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CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism


CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism

Glenn Greenwald

CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology.


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What had been the military industrial complex has merged with the media to form a virtually airtight military-media industrial complex.

Its chief commandment = Make War.

It's second commandment is = Control the Narrative and allow for no alternatives to the Official State-Sanctioned Story, a/k/a news.

It's third commandment = Never apologize

It's fourth commandment = demonize opponents and lionize those who repeat the Talking Points they're tasked with repeating

It's fifth commandment = exalt soldiers and glorify acts of war through films while simultaneously mocking, discrediting, shaming, and rendering effeminate--any and all peace proponents

It's sixth commandment = No law shall stand above (or mock) that of "Might Makes Right."

It's 7th commandment = Stick to absolute black-white, "with us or against us" frames

It's 8th commandment = Accuse the designated "enemy" of using the very tactics being used on said entity

It's ninth commandment = fealty to 'god' immunizes any and all from the original First commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill

Its tenth commandment = Spread terror as a pretext for tightening the grip on citizens and in the process, eviscerating the long record of Human Rights, Legally-enshrined Civil Liberties, and all basic decencies that make for the actual practice of Justice.

In short, Mars rules!


C'mon Glen ! She didn't grovel. They had her with the editorializing if they wanted to. It is a job and though we and the world might agree with her and in fact history might agree with her... her bosses didn't. A job is a job and the game is rigged.

I applaud her decency but give her a break. This is hardly all that big an issue ... at least not the way you are characterizing it. Talk about hyperbole! How about a little less hysteria about it Glen? The issue of that brief tweet is not the refugee issue. They are two different things and besides her heart was in the right place originally, so cut her a little slack. Sheesh!


"CNN is a joke."

Everyone, it was wrong for me to editorialize. My post was inappropriate and disrespectful. What i should have written is "Fuck CNN."


Fair enough but then they win don't they? One less person with a conscience in the job. We have plenty of insensitive hacks who are oblivious to the plight of others.

I am not agreeing with her bosses, I am criticizing Glen for characterizing her retraction as groveling. Give me a break! Like this was so earth shaking? Nonsense.

You know the quote is superbly elegant and quite notable in scope. I really admire it and maybe I am biased but I accord her a bit of slack because brief as it was, it went straight to the mark! Glen wants others to be martyrs but what good would her losing her job do and for such an issue. This is not earth shaking stuff. It was an eloquent and elegant line that some creep noticed stuck in the mind.

It was in fact an editorial cartoon in words... I feel bad that she was forced to apologize but Glen didn't have to make it worse.

She has a barbed pen... what good would it do to have it completely silenced?


Ordinarily I would agree with punishing a reporter for publicly stating a political opinion, but in this case Greenwald is correct -- the hypocrisy of CNN and the other corporate media outlets is just appalling -- and very frightening. What's also very scary is that the hysterical terrorism coverage obviously is coordinated by some external entity, and that's not supposed to happen in America. It's ridiculous to think that all the top news directors of all the various TV and radio networks and big papers would suddenly decide to go to 24-hour coverage in the same breathless tone while they brought on the same jingoistic talking heads again and again. This "news coverage" has propaganda written all over it, and that should make Americans boiling mad. What we're seeing in America is nothing less than a full takeover of our government and society by corporate fascists -- people who get very rich and very powerful by using tax dollars to fight wars that never end (largely because they won't allow them to end). Too bad -- America had great potential as a democratic nation, but all that ended on 9-11-2001.


Americons are getting the camps ready for the Muslims. Gitmo is not big enough.


Yeah well have some perspective. What is the issue here? This isn't Wikileaks stuff now is it? It is a tweet. I am seeing more and more about how people function from the expectation that they will lose and have lost so that the only thing left is to make a symbolic stand.

I think that life is a matter of picking your battles and were the story life altering rather than merely a tiny bit of editorializing then I'd agree. This is not something to lose a job over and if you think it is then you are not thinking clearly.

If everyone did as you say then all the news media jobs will be filled by sycophantic hacks who will never try to push the envelope or take a risk. I'd rather have someone who can see truth in the job rather than have someone who knowingly avoids the truth and slavishly writes only what is expected.

So she had to backtrack a bit. It doesn't mean she's become Dick Cheney because she was forced to apologize. She has a barbed pen and a poetic eye. I'd like to see more of it in the future. Glen went ballistic for no reason. Yes we all know what he has done in his life ... but it wasn't done over something so small as this brief tweet either.


"I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air."

I suspect Ms. Labott's tweet was just the catalyst for Mr. Greenwald's piece. Regardless of how one feels about him, and I happen to hold him in high regard, Mr. Greenwald is a former media insider. When he states the above I will take him at his word. I think "...at every cable network..." is the important phrase. Once the media bosses take this collective path, it is hard not to believe a firm narrative is in effect.
Oh, objectivity, that's right, silly me.


Reporters are expected to just report facts and avoid opinion. Only editors are allowed to express opinions.


He just seemed to be making it a big issue out of a tiny tweet. This isn't all that critical as a rights issue. I can agree with his deploring the whole thing but I took issue with his insulting the reporter over it. Some things are not worth dying over (so to speak). Okay she had to backtrack but enough with insulting her over it. Does he think everybody should be extremist minded over even the smallest things? I'm just saying that he didn't need to insult her. CNN deserved the insults.


No profit in principle


So you think such conditions of employment - whereby you bosses own you mind even off teh job, is "just the way things are"???H er apology was an exhibit of utter spinelessness. You are a contemptible clueless liberal.


Yeah thats fine and you are an epic unto yourself. I just think that the extremity of the name calling of you and Greenwald are over the top. What are you going on about?


The point is that she would have not gotten in any trouble at all had she tweeted approval of the congressional vote - and the idea "unbiased' reporting does not exist. CNN promotes - with a vengeance - a viewpoint - the "official" viewpoint of corporations and the government that serves them. Did you look up the instances of CNN reporting that Greenwald mentioned?

Here is CNN "objectively" savaging and insulting a prominent Muslim activist in Paris. It is despicable!


Ms Labotte should just quit her job and take back her apology. She should apologize for apologizing. Rick Sanchez was a reporter fired from CNN for complaining about pro Israeli bias in the media. AIPAC has too much control of both the liberal and conservative mainstream media.


I think that all ended in Dallas in November 1963.


You say that they had her with the editorializing if they wanted to, and then you completely ignore the whole point of Glenn's article as he points out it is NOT the issue of editorializing that threatened her job but rather the content of such.

For the record. I'm commenting in an open forum with my own viewpoint. I seek not to misconstrue your intent, or misrepresent what you have said. I am not stalking you or harassing you. My intent is to add something to this discussion as is my prerogative according to the community standards at CD, and to do such without engaging in personal attack


It is you who are making the big issue.