A few days ago, my son asked me if I had any regrets about being a musician. I was a bit taken aback since the answer seemed so obvious: Hell no! It’s been a great life even for someone like myself who has not achieved anything like fame.
For those who have, it’s absurd to even ask the question: everyone knows that famous musicians (with few exceptions) are universally beloved. Everyone wants to buy their meals, drinks, do them favors, bask in their presence, be their friend, and more.
That is not the case for most in the labor force who work with little expectation that they will receive recognition outside of that of their peers.
One profession, however, is an exception and that is journalism which is located on the opposite extreme from music: If you do your job right, i.e. if you simply tell the truth, you’ll make enemies and the more you do, the more enemies you’ll make.
At the highest level, you will be hated by large numbers of people. That is what has been achieved by Glenn Greenwald. Among those hating him are the most powerful people in the world. Some of them have apparently let it be known that they are displeased, with the inevitable result that Greenwald’s family has been subjected to numerous death threats.
When Greenwald’s name comes up in my social media feed, it is sure to elicit more than a few disparaging remarks. Many of these have their basis in Greenwald having forcefully rebutted the absurdities surrounding the Russian collusion narrative manufactured by Clitonite elements within the Democratic Party. A few are the product of ultra-left conspiracists who see the hidden hand of Intercept’s billionaire patron Pierre Omidyar in the stories they continue to break. Others emanate from aspiring journalists who resent Greenwald’s success.
Most of the public doesn’t belong to any of these categories. It either appreciates Greenwald’s reporting or, more likely, has only a dim understanding of its significance. Soon, however, it may become impossible to ignore if what seems likely does materialize: the vacating of the conviction of former Brazilian president Lula and possibly his return to the office which was stolen from him (as Greenwald’s reporting leaves little doubt is the case).
The importance of Greenwald’s work aside, on a personal level, we should all recognize the more profound courage which he has shown in breaking the stories he has-and for being willing to face what he almost certainly knew would be the consequences for having done so.
We should do what is necessary to demonstrate our appreciation (grudging or otherwise) by insuring that he is able to continue his work-and, it should hardly need to be said, his and his family’s safety.