'Useful Idiots': Glenn Greenwald on 2020 Election, Leaving Intercept - Rolling Stone
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‘Useful Idiots’: Glenn Greenwald on Lessons from the Election, Leaving the Intercept and More

Plus, hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper ponder the future of both parties after a tightly contested result

In the latest socially distanced episode of our Useful Idiots podcast, hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper are joined by none other than newly-freelance journalist Glenn Greenwald. [Editor’s note: This episode was taped on November 5th, the Thursday after Election Night.]

Matt and Katie take a deep dive into how some of the early results will speak to the future of both parties, assuming there is a Joe Biden victory over President Donald Trump.

“The Democratic Party is going to take this as a validation of all of the tactics of the last four years, which we spent a lot of time chronicling, that really were terribly ineffective,” says Matt. “They’re going to prolong their own agony in terms of the future, and the necessity of evolving.”

“People seem to be totally convinced that the way you fight right-wing cooptation of populism,” argues Katie, “is with middle-of-the-road stuff.”

Our hosts are then joined from Brazil by friend of the show Glenn Greenwald, who recently left his position at The Intercept, an outlet he co-founded. They discuss the process of counting votes in the United States (and why this stage of the election is so tedious), any potential reflection by the Democrats in the face of a non-rebuke of Trumpism, exit polls, shifting views for non-white and LGBTQ voters, and the American working class.

On the possibility of Democrats reflecting on their failings in the 2020 election, Greenwald says there’s not much chance after the lack of it following 2016. “It basically couldn’t have been worse for the Democrats again — for the second straight national election — and if you judge how the Democrats do things, it’s they search around to blame everybody else except themselves,” Greenwald says. “No, I don’t think there’s going to be any self-critique at all.”

Lastly, this conversation would not be complete without an in-depth discussion of Greenwald from The Intercept, and how newsrooms could possibly adapt to allow for a wider scope of viewpoints.

“I don’t want to zero in on The Intercept — it’s not like there were unique problems going on there — it just had become part of these broader media diseases,” Greenwald explains.


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