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TIME Magazine’s Michael Grunwald Lets It All Hang Out

TIME Magazine’s Michael Grunwald Lets It All Hang Out

By Dennis Loo (8/19/13)

TIME Magazine’s senior national correspondent Michael Grunwald on Saturday tweeted this:


On October 29, 2010 right-wing journalist Jonah Goldberg who writes for The National Review, is a Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, and a syndicated columnist for papers such as the Chicago Tribune, openly called for Assange’s assassination in the Tribune. As I wrote about this previously citing Goldberg's words first:

I'd like to ask a simple question: Why isn't Julian Assange dead?

In case you didn't know, Assange is the Australian computer programmer behind WikiLeaks, a massive—and massively successful—effort to disclose secret or classified information. In a series of recent dumps, he unveiled thousands upon thousands of classified documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So again, I ask: Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?

It's a serious question.*

The fact that a syndicated American journalist such as Jonah Goldberg, Vice President Biden, and many others who made similar grotesque calls for Assange's assassination, could do so in major American media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune or the pulpit of the land's highest offices and not be condemned for their bloodthirsty foaming at the mouth tells you what kind of times we are now living in: it's apparently all right if fatwas are declared by American pundits and open threats come from the mouths of our leaders, why that's them bein' True Blue American Patriots. But let anyone dare to tell the truth about real crimes, well those whistle-blowing traitors deserve to be tortured and die for that!

Grunwald’s tweet provoked numerous responding tweets, some in support, many in opposition.

After a supporter told him he should delete it because it gave ammunition to Assange supporters, Grunwald tweeted:

“Fair point. I'll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in”

After deleting his offensive call for assassinating Julian Assange, Grunwald further said that his tweet was “dumb.”

I want to talk about a few aspects of this incident.

Let’s begin with this: a major American journalist feels safe in advocating murder in about as public a forum as there is.

What does this tell us about a) the state of mainstream journalism in the U.S. and b) how exemplary the example is that Obama is setting in carrying out these drone killings in the world. Grunwald would not feel safe calling for assassination if his Commander-in-Chief weren’t openly doing it all the time.

Second, after declaring that he can’t wait to see Assange killed with a drone, he says that his “main problem” with his tweet isn’t that he called for murder but that it gives Assange supporters “a nice safe persecution complex.” A persecution complex is what you call it when someone isn’t justified in thinking that there are people out to get them. Grunwald specifically called for Assange’s murder so it isn’t a persecution complex, it’s reality.

Third, after finally deleting his tweet he says that it was “dumb.” That’s like saying what Obama said while a U.S. Senator and commenting on the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The MCA was drafted and passed by Congress after the revelations of Abu Ghraib – i.e., that the U.S. was guilty of torturing people. The MCA was designed to legitimate these horrid practices. Obama voted against the MCA but he did not vote against it for the right reasons. He said at the time that his objection to the MCA was that it was “sloppy” and “dumb,” not that it was wrong to torture people.

It's getting so hard to tell the difference between journalists and killers. It's not so hard to tell the difference between most politicians of both parties and killers: there is no difference.

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