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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Hypocrisy, thy name is Josh Marshall

In the post below, we discuss the accusation that Glenn Greenwald has "profiteered" from the Snowden revelations. But the most interesting revelation was one that Greenwald mentions in passing:
...Josh Marshall, whose TPM journalism has been "privatized" and funded by the Romney-supporting Silicon Valley oligarch Marc Andreesen...
I did not know this. Maybe you did, but I missed those news stories.

In this post, Marshall refers to Andreesen as his friend. This article discusses how Andreesen has invested in both the Romney campaign and TPM. And here we learn that Andreesen is Yet Another Fucking Libertarian -- and a Republican.
Sometimes libertarian-leaning Silicon Valley titans even almost allow themselves to be called Republicans.

Take Marc Andreessen, for example.

He has contributed $100,000 to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign via a SuperPAC.

Andreessen is the biggest fish there is in Valley right now. He's on the board of Facebook and HP. He's already a huge investor in startups through his VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and he still has billions more to seed.

In this CNBC clip, Andreessen says he supports Romney because he is a "dyed-in-the-wool" businessman who understand that "regulations" get in the way of business.
So that's the guy greasing Marshall these days. Yet Marshall has the stones to talk shit about Ed Snowden, and to print Jeff Toobin's slanderous remark equating Greenwald's partner to a "drug mule."

By what standard am I supposed to be upset by Greenwald's funder, Pierre Omidyar, yet not concerned by Marshall's sugar daddy, Marc Andreesen?

It's true that various articles have identified Pierre Omidyar as Yet Another Fucking Libertarian, although this source says...
Omidyar held pseudo-libertarian beliefs. In particular, he detested the big corporations that owned commerce in the capitalist world, and instead trusted that people are fundamentally cooperative social animals.
Supposedly, this pseudo-libertarian stance led to the creation of Ebay -- which has morphed into just another mechanism for pumping the products of ill-paid Chinese labor into your mailbox.

So that's journalism today: The writer leans over his keyboard, drops his trousers and presents his gaping asshole. Then it's just a matter of time as he waits for Yet Another Fucking Libertarian to plop in and deposit his seed.

Omidyar seems a less obnoxious YAFL than some others, I guess. So far. But how can a writer in today's world do good work, earn a decent living, and avoid playing catcher?
One thing is clear: Josh Marshall admires Big Data. And there's no bigger Big Data than the NSA. So he prefers the discussion to be about Snowden's morality, and not about the NSA doing an end-run around the US Constitution.
I tend to think that Marshall told the truth in his most-noted anti-Snowden piece: Ultimately, it's Us vs Them, and the NSA is Us.

I, on the other hand, am more likely to include the NSA in the forces of Them. Or at least, I'm more worried that the NSA can be used against Us, if times darken and the government becomes more openly oppressive (or unresponsive). My attitude is one which the Founders would have understood.

I'm reading James Risen's "State of War," which I should have done long ago. It talks about laundering NSA intel against opponents so that the government can mount cases against people without letting them know how the evidence was acquired.

Presuming Marshall has read that book -- as he ought to have done -- I'm stunned that he wouldn't applaud Snowden's effort to change the system.
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