Video comments begin at 1:47.
The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald slammed NBC’s “Meet the Press” host David Gregory on Sunday for asking whether he should be charged with a crime for “aiding and abetting” former government contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information to him about the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations.
“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?” Gregory asked on the news show.
Greenwald immediately rejected the premise of the question, calling it an “pretty extraordinary” question for a journalist to ask another peer.
“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. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way,” Greenwald responded, speaking via video satellite from Brazil.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Gregory said lawmakers had raised the same questions.
“Well, the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regards to what you’re doing. And of course anybody who’s watching this understands I was asking a question, that question has been raised by lawmakers, as well,” Gregory said in a raised voice. “I’m not embracing anything. But obviously, I take your point.”
After he wrapped up a roundtable panel with lawmakers, Gregory took a moment on the show to respond to Greenwald’s tweet.
“I want to directly take that on because this is the problem from somebody who claims that he’s a journalist, who would object to a journalist raising questions, which is not actually embracing any particular point of view. And that’s part of the tactics of the debate here when, in fact, lawmakers have questioned him,” Gregory said.
“There’s a question about his role in this, The Guardian’s role in all of this. It is actually part of the debate, rather than going after the questioner, he could take on the issues,” Gregory added. “And he had an opportunity to do that here on ‘Meet the Press.'”