Glenn Greenwald appeared on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to react to Vox writer Carlos Maza's campaign to get conservative voice Steven Crowder banned from YouTube for making fun of his sexuality and attacking him repeatedly. YouTube did not ban Crowder's show from its platform, however, the Google-owned company decided to demonetize his account. Carlson called Maza "a fascist posing as a victim."
Greenwald said he has received anti-gay hate mail but it would never occur to him to "run to social media companies to beg for censorship."
"I don't want to live in a world where our discourse is policed and determined by benevolent overlords, who runs Silicon Valley companies, you know, who are always going to cater to the most powerful faction. That's what happened here," 'The Intercept' journalist told Carlson.
"YouTube caved in, not in defense of the marginalized person, but in defense of the powerful one, the one who despite being gay and Latino works for a major media conglomerate," Greenwald said this week. "And that's what they're always going to do is defend the mob and defend the powerful at the expense of those who are marginalized."
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Glenn Greenwald cofounded "The Intercept" and he joins us tonight. Glenn, thanks so much for coming on. So you don't have to be a fan of Steven Crowder or anyone to see this as a threat, a threat to one person's speech is a threat to all of our speech, is it not?
GLENN GREENWALD, COFOUNDER, THE INTERCEPT: Yes, I mean, I personally find Steven Crowder to be just a contemptuous cretin. As a commentator I do think he is an infantile bully and bigot which are not words I easily invoke. He didn't just criticize Carlos Maza, he mocked him for being gay and for being Latino.
He used a list of things to ridicule him, sends a lot of harassment his way. But that's the point, Tucker, is that censorship advocates want our brains to only go to that most primitive first level of do we hate this person? And are we therefore glad that they're being censored without thinking about the framework being endorsed or the consequences that ensue from it?
I mean, I've personally -- it resonates a lot for me, because I've dealt with harassment far greater than Carlos Maza is complaining of. I'm a gay man in a country, Brazil that just elected a President driven by intense anti-gay animus.
My husband is a Member of Congress in the oppositional party. We've been mocked and derided with our sexual orientation, not by random YouTubers, but by the President of the country himself on Twitter, and his family members who are elected members of Congress. And it would never occur to me to run to social media companies to beg for censorship, because in part, it's just something that comes with the territory of being a public figure.
More so because I don't want to live in a world where our discourse is policed and determined by benevolent overlords, who runs Silicon Valley companies, you know, who are always going to cater to the most powerful faction. That's what happened here.
YouTube caved in, not in defense of the marginalized person, but in defense of the powerful one, the one who despite being gay and Latino works for a major media conglomerate. And that's what they're always going to do is defend the mob and defend the powerful at the expense of those who are marginalized.
CARLSON: That is such a good point. They're defending the powerful. Really quickly, I just have to ask you, so you don't have immunity. You don't have the immunity that YouTube, for example, enjoys which was granted by Congress. You founded a pretty big and well known site.
If you libel someone, you can be sued. They're immune from that. Why do they retain that immunity?
GREENWALD: That's a really good question. And the reason is, is because originally, these companies like YouTube, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, were supposed to be like AT&T, which are just neutral public platforms, right?
So if Steven Crowder wants to call someone using AT&T and organize an anti- Vox rally, nobody expects AT&T to stop him because the idea is, it's just a platform for people to use. That's what Silicon Valley companies originally were supposed to be, and they got immunity for it.
In reality, this power to censor was not one that they wanted. It was one that was foisted upon them, amazingly, largely by journalists who were demanding that they remove voices from the internet.
Imagine going into journalism and then begging corporations to silence and censor people. That's the real reason they ended up in this position.
CARLSON: That is such -- so nicely put. I've got to ask you quickly, Federal prosecutors recently revealed an 18-count indictment against WikiLeaks, the founder Julian Assange, he is being charged under the Espionage Act for his role in helping to release leaked government documents.
You've been very close to the story from day one, and your point has been that this could criminalize ordinary journalism. What do you mean?
GREENWALD: Well, a lot of your viewers probably remember that under the Obama administration, a lot of journalists were targeted and called criminals for working with sources, including James Rosen who was called the conspirator for working with a source who leaked to him classified material. But at least they never went out and actually criminalized the people who published that material.
The Trump Justice Department has taken that step now, by saying that WikiLeaks is criminal, not because they stole the information, they didn't, but because they published it.
And I think we've all seen on the left and right over the past several decades that the CIA, the NSA, the FBI are agencies that will abuse their power unless they have great transparency shined on them.
WikiLeaks has done that sometimes angering the left, sometimes angering the right. And that's why they want to criminalize Julian Assange, both to punish him for bringing transparency to the deep state, but also to create a theory, hoping that everybody hates Assange just like Steven Crowder and therefore, doesn't think about the consequences that says that if you're somebody who publishes secret information, you can be turned into a criminal and that's why it's so dangerous to press freedom.
CARLSON: That is -- that's the key point. They pick someone, they whip THE mob into a frenzy. "Here's the person you should hate." And they distract us from the consequences of what they're doing, the consequences to us.
And I thank you, Glenn Greenwald for reminding us those consequences. Appreciate it.
GREENWALD: Thanks, Tucker.