If you're looking for "real reporting" these days, Glenn Greenwald thinks a lot of it is coming from whistleblowers and advocacy groups rather than from journalists. "If one looks at most of the vital disclosures of the last seven years -- whereby concealed, legally dubious behavior of one of the most secretive administrations of the modern era is exposed -- one finds that such exposure comes overwhelmingly from two sources: (1) conscientious whistle-blowers inside the Government, and (2) advocacy groups such as the ACLU, which have tirelessly waged one litigation battle after the next in order to unearth the Bush administration's secret, improper conduct," he writes. "The record of the establishment press over the last seven years is one characterized far more by failure and complicity than by real journalism. ... The function of the ACLU and similar groups isn't really to uncover illegal behavior on the part of our Government. That is the intended function of the Congress, the media and the opposition party. But those institutions haven't done that. ... As a result, the ACLU and similar groups -- with far fewer resources -- have been forced first to uncover what the Government does, to try methodically and incrementally to erode the government's wall of secrecy, to perform real journalism, in order then to engage in their real function of opposing Government encroachments and defending the Constitution, basic privacy rights and civil liberties."
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