Are we the TMZ Generation?

In my last post, I mentioned that the various arms of American media had begun their predictable trek down the path of low-brow, character assassination “journalism” which typifies every story that ruffles the feathers of those in the echelons of power. In one sense, it served as the impetus for that particular post, but in light of this Guardian articleby Glenn Greenwald, I think the subject (ie: smear campaigns) deserves a little more commentary.

In the article, Greenwald lets us know that various sources have contacted him since he broke his historic story in hopes to get information from him about ridiculous irrelevancies in Greenwald’s past. I won’t quote them here because they are really are irrelevant and don’t deserve to be part of the national discussion.

Of course, Greenwald mentioned, or at least implied, from the outset that this was all to be expected. De-emphasis of the groundbreaking NSA scandal is de facto protocol on the part of the establishment-media-complex. Greenwald, to his credit, has shown commendable tenacity in calling out each “journalist” which tries to snake their way down that road in the interviews he has had with them.

While the character attacks have tended to focus on Snowden rather than Greenwald, it was only a matter of time before this was no longer the case. Greenwald is an interesting character and, love him or hate him, has shown comendable integrity in his career as a lawyer and a journalist. Buzzfeed recently posted a short biographical article which I encourage everyone to read.

Yet, whether Greenwald’s past was littered with examples of impossible perfection or despicable skeletons, this would make absolutely zero difference in regards to the validity of the evidence leaked to him by Edward Snowden. The NSA has still been spying on American citizens and it is still a mockery of American principles and justice. The evidence for this is not in question and, honestly, that isn’t the point. What is being attempted is not an attempt to uncover further truths about the bastardization of America’s ideals of liberty, but, instead, a magic trick. Misdirection is the name of the game and it, in this case, the game is damage control on the part of the intelligence community, the Obama administration, and the various media outlets which stake their existence in protecting the halls of power.

What is most disappointing about this aspect of the overall NSA story, though, is that these “journalists” only go down the road of personal smears because it works. To borrow a term from a friend of mine, it represents the “Kardashianization” our culture. Gossip and personality are more interesting — important even — to the average person up to the point that it has the potential to relegate the historically significant truths brought to light by Snowden and Greenwald out of the public forum and replace it with irrelevant, TMZ level dribble.

Americans should be upset that the NSA is spying on them, but they should be as equally upset that they have allowed themselves to be typified as “People Magazine/Us Weekly” cattle who don’t care about the NSA story in the first place.

We have to ask ourselves, do we want to be remembered as the TMZ Generation? Or do we want to be remembered as the generation that saved this country?

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