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June 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

A question asked by NBC’s David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press has itself raised questions about Gregory’s press-vs-government stance. Confronting Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who published classified information provided to him by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Gregory asked, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” In reply, Greenwald pointed out that before the Snowden affair became public, there had been an uproar over the government’s accessing phone records of the Associated Press and the email of a Fox News reporter. “If you want to embrace that theory,” Greenwald told Gregory, “it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal. And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States.” Even while the show was still airing, Greenwald tweeted, “Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?” Later, Gregory commented that Greenwald had not responded to his question but had attacked him for raising it. “And that’s part of the tactics of the debate here when, in fact, lawmakers have questioned him. There’s a question about his role in this, The Guardian’s role in all of this. It is actually part of the debate, rather than going after the questioner, he could take on the issues.” However, in today’s (Monday) Washington Post, columnist Erik Wemple wrote that by front-loading his question with the words, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden,” he was in effect accusing Greenwald of a crime. The clause, he said, was charged with “assumption, accusation, baselessness and recklessness.”