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John C. Dvorak: On Michael Grunwald’s Tweeting for Murder, Julian Assange

aNewDomain.net — Using a social network of any sort will bite you in the ass if you don’t stop and think.

Here is Time Magazine senior national correspondent and former Washington Post congressional correspondent Michael Grunwald, tweeting for the death of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange because he “can’t wait to write the defense” of the assassination. Michael Grunwald needs his head examined.

michaelgrunwaldtweet

This self-centered Tweet is dangerously cavalier about murdering Assange, who has done nothing to harm Grunwald and arguably not even the United States, for that matter.

The thought that he, Grunwald, can actually write the defense and says he wants to write the defense is outrageously arrogant if not macabre and perverted.

He apparently “knows” why it is good to “kill” Assange.

And then he brags he is going to tell us all the good reasons for this extra-judicial assassination of this horrible guy Assange.

None of this would have bothered me because Grunwald seemed to have come to his senses and quickly apologized. But I was wrong. He did not quickly apologize.

I learned this after I read the excellent piece by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic titled The Ideology Behind Michael Grunwalds’s Repugnant Assange Tweet.

In this piece, which everyone should read, he points out that Grunwald did not apologize at first but rationalized the Tweet with an even more snide and condescending follow up Tweet — and only after a few barbs were thrown at him.

It read:

Thanks for your input, Don’t Tread on Me crowd. Here’s a sense of why I disagree with you.”

That was a link to one of his own articles in Time  — which Friedersdorf dissected and tore apart. Grunwald linked to the viewpoint section of Time Magazine, his employer, which now claims Grunwald’s remarks don’t reflect Time’s opinions.

So here he is all-in with the government and the “whatever they say goes” attitude. Salute them while you are at it, Mike.

It’s the same sort of screed you hear from die-hard Obama supporters who will never find fault with him no matter what he does. It’s all good. The chorus goes: “NRA is bad. ACLU is bad. Drones will save us. Killing Americans without a trial by the government is needed to protect us. The terrorists all want to kill us and will kill us all if we don’t let the government spy, etcetera.”

To me this is weird stuff coming from an employee of a publication like Time Magazine and although Grunwald says he was tweeting as a free-thinker, it is interesting that his self-defense was a piece in Time Magazine.

But apparently this naïve defensive Tweet just set everyone off, and the deluge of bitching came in and now the big talker scampered off, erased his Tweets and humbly apologized.

What bullshit.

If he killed the Tweet right off and said something like, “Sorry, I was trying to be funny,” or any sort of lame retort, it would have passed. But it was the defense that made this impossible. If he actually had the courage of his convictions, as Assange actually has, then Grunwald would have taken on the crowd and defended himself to the end like an honest man.

If killing Assange was what he wants and how he felt, then let’s hear more, Grunwald.

Grunwald probably would have gotten a book deal if he stayed the course and kept promoting the “Kill Assange, the bastard” meme.

But like all the people who kowtow to Big Government and serve the machine like this, there is no actual conviction or backbone here. It’s all cheap shots and scampering.

This just makes things worse, generally speaking, because journalists in particular will pile on fallen prey and kick and kick. It is just the way it is.

But let’s get to the root of this. What journalist in their right mind would want any harm to come to Julian Assange, Wikileaks, NSA PRISM leaker Edward Snowden, or The Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who unleashed the Snowden leaks?

Seriously?

Writers are always looking for interesting material, and where do you find it in a closed-mouthed don’t-talk-to-the-press media landscape?

And saying that there are National Security issues is obvious bullcrap and anyone with common sense knows it.

These surveillance types just provide us a framework of humiliation for public officials who are essentially douchebags that need to be called out. They serve their own interests and it becomes apparent when the light of day is shed on these stories.

So Grunwald is on the side of shutting down these sources of wild and fascinating inside information.

Why?

Who does he really work for? He does not work for the curious reader, that much is for sure.

And you now have to wonder exactly what is the milieu that allowed him to make the Tweet in the first place. Who?

The State Department? The CIA? The NSA?

The call for the destruction of these whistle blowers and these leaker systems is idiotic thinking for any sort of writer.

Some intelligence agency? How can you casually reference the murder of Assange and then do a follow-up Tweet clueless to the obvious repercussions? You had to think it was okay to begin with …

For aNewDomain.net, I’m John C. Dvorak.

John C. Dvorak is a long time and award-winning author, broadcaster, writer, thinker and tech columnist . And he is co-founder with Gina Smith and Jerry Pournelle of aNewDomain.net. Follow him @theRealDvorak. He writes Tech Stock Corner for aNewDomain.

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  • davidm

    Excellent insight!

  • hendog

    This is on the money. What journalist would take issue with Assange, much less eagerly anticipate a “drone assassination?” Good question at the end — who does Grunwald really work for. Probably he reports straight to Bethesda.

  • Air_Cav

    Another “journalist” who feel outraged.

    Why do you feel he is kowtowing to Big Government? He may or may not agree with the position of the Government (chose your poison as to which one) but because he isn’t a fan of Assange (who is a hapless twit)

    I don’t want to see Assange taken out by a drone and if someone wanted to it would have occurred but to get tried in Sweden and then if possible indicted in the US. Let him go to trial and present his case

    I do get tired of journalist sanctimony, it is almsot as annoying as Assange. Grunwald has it, Dvorak has it, spare us. Keep writing about Microsoft

  • gina

    Anyj journalist arguing for limiting of free information is suspect. period.

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