Top TIME Journalist Calls For Drone Killing Of Assange
Introductory comment by Kevin Zeese
Below is an RT report on the controversy around a since deleted tweet by TIME Magazine senior national correspondent, Michael Grunwald, calling for killing Assange with a drone. Here’s the tweet that started the controversy and that was erased:
Huffington Post reported that “Grunwald’s employer distanced itself from the substance of his tweet. ‘Michael Grunwald posted an offensive tweet from his personal Twitter account that is in no way representative of TIME’s views,’ a TIME spokesperson said. ‘He regrets having tweeted it, and he removed it from his feed.'” This is an insufficient response from TIME, as the judgment of its senior national correspondent is now in question and the credibility of TIME is now at stake.
What caused Grunwald to write such a tweet? Obviously, it was a very bad joke but what is behind it? Is Grunwald jealous of Assange? Does he think Assange is a threat to the nation?
It is worth noting that Grunwald is a strong defender of drones and even killing of Americans with the bombs. He has been a defender of drones and a critic of those who oppose them. He wrote in TIME in April as part of a criticism of Senator Rand Paul opposition to drone killings, defending the government’s efforts to fight terrorism:
. . . we celebrate our first responders, our soldiers, our law enforcers. They’re from the government, and they’re here to help. We know our government is fallible, because it’s made up of people, but we still count on it to protect us from terrorists, from psychos with guns, from exploding factories. We also need it to protect us from floods and wildfires, from financial meltdowns and climate change. We can’t do that kind of thing ourselves.
Huffington Post also posted a tweet that where Grunwald says he doesn’t understand why people were concerned about the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, by drone strike in Yemen.
He should be forced to resign or fired for this statement. Making a joke threatening to kill a journalist who has exposed government crimes and unethical behavior needs a strong response. We’d also like to see Grunwald go because knee-jerk defense of the government is the opposite of what we need in the media. The country needs reporters who are critical of the government not who celebrate it even when it kills an American citizen, serving as judge, jury and executioner without due process of law. Grunwald does not seem to understand the role of reporters — they are not stenographers for US militarism, rather they are people who question the government and investigate its activities.
Regarding TIME Magazine, Christine Assange, Julian’s mom asked the write question:
Assassination TIME: Sr. journalist ‘can’t wait’ to justify drone strike that will kill Assange
The unethical and legally questionable statement made by TIME magazine’s senior national correspondent has been met with a barrage of criticism. Although Michael Grunwald deleted the comment and apologized, WikiLeaks is still pushing for his resignation.
The scandal was sparked by a Twitter post on Grunwald’s account which stated that he is eager to write an article on Julian Assange’s execution by a drone.
WikiLeaks tweeted that they have sent a letter to the publication demanding Grunwald’s resignation. They have said that the magazine must show that journalists calling for the murder of other journalists is “never acceptable.”
The tweet, which has been deleted by the author, said, “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”
Following the post, Twitter exploded with harsh criticism of both Grunwald and TIME magazine.
Although Grunwald responded to the criticism by saying that the original post was a “dumb tweet” and deleting it, TIME has so far not offered any comment on the employee’s statement.