Cliff Kincaid
Politico highlights journalism's demise
By Cliff Kincaid
August 7, 2014

A young reporter at the publication Politico contacted controversial writer Glenn Greenwald, in a successful effort to shower some unexpected praise on Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

The result, according to Politico media reporter Hadas Gold, is "high praise" for Kelly from a writer whose recent specialty is attacking America and Israel for monitoring and neutralizing Islamic terrorist groups.

Greenwald, a former gay pornography executive and close associate of NSA defector Edward Snowden, has somehow become the "go-to" guy in the journalism business when a comment is needed on how well a particular news personality is doing.

He "has plenty of complimentary things to say about how the Fox prime-time host [Kelly] conducts herself on air," Gold said.

Gold said that Kelly, who recently interviewed former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, treating him "with respect," received "high praise" from Greenwald. The mouthpiece for Edward Snowden's stolen classified documents said Kelly "has a lower tolerance for being fed incoherent tripe from her own side than the average cable news TV host."

I wouldn't blame Kelly for responding to this "praise" with "Thanks, but no thanks."

This false praise masquerading as journalism was included in a story headlined, "Megyn Kelly: Secret of her success."

Politico is a publication that aims to be on the cutting edge of political journalism. It is distributed mostly free of charge in the nation's capital.

TV producer Jerry Kenney says it looks like Politico is angling for some face time for its correspondents on "The Kelly File" and other Fox News shows. Politico's favorite cable channel, the partisan-Democrat MSNBC, doesn't have very good ratings.

It's true that one way to get on a show like that is to compliment the host. But in this case, the "compliments" came from somebody whose vitriol for Israel has recently been exposed for all to see.

Unfortunately, such a story is what passes for media coverage at Politico. It is especially sad in this case, since Hadas Gold's bio discloses that she was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and should have some personal understanding from her family, friends, and relatives of the impact of the vicious anti-Israel views expressed by Greenwald and his ilk.

If Greenwald had his way, Israel would back down from defending its population against Hamas-staged rocket attacks.

Yet, Gold refers to Greenwald as "the crusading privacy journalist."

Despite his opposition to the NSA and its surveillance programs, Greenwald's main concern isn't privacy. He is opposed to the U.S. and Israel conducting surveillance of their enemies, finding out where they are and what terrorist acts they are planning. Like Snowden, he could have been charged with espionage for publicizing classified documents stolen from the NSA.

Nevertheless, Politico treats Greenwald with deference and respect.

As we have discussed in perhaps a dozen different stories, Greenwald is not a journalist, but a political extremist who speaks before Islamist and Marxist groups. His latest "scoops" concerned how the NSA is supposedly improperly monitoring the activities of Islamic activists and terrorists. He once said 9/11 was "minimal in scope" compared to the violence the U.S. inflicted on the rest of the world.

But Hadas Gold somehow missed all of this and made him into the arbiter of what is acceptable journalism.

According to her résumé, Gold has a B.A. Journalism and Mass Communications degree from George Washington University (GWU), and graduated summa cum laude (GPA 3.86), with special honors in journalism. This is pretty darn impressive.

But a puff piece on Megyn Kelly that uses a character reference of dubious validity is not impressive.

It's apparently supposed to be a man-bites-dog story. It resulted in an open wound.

Gold's résumé says she was an Editorial Intern at, where she engaged in "fact finding" and writing the "Obameter" and "Truth-o-meter" items for the website.

What about a "Greenwald-o-meter?"

Truthful coverage would reveal that when Greenwald addressed several Marxist-Leninist conferences over the last few years, people in attendance chanted "Palestine will be free" and "Wars of occupation will never bring liberation."

It sounds like a pro-Hamas kind of group. Yet this is where Greenwald spends some of his time.

Hadas Gold was supposed to learn journalism in school. But she was duped as part of a hate crime hoax on the GWU campus. Indeed, she was one of the young reporters at the GWU Hatchet, the student paper, who reported on swastikas being found on the campus back in 2007, creating a major crisis. The FBI was called in to investigate.

The perpetrator turned out to be the alleged victim. It was GWU student reporter Sarah Marshak, who wrote for the Hatchet. In other words, she was a budding journalist herself. The police – not the media – discovered her identity.

This was a lesson for all journalists, young and old. Facts do matter.

When it comes to Glenn Greenwald, it is way past time for some facts.

A search of Politico's archives found the following description of Greenwald and his work:
  • "...journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that the U.S. government has tapped the email of five prominent Muslim American activists and scholars." Story by Byron Tau, July 14, 2014.
First of all, the idea of Greenwald being a "journalist" is debatable. When he spoke before the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is tied to Hamas, he was identified by CAIR itself as a political commentator, lawyer, and columnist. The term "journalist" implies some training in the profession. He was trained as a lawyer. He once worked in the gay pornography business. Somehow, this fact gets omitted from sympathetic media coverage of his background.

Also note that the "activists and scholars" in the Politico story turned out to be linked to pro-terrorist groups and causes.

Some other Politico descriptions of Greenwald:
  • "Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian columnist who was on the receiving end of Snowden's leaks." Story by – you guessed it – Hadas Gold.

  • "Glenn Greenwald, one of the primary recipients and publishers of Snowden's NSA leaks." Story again by, you guessed it – Hadas Gold.
A pattern seems to be developing here. It's one of refusing to tell the truth about Greenwald's bias and involvement with Islamist and Marxist groups, not to mention his Snowden link that ties him directly to Moscow and espionage activity.

The only possible exception to this pattern at Politico was a story about Snowden's media associates being nominated for Pulitzer Prizes that quoted a few critical comments from Accuracy in Media.

But as we pointed out in our own story on this controversy, it was slanted in favor of giving the awards. The Politico story by Dylan Byers challenged the Pulitzer Board to honor Snowden's collaborators, saying, " pass on the NSA story would be to risk giving the appearance of timidity, siding with the government over the journalists who are trying to hold it accountable and ignoring the most significant disclosure of state secrets in recent memory."

The only timidity lies with the reporters at Politico who won't report the evidence about the anti-American agenda driving Greenwald's "journalism."

Now we see the bias reaching such absurd heights as to cite Greenwald in a story that is supposed to constitute "high praise" for a Fox News host.

This is not journalism. It is a strange form of feature writing designed to grab your attention with big names and eyebrow-raising claims.

The need for higher standards in the journalism profession is demonstrated every day in Politico. The publication is worth reading for that lesson alone.

I'm glad they send it to me free. I wouldn't pay for it.

© Cliff Kincaid


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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