Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story of Edward Snowden's National Security Agency document leaks, denied claims Thursday that he has become a spokesman for Snowden.
Appearing on MSNBC,
he said he is no different from the left-of-center cable channel that he said heavily promotes the agenda of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
"Every journalist has an agenda," he said to MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker. "We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean that the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists. They are."
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Welker tried to steer the conversation away from MSNBC, eventually saying that not everyone on the station defends Obama and Democrats "24 hours a day."
Greenwald admitted that not all do.
Greenwald said he has made it clear that he thinks Snowden's actions in exposing data collection on americans by the National Security Agency were "admirable and heroic."
"As a journalist I am very grateful when people sacrifice their own interests to come forward and bring transparency to the United States government, that to me is what journalism is about and we need a lot of that in the United States. So I absolutely do defend what Edward Snowden does, and I don’t pretend otherwise."
He said the ultimate test of a journalist is whether what they publish is reliable and accurate. He noted that not one of his stories on Snowden has been challenged on accuracy or has had to be corrected.
"I don’t make any bones about the fact that I consider what Edward Snowden did to be quite heroic, just like I consider what Chelsea Manning did to be quite heroic and Daniel Ellsberg, who's one of my political heroes," Greenwald said.
Private Bradley Manning, who has said he now prefers to be called Chelsea, leaked the largest amount of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers on Vietnam activities to The New York Times in 1971.
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