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Time Reporter "Can't Wait" To Justify Drone Strike On Julian Assange 490

Posted by samzenpus
from the should-I-not-have-said-that? dept.
First time accepted submitter Tuck News writes "A reporter for TIME Magazine sparked a Twitter war when he said that he 'can't wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange'. Michael Grunwald deleted his tweet after a follower argued that it would only encourage Assange supporters.Grunwald's employer distanced itself from the tweet, saying 'Michael Grunwald posted an offensive tweet from his personal Twitter account that is in no way representative of TIME's views.'"
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Time Reporter "Can't Wait" To Justify Drone Strike On Julian Assange

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  • How is that legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:36AM (#44599675)

    Justifying a murder, or in this case glorifying murder by hoping to write a justification for it, must be hate speech.

    • I would have thought that would be a sarcastic remark on how the media is behaving!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Stumbles (602007)
      Not really hate speech. Obama has use drone strikes against individuals, so really all the tweet was doing is drawing attention to our president indiscriminately murdering individuals without a warrant or like means. The Internet would be a much better place if we had sarcasm tags. I think that was the reporters intent.
    • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Sunday August 18, 2013 @11:28AM (#44600365) Journal

      First amendment. Any douchebag can say whatever obnoxious things he likes, as long as he's not actually threatening the guy he wishes were dead.

      -jcr

  • Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:43AM (#44599717) Journal

    I hope Michael Grunwald gets to live a world someday where people cheer at firebombing people for non violent crimes they've not even been convicted of. I just hope I don't have to share it with him.

    • Re:Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chihowa (366380) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:23AM (#44599995)

      We're getting there. Really, I think this is the most horrible part of all of the fictional dystopias. All too often, it's not all of humanity stuck in a cage sharing a common plight. The rest of humanity embraces the cage, they make up the cage, and you're all alone in feeling captive.

      The mindless, unfocused anger this guy feels is not uncommon. He is stupid enough to let the people in Washington pick the targets of his rage, which isn't uncommon either. We've been building this world for a long time now.

    • Re:Idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

      by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:28AM (#44600035) Homepage Journal

      It's not even a crime because Assange was never in US jurisdiction, nor is he a US citizen. And if he was recognized as a reporter/editor in the US, he would also be protected.

    • Re:Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by udachny (2454394) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:28AM (#44600039) Journal

      You missed a more salient point. This guy is a "Time Reporter" and he "Can't Wait" for Julian Assange to be murdered by the USA government for REPORTING.

      Gives you a good insight of what the current state of "reporting" is in America. It's all propaganda, there is no reporting in the MSM.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:45AM (#44599727)
    Is anyone really surprised to see one kissing the drone emperors feet? When can a Nobel prize be revoked exactly?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stenvar (2789879)

      Why revoke it? The actions of the Nobel peace prize committee and Obama's subsequent conduct as president are a perfect microcosm of the unbridgeable gap between progressive and left-wing aspirations and reality.

      We should award the Ignoble peace prize to the Nobel peace prize committee for making this point so clearly.

      • Care to back ANY of that up about progressives and reality? Obama is not a progressive. Look at the policies he supports. Look at reality.
        • by chihowa (366380)

          Look at his most vocal supporters during the elections and at the people who still support him now. The ones I know who still have Obama bumper stickers on their car and storm out of the room when we discuss drone bombings and warrantless wiretapping (or start yelling, "But Bush...") self identify as progressives. Who supports Obama now, except progressives? Even though his policies are not at all progressive. Cue the GP's post about the reality gap...

          Or are you going to pull a No True Scotsman here?

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:25AM (#44600013)

      Well, since Kissinger got to keep his, I guess a LOT more is necessary than what Obama did. Le Duc Tho at least had the guts to be honest and say "nope, thanks. I prefer to win".

      And don't make me start on Arafat.

      • The next person that's truly deserving of the Nobel peace prize (in spirit) is when that person declines it in front of the committee. The Nobel peace prize is a sham!

  • can't wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:50AM (#44599769)

    And we can't wait to justify Time firing him. A man having no respect for human live is not appropriate to work as a reporter.

  • by pla (258480) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:56AM (#44599807) Journal
    Wait, what?

    Snowden at least stands accused of treason. Assange faces rape-after-the-fact charges in one of the most misandrous countries on the planet. Where the fuck does a drone strike against the latter even become a topic open for discussion?

    Make your case for Snowden, dude. I happen to consider him nothing short of a hero, but I can certainly appreciate the opposing POV. Assange ranks right up there with the Kardashians for his overall level of ego-vs-the-good-he-could-do.

    Then again - Perhaps I have this backward. Yes, nuke Assange (and Rodman, and the Kardashians, etc) from orbit, so they stop trying to steal the spotlight from real discussions we need to have about security vs privacy vs basic human rights.
    • by Shoten (260439)

      Wait, what?

      Snowden at least stands accused of treason. Assange faces rape-after-the-fact charges in one of the most misandrous countries on the planet. Where the fuck does a drone strike against the latter even become a topic open for discussion?

      Make your case for Snowden, dude. I happen to consider him nothing short of a hero, but I can certainly appreciate the opposing POV. Assange ranks right up there with the Kardashians for his overall level of ego-vs-the-good-he-could-do.

      Then again - Perhaps I have this backward. Yes, nuke Assange (and Rodman, and the Kardashians, etc) from orbit, so they stop trying to steal the spotlight from real discussions we need to have about security vs privacy vs basic human rights.

      Sir (I assume you're male, please forgive me if I guessed wrong), your last line appealed to me so much that I entirely forgot everything you said before it...I think it was the idea of nuking the Kardashians that made me blue screen with glee, especially in the hopes of bringing more real discourse to the public stage again.

      • I think it was the idea of nuking the Kardashians that made me blue screen with glee, especially in the hopes of bringing more real discourse to the public stage again.

        Sounds like you have a Kickstarter project there, dude.

        Personally I'd go for Justin Bieber. But only if no innocent, bystander monkeys are hurt in the process.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dbIII (701233)
      The bullshit questioning rubbish against Assange (no charge had been laid) is because he can't be handily moved into a US military prison without a few silly games being played due to the UK having a thing about the rule of law. It's a bit late to pretend that they are anything other than a pretext.
      The depressing thing is these drone strikes are effectively the same thing as the car bomb in Washington DC that was used by the Chileans to kill off a political enemy some years back. That's what the US can tu
      • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @11:13AM (#44600305) Homepage

        Don't get me wrong, it's a long path and the US has barely set foot on it (..)

        "Barely set foot on it" ?!? The US government is murdering people without due process, trial or anything on a regular basis. Without a declaration of war involved. Violating other countries' sovereignty whenever it's convenient and/or 'doable'. Locking people up indefinitely without those prisoners having access to lawyers, a date for their trial, etc. Mass spying on their own citizens, in violation of its own constitution. Guys heading those 3-letter agencies lying about it to the public - but still stay in office. Silencing critics using a claim of "national security", together with gag orders issued by a secret court, or referring to a secret law.

        Really, the only step missing is a dictator that rigs an election or sets aside democratic institions. Other than that, the US is a long way down the drain already.

    • Assange faces rape-after-the-fact charges in one of the most misandrous countries on the planet. Where the fuck does a drone strike against the latter even become a topic open for discussion?

      Maybe the hypothetical drone strike is suitable punishment for jumping bail in the UK?

    • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Sunday August 18, 2013 @11:33AM (#44600411) Journal

      Snowden at least stands accused of treason.

      Nope. He stands accused of espionage, but that's bullshit, too. Treason has a very specific definition in US law, and whistleblowing isn't making war on the United States.

      -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You've never lived or spent much time in Sweden, have you?

      It's true that relations between the sexes are rather different here than most places I've been. The difference is that women here are brought up to believe that they're fully equal to men, and they're not obligated in any way to do whatever men tell them to do simply because they're women.

      It might not be what you're used to (and it took me a few years to adjust to it, myself), but to dismiss it as "misandry" is a complete mischaracterisation.

  • Who decides? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:05AM (#44599887)

    For every person you hate hard enough to wish a drone strike upon them...
    Someone else in the world hates you just as much...

    I can't wait for a drone strike on michael grunwald. That bastard is an anti american piece of shit.

  • Reprehensible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:06AM (#44599889)

    As a former soldier, I find it ethically and morally reprehensible that Mr. Grunwald would advocate and look forward to someone's death. It's clear he has never taken a life, nor lived through the realities of conflict.

    If anyone else were advocating the violent death of another, it would be a crime; perhaps it's time for some standards to be applied to all - right, left, far left (journalists). This behaviour is disgusting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FreeUser (11483)

      If anyone else were advocating the violent death of another, it would be a crime; perhaps it's time for some standards to be applied to all - right, left, far left (journalists), far right (faux journalists at fox, etc.).

      FTFY

      The media in the US is by and large very conservative. The "liberal" media is a myth, the US media is anything but liberal, particularly the news media.

    • by FunPika (1551249)
      I doubt that will ever happen. The media companies will just sink plenty of money into arguing that such a regulation would be a violation of the First Amendment in court.
    • Re:Reprehensible (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rbgnr111 (324379) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:31PM (#44600707)

      It's his opinion, and as disgusting as it is, he is entitled to it.
      My thoughts are that that is totally wrong, as are a lot of the executions that the US carries out in the name of "terrorism". It all goes against what we claim are fundamental beliefs, that everyone deserves a fair trial. Apparently now though, if they label you a "terrorist" (much like the McCarthy era "communist"), none of that counts.
      Advocating the execution of someone without giving them a fair trial... in my opinion that would make us no better than a lot of the countries that the US condemns for their execution of dissidents and people who fall outside of the party line.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:07AM (#44599903)

    It was not merely offensive. It was incitement to murder.
    By a journalist of an international publication.
    On another journalist.
    Who is being given asylum against prosecution.
    Prosecution aimed at unraveling the sources to articles published by various newspapers and magazines.
    Regardless of whatever stance or determination might be made about Assange, this is a descent into utter evil, when a so-called journalist incites people through a global medium to murder a whistleblower - basically the most courageous journalistic source on the face of the earth. Well, maybe we have a few of these people in existence now.
    Incidentally, the Time readers poll in 2010 voted Assange the Time Person of the Year, though somehow (not enough guts on the editorial board, I guess?) that asshole Zuckerberg got the spot.
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/12/13/julian-assange-readers-choice-for-times-person-of-the-year-2010/ [time.com]
    Of course all of the above still is true even if you don't consider Assange a journalist. Even if you consider him an enemy combatant.
    Journalists have lost all their backbone and principles but this takes it to a new ultra-low.
    The other dumb bit is how Time said it was just an "offensive" tweet apparently.
    If Time and other big media names want to survive in the networked media age, the only thing they have going for them is quality, journalistic integrity, and strong adherence to an ethically unassailable position of trust. Time and other major newspapers and news magazines should take a very strong stance against Grunwald.
    I highly recommend a big lashing out at Time but all its competitors in the marketplace, who can have fun climbing all over themselves to be the first to tar and feather that ugly cretin.

    • by Teun (17872)
      Well spoken AC.

      This type of behaviour is unacceptable for a reporter and journalist as it is for the publication he works for.
    • by jcr (53032)

      . It was incitement to murder.

      Not quite. Wishing someone were dead isn't the same as telling someone to go and kill him.

      -jcr

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:19AM (#44599977)

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/ [umanitoba.ca]

    There it is. The classic, all time, full bore, scientifically confirmed explanation of what authoritarianism is.

    Everyone has a little authoritarian in them, especially at the point of being "fed up" with others, where ever that is. Therefore, everyone needs to check themselves against it. True civil libertarians (non-Ron Paul types) excel us all in this capability and this makes them what they are.

    Maybe there are very extreme circumstances in which some aspects of the civil society's foundations work against civil society. Lincoln thought he found some.

    One thing we know, The doings of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden and Walter Binney and John Kiriakou and Walter Drake and all the rest of the people who acted in accordance with the values all Americans and the Founding Fathers were inculcated with do not represent those circumstances.

    It's amazing to me how unsophisticated the response has been from the administration and by proxy the NSA itself. Presumably they have multiple, best-course-of-action for any eventuality all analyzed beforehand and mapped out. Is THIS response what they have on the books? IS this the best unlimited access to the nations best social and cultural thinkers can produce?

    Maybe Assange acted with disregard to national security, he claims to have tried to vet the documents with the NSA and CIA and State Dept but they refused to engage him the way they would have WaPo or the Times. Who knows? Anyways, there's a lot conceptual space between THAT and being a drone worthy terrorist or a traitor. Ditto on down the line.

    What's the lesson for us in this specific incident? For the sake of your career, don't drink and Twitter ? Read The Authoritarians at least once a year ? Perform a thorough, searching, honest and skeptical self examination of your values and actions at least as often as you get a haircut?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:28AM (#44600033)

    "Let's see how the population reacts, if they just shrug to it, let's see how much else we can get away with. If it causes an outcry, we can always say it was the idea of a solitary lunatic"

    It's not like it would be the first time...

    • by Teun (17872)
      What to expect from a population that took the wholly undemocratic and likely illegal actions from their government lying down?

      At least the people of the Arab world followed the lead of a desperate street merchant and fought oppression during the Arab Spring, even more has to happen before the overdue Western Spring is to come about.

    • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:08PM (#44600589) Homepage Journal

      "Let's see how the population reacts, if they just shrug to it, let's see how much else we can get away with. If it causes an outcry, we can always say it was the idea of a solitary lunatic"

      It's not like it would be the first time...

      Alternatively, it's a well-thought plan to get a new job. Maybe his career has plateaued at the Time, and if he manages to get fired for a controversial opinion he has a bit of publicity when Fox (or some other conservative outfit) hires the journalist whose speech was "censured by the liberal media".

  • So it seems that Time has gone to only hiring minimum wage reporters now, Did they pick this guy from a local restaurant that was their waiter?

  • by JustOK (667959)

    Maybe he meant it in the way so that he'd get paid just to write "It can't be justified."

  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @10:59AM (#44600235) Homepage Journal
    He must be a huge asshole. And a horrible human being. Why isn't he already working for Fox?
  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @11:28AM (#44600367) Homepage

    SWAT team raids for petty offences [nydailynews.com]

    The police holding kids for ransom [newyorker.com]

    I mean F it. Why don't we wear burkas and execute women drivers while we are at it. Shit.

    • by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:40PM (#44600751)

      Here's the thing - we could get a system that doesn't single out any racial or ethnic group for targeting. It could talk nice about equal rights for women and minorities, and even be for equality for GLBT people and so on. But that system could still be fascist. It could create its scapegoats by blaming some sort of made up group (for example, claiming people like Snowden were "Unmutualists", as in the original "The Prisoner" TV show). It could stifle dissent by claiming often enough and loudly enough, that anyone dissenting was supporting terrorists or pedophiles. It could put tremendous numbers of people in prison, and show a strong anti-minority bias, but shift all arguments to the question of whether the opportunities for those minority members not (yet) imprisoned were equal, and talk the talk of supporting equality. It could even allow some criticism by admitting that everything wasn't perfect yet, just so the critic didn't cross the line into saying theings were getting worse. A Fascism that didn't need to follow classic anti-minority lines but created its enemies piecemeal could probably survive better than one that was obviously racist or sexist. One that allowed some dissent within limits could probably survive better than one which quickly brought out the iron boot - and one that shifted the focus of its two minute hates often enough could probably supress dissent even better than one that always brought up Emmanuel Goldstein.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @11:32AM (#44600401)

    When I read the tweet at first, I thought it could be interpreted as sarcasm. As in: "A drone strike is inevitable, and I'm going to have to be one of the guys who justifies it to the public. Great... I can't wait for that."

    But then I read his reason for deleting the tweet (in agreement with tweeter rober1236Jua), and it seems more clear that Michael Grunwald really is looking forward to the murder of Assange because he obviously has a problem with him and his supporters:

    Fair point. I'll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in

    How can you call for someone's murder and simultaneously accuse them of having a persecution complex? It's akin to Orwellian doublethink.

    Grunwald and rober1236Jua are both sickening.

  • Next thing you know, he will volunteer as a human bomb to punish Assange, I bet.
  • by Carnivore24 (467239) <briansho&comcast,net> on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:18PM (#44600635)
    I stopped taking Time magazine seriously when they had Ben Bernanke as Person of the Year.
  • by Hartree (191324) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @01:16PM (#44600987)

    This sounds a bit like some reporter saying "Dammit, it's too boring around here today. I wish there was a grisly fatal multicar pileup so I could write something about it."

    Then again, there's the old Hollywood idea that any hype is good hype for a career. Grunwald is certainly getting discussed more now than before this.

  • by FSWKU (551325) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @01:18PM (#44600997)
    I'd love to see this, but not because I wish any harm on Assange (even though I personally think he's a douchebag of the highest order, that's not an offense worthy of capital punishment). No, I'd love to see the boot-lickers TRY to justify the unsanctioned murder of a foreign national on third-party soil. They would be so torn between their supposed progressive ideal of "we shouldn't police the world" and their unabashed devotion to Dear Leader that their heads would probably explode from the contradiction. I honestly don't think they'd know which way to spin it, and would end up just mumbling on air while looking like a deer in headlights.

    In the end, they'd still try to justify it because they know it could be the rallying cry for the masses FINALLY waking up and booting every single one of these clowns out of office. If that happens, the media loses their biggest ally and would have to go back to actual journalism instead of repeating whatever the White House Press Office gives them...

    Or maybe we'll just end up with more reality-tv tripe and things will continue on. Probably this, but I can dream, can't I?
  • by The Second Horseman (121958) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @02:11PM (#44601291)

    There's a very short distance between what he's advocating and the government-sanctioned murder of journalists, dissidents, conscientious objectors and whistleblowers.

    Given that the DOJ is now going against companies that give classes in evading polygraph tests, I can only imagine the number of other things that will be made illegal over the next decade to serve the security state. And this guy seems to be a cheerleader for it.

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