MSNBC has been criticized for becoming as an extension of the Obama White House in the way that Fox News was criticized as being an extension of the Bush White House. Recently, however, many have been alarmed by the degree of blind loyalty shown the president with hosts siding with the White House against press rights and attacking figures like Snowden. This open letter to Snowden by Melissa Harris-Perry however surprises as the host assures him that the Obama Administration will guarantee his rights if only he will return. This follows such scenes as a MSNBC commentator defending the Administration’s attack on press freedom but calling Holder the “Moses of Our Time.”
The letter seems almost mocking in tone for Snowden who will almost certainly face life imprisonment if he returns given the different treatment afforded people in America’s New Animal Farm system. The United States is no longer viewed by many around the world and within the country as a guarantor of civil liberties. Conversely, one can disagree with the actions taken by Snowden but he is viewed as a whistleblower and a hero by many around the world. What is striking is that we now have networks that seem to be deliver the official line and media spin for the government –something that was once ridiculed in other countries. Yet, Harris-Perry says that she wants him to come home so she and others “can talk about something else” and assures him that the Obama Administration will treat him special due to the fact that you “made a spectacle of yourself.” Indeed, the only concern that she can think of is that our prisons are abusive, not anything to do with Obama or his policies.
Of course, the host does not mention that Obama still claims the right to pick and choose who gets a real trial and who goes to a military tribunal for a kangaroo court trial. She does not mention that Obama claims the right to kill any citizen that he decides is a threat to the United States. She also does not mention the Administration’s abusive use of classification authority to bar the use of evidence in cases and sweeping claims of nationals security privileges. Then there is the scorched earth campaign by Obama against whistleblowers. Then there are all of the powerful politicians irate over the embarrassment caused by Snowden in revealing their own complicity in the warrantless surveillance program and calling Snowden a “traitor” and spy. Yet, she simply cannot understand why Snowden does not trust Obama. After all, this is the Obama Administration . . . and this is now MSNBC.