Why would Glenn Greenwald, a lawyer with years of experience, leave evidence around that implicates himself in first degree hackery — yet again?
Tow days ago, Greenwald introduced on Twitter a piece for his sub-sub-substack, Outside Voices, by right-wing law-and-order nutjob Ralph Cipriano, widely known as a “Larry Sandusky truther.” I’m excited to publish the old-school muckraking city reporter Ralph Cipriano,” sub-Greenwald wrote in flogging (if that’s the right word?) Cipriano’s story.
While telling us in an editor’s note that Philly’s election for district attorney was coming up in just two days after the May 16 publication of this piece — which means today — it doesn’t tell us WHY this piece focuses on Krasner. Nor does it explain WHY the story just HAD to be published right before the election, though one could deduce that sub-Greenwald was trying to influence the outcome.
Greenwald, a former lawyer with enough chutzpah, or enough Nixonian repugnance, that he defended Nazi Matt Hale PRO BONO — and unsuccessfully; his white supremacist client was convicted and is serving a 40-year term — knows common legal phrases. One is, “Goes to motive, your honor.”
“Cipriano has been writing anti-Krasner diatribes since Krasner took office,” Ben Spielberg has written, also on Greenwald’s sub-sub-substack.
There’s a second legal phrase that Greenwald knows well. “Goes to character, your honor.”
Good Brazilian 0.1 percenter Greenwald also said that this just HAPPENED to be the first piece he was publishing by freelancers at his new sub-sub-substack: “I’m also excited about the success of the launch of our freelance program, “Outside Voices,” where we’re publishing high-quality reporting from independent freelance journalists, paying very competitive rates.”
Greenwald also doesn’t tell us what “very competitive rates” are. However, given that he’s one of a handful of writers, mostly conservatives or crypto-conservatives like Greenwald, whom substack paid a fortune upfront, he can surely afford it.
Again, “Goes to motive, your honor.”
“Goes to character, your honor.”
Beyond what Spielberg said, there’s actual “facts in evidence, your honor.”
First, in social science as well as all “hard” science: Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
Second, per this chart, partially seen below.
Philly changed mayors two year before Krasner took office in 2018. The homicide rate started up before Krasner took office, under Mayor James Kenney. In addition, with a slightly smaller population, Philly had more murders per year for seven straight years under “tough on crime” Mayor Ed Rendell than in any year other than 2020 under Krasner. (Incidentally, Rendell endorsed Krasner’s primary opponent, Carlos Vega, in today’s primary.
Related to the 2020 spike, and back to the first point I make: Spielberg notes that COVID-related stresses were partially the cause of that. In fact, Greenwald blamed COVID stresses, rather than being a Brazilian 0.1 percenter, for the robbery of his and David Miranda’s house.
“Goes to motive, your honor,” and that motive either plays both ways or it plays neither.
Third, all one needs to refute Greenwald is one strong counterexample. And, from Texas, I have it. Houston’s murder rate surged last year, and NOBODY who knows anything about this matter has called Harris County DA Kim Ogg a “progressive prosecutor.” In fact, Texas criminal justice reform blogger Scott Henson, at Grits for Breakast, shows Ogg is an opponent of bail reform — and much more.
So, what IS Greenwald’s motive besides commissioning a hit job on Krasner?
Ken Silverstein points out that Greenwald is not a real journalist. In the world of real journalism, this is like a managing editor actively soliciting pieces that he or she knows in advance will have a certain point of view. And, per what Spielberg says about Cipriano, and the familiarity with which Greenwald introduces the piece and the person, it’s quite likely Glenn knew what he was buying.
So, in all likelihood, that IS Greenwald’s motive. [Editor’s note, KS: That was partly my motive in commissioning this piece, too, but trashing Greenwald is far more honorable than trashing Krasner.]
What more, then? Occam’s Razor, social sciences version, says that with all else being equal, we should accept the easiest theory that fits the facts.
That would be that Greenwald doesn’t really care about prosecutorial reform. A sub-theory would be that he doesn’t care to invest the time to find out the shades of gray involved with particular reform district attorneys, like Krasner, or San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin, or a semi-reformer like Dallas’ John Creuzot. Henson had the basics on the latter’s work two years ago.
Nope, the motive is doing a hit job for a hit job’s sake. [Editor’s note, KS: I wouldn’t do that, I like hit jobs but they need to be true, accurate, and important, like my story about Greenwald yesterday. I wouldn’t classify this piece you’re reading as a hit job because it’s actually pretty nuanced, at least compared to what I wrote yesterday, but also quoting Noam Chomsky bringing Greenwald down a notch or two or ten.]
As for the character of “Goes to character”:
Sure, Greenwald gave Spielberg a platform to respond — a whole day after Cipriano’s piece in its original paywalled version. Then he simultaneously un-paywalled Cipriano.
Even with the number of fanbois Greenwald has, he was probably getting flamed too hard and realized he needed some damage control.
So, with publishing Spielberg he can now claim he was merely “asking questions,” or something to that effect, just like his good socialist friend Swanson Tucker Carlson does.
[Editor’s note, KS: The great criminal justice reporter Tana Ganeva wrote to me in a Facebook remark yesterday (before Greenwald un-paywalled the two stories), in describing the Cipriano piece: “GG just published a guy blaming spike in violent crime to the three DAs in the country who don’t try to put everyone in prison forever. Then he put this very important story about violent crime in poor neighborhoods behind a paywall so people would have to pay to hate read it, and then pounced on critics who were responding to the trolly headline and deck.”
That’s increasingly typical behavior by a man who appears to be seeking the title of sub-Area Leader of substack, and head up its legions of right-wing cranks, nitwits and white Supremacists.]
Bonus: Meet Greenwald’s Nazi pal Weev.