever you think of that war. With each war, there's always civil liberties rolled back. Kind of suppression of dissent. And these two parallel wars. The domestic War on Terror, against the Trump movement, in the name of January 6th. And the war against Russia, that the West is waging, is making me very concerned about people essentially losing site of everything the government is doing.
GLENN: 100 percent agree. And I am so afraid, we are getting into a war. Of convenience here. To be able to enact all kinds of things. That, you know -- that we're collapsing our economy, at the same time. And this is only hastening that. It is -- it's an interesting time to be alive.
Glenn Greenwald. Thank you so much. We'll talk again.