The Washington Post last Sunday ran an editorial demanding that the heroic Edward Snowden be repatriated to the US, and not be issued a presidential pardon. The Post went on to denounce Snowden stating that, if he really believed in the justice of his cause, he would be willing to go to prison for his beliefs. And, of course, that Snowden has no credibility "as an avatar of freedom for seeking asylum in Vladimir Putin's Russia."
The "Editors"---who are actually neocons Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl---asserted that Snowden belonged in jail for the damage he allegedly did to national security. These same editors however had no qualms about the Post publishing Snowden's revelations and then accepting a Pulitzer Prize for it. The Post's CEO, Marty Baron said 2014 when awarded the prize:
"Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA's surveillance network was indeed a public service. In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight."
In other words, when The Post could cash in on the Snowden revelations, he was a whistleblower doing a public service. Now that Russia-bashing is where the money's at, Baron and the Smart Boys feel safe throwing Snowden under the bus. And, as we've pointed out here, Baron's boss Jeff Bezos has lucrative government contracts in intelligence, foreign affairs, and defense; so it is unsurprising that his henchmen Hiatt and Diehl would favor practically every interventionist policy the Beltway proposes. Hilary Clinton, who awarded Bezos a $16.5 million State Department contract, has proposed censoring Russian media or setting up agencies to counter it. No doubt Bezos would be among the beneficiaries of a such a policy.
While it's probably no surprise to anyone that men like Bezos, Baron, Hiatt or Diehl would stoop to this shameful level of duplicity; the real problem with the Post editorial was addressed by British journalist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald also publishes Snowden's material:
"In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in US media history: the first-ever paper to editorialize explicitly for the criminal prosecution of its own source."
Greenwald was absolutely correct here pointing out this extremely dangerous precedent. The protection of media sources is a longstanding tradition upon which a free press needs to function. The purpose behind protecting media sources is obvious. If the media is to safeguard the public by passing on information, then a source must be safe from the retaliation from the corrupt elements it is exposing. By betraying Snowden, the Post has established that the media considers its sources as essentially expendable.
We have spoken before about the dangerous tendencies in the media to excuse outright demagoguery as informative not prescriptive, in that it incites antisocial behaviors then disclaims responsibility for them. The Washington Post has taken this already-low media standard and dropped it even further. They willingly published and profited off of a credible source, then call his revelations a crime and disavow any complicity in it.
The leadership of the Washington Post can hide behind all the phony prizes and awards they want to, but at the end of the day, Edward Snowden is still a hero while Bezos, Baron, Hiatt, and Diehl are still a collection of degenerates. Yet they are what passes for a Cultural Elite in Postmodern America, while men like Snowden are forced into exile.