Some people say that journalists are only interested in bad and "negative" news. To see what utter nonsense that is, you only need to tune in to the high-stakes international spy drama that is the Edward Snowden case, the NSA whistleblower who has the USA trembling under an avalanche of damaging exposures of misconduct throughout the world.
It's the biggest news story on the planet, and it's just one big friggin' good news show.
First of all: Important information has been made public that proves that the Americans are spying on each and every one of us. They steal our data, our stored emails and passwords, our phone calls, our text messages and chats. They grab and store who our friends are, who we communicate with and what. The fact that we can now prove that it is even worse than what we always suspected is good news. Knowing how Obama & Co steal our data to further their dreams of worldwide McTotalitarianism empowers us to arm ourselves against it and take countermeasures.
Then there is the sheer beauty of it all. The last few days unfolded like one of those Hollywood movie plots of the super smart loner facing the wrath of "the system". And guess what? The system is behaving exactly as those movie scripts dictate, with sleaze, rage, and unable to see the irony of it all. John Kerry talks about the "rule of law" after his government stole all the text messages of Chinese mobile users. I mean, I am not the only one who can't stop laughing about the biggest spy enterprise and organized data robbers on the planet charging Edward Snowden with the crimes of "espionage" and "theft".
Last but not least, we're living through a time of change that future generations will probably refer to as, "when it all started". Since WikiLeaks first published the Collateral Murder video that showed US killers murdering and maiming journalists and children in Baghdad from the safety of a helicopter, it has been a constant onslaught on the secrecy that shielded war crimes, torture, espionage, corruption, kidnappings and other such abuse in the name of "freedom and democracy". It has sparked protests throughout the Arab world, inspired the Occupy movement as well as massive protests in Europe against austerity measures. The WikiLeaks release of the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate deprived the US of immunity for its crimes in Iraq and forced them to withdraw from that country. And now with one revelation about snooping Obama following the other, the evil giant is firmly on the defensive and struggling to maintain what's left of its power.
That is also quite evident in the apparent willingness by Latin American countries to give Edward Snowden political asylum. America's back yard no more.
So, what's "bad" and "negative" about any of this? We haven't been so upbeat here in the Bananama Republic newsroom in ages!
ECUADOR AND THE LAME PRESS ORGANIZATIONS
It appears most likely that Snowden will get political asylum in Ecuador, a country that granted the same to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
That has of course sparked all sorts of nasty comments from the establishment up North about Ecuador's supposed tainted reputation concerning press freedom. Recently a law was passed there (here's the entire thing as a PDF) that regulates the media. Journalism organizations like the Knights Center and the Committee to Protect Journalists were quick to denounce the law as a setback for press freedom.
They won't tell you this, but the basis for that criticism is that the law makes it much harder for the traditional oligarchy to run their news outlets as monopolistic enterprises and use them to make money and consolidate their grip on power. The law ends those monopolies, guarantees equal access to media publishing and even makes sure small community media receive advertising, together with a variety of other improvements over the old state of affairs.
As much as we have issues with criminal libel laws being put at the service of foreign crooks and gangsters, like we have here in Panama, the wacky antics of a corrupt Muppet legal system are still to be preferred over the situation in the US, where civil libel court cases are so expensive that only the rich can afford a free press.
Furthermore, criticism on Ecuador's press law comes from the State Department of the US, a nation that persecutes and tortures whistleblowers, where senators of the ruling party demand the prosecution of foreign publishers as "spies", where the vice president calls a publisher a "high tech terrorist", where politicians openly call for journalists, publishers and their sources to be assassinated, where hired killers do exactly that from a helicopter in Baghdad with impunity, and where the president runs an unprecedented war on investigative journalism.
I have never heard any senator in the Americas call for the assassination, prosecution as a spy, kidnapping nor any other violent measures against journalists and their sources, except in the US. Press freedom in Obamastan is allowed only as long as it is inconsequential, as long as it doesn't challenge the status quo. There is no country on the American continent, media laws or not, that is as openly and viciously hostile to the pursuit of journalism as the United States, period.
So, while faux journalist organizations like the CPJ are cozying up with the State Department in Obamaville, WikiLeaks is doing what these press freedom charlatans don't: Keep a whistleblowing journalistic source safe. Wikileaks, and not any of these so-called "press freedom" organizations, is going out of its way to secure the safety of someone who has not just revealed tremendously important documented facts, but has also given the pro-Obama establishment media the biggest story of the century so far. WikiLeaks, and not the press freedom frauds, has paid for Snowden's travel expenses, hired (and then canceled) a private jet just in case, and will most likely have its famed head of legal affairs, Baltasar Garzon, provide him with legal assistance.
Edward Snowden hopefully will never be handed over to the United States. And the world will be a better place for it - which is yet more positive news.