One of the most ridiculous tactics right wingers use to “demonstrate” President Obama’s supposed narcissism is to count the number of times he uses the word “I” in a speech. It’s such an absurd, brain dead meme I can hardly believe they’re still parroting it — but they are! They really are! And the latest to blurt out this silliness is none other than Charles Krauthammer, who is totally skewered for it by Stephen Colbert in this clip.
The latest promotional clips from Brian Williams’ interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden illustrate again the overwhelming ego-centrism of the Snowden/Greenwald self-narrative. When Williams asks Snowden, “What are you doing in Russia?” Snowden replies that the US stranded him there, and we should ask the State Department why they were so mean to him.
Snowden is a world-class narcissist; if you take him at his word that he didn’t intend to end up in Russia, he actually seems to believe the US (or any country for that matter) should simply let him travel freely without a care, wherever he wants, carrying millions of stolen top secret documents. To Snowden, revoking his passport is unconscionable oppression. He doesn’t just think he did nothing illegal, he expects the entire world to agree, and give him carte blanche.
In the clip above, Secretary of State John Kerry answers Snowden’s claim that the mean old State Department stranded him in Russia for no reason, but I don’t think it’s the answer Snowden had in mind.
“For a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, frankly,” Kerry said. “If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today.
“We’d be delighted for him to come back. He should come back. That’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba or some other country. A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people,” Kerry added.
“He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice which is why he is not being permitted to fly around the world,” he said.
The massive Snowden ego is contained within a very thin skin; the descriptions of him as a “hacker” or “system administrator” have really irritated him, obviously, because he takes this opportunity to float a new way of looking at the greatness of Snowden: as a master spy and man of many faces.
In the sit-down, Snowden also fought back against critics who dismissed him as a low-level hacker — saying he was “trained as a spy” and offered technical expertise to high levels of government.
“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden said.
I keep waiting for the point where the egomania maxes out, but the self-glorification just keeps getting more grandiose.
Susan Rice: Snowden Was Not a Spy
After the long, bitter and very public argument between Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald about redacting the name of a country from The Intercept’s latest article exposing legal NSA spying on other countries (in which Assange even called Greenwald and the rest of The Intercept “a bunch of racists”), you’d think Greenwald would have something to say about the fact that Assange has now carried out his threat to reveal the name of that country.
You might think that, but you’d be wrong. Twelve hours after Assange revealed the country (Afghanistan), super-journalist Glenn Greenwald hasn’t said a single word about it publicly. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
But he did have time to write 1700 words bashing Michael Kinsley for suggesting that journalists might not be above the law: A Response to Michael Kinsley.
Since these articles are totally predictable by now (“HOW DARE HE IMPUGN MY WONDERFULNESS?! SUBSERVIENT!”) here are just the good parts from Greenwald’s lengthy thin-skinned rant — the insults and ad hominem attacks.
…consummate establishment “liberal” insider…
…reflexively demonize the personality… (Ed. note: not a hint of irony here)
…jingoistic media courtiers…
…much of this reaction is simply a ritual of expulsion…
…U.S. media is too close and subservient to the U.S. government and its officials…
…U.S. journalists are pitifiully [sic] obeisant to the U.S. government…
Glenn Greenwald’s predictable sarcasm-laced rant denouncing President Obama’s proposed NSA reforms is now posted at The Guardian; according to Mr. Greenwald, the whole thing is a sham designed to keep the sheeple quiet while the “devoted and slavish loyalists of the National Security State” rub their hands and laugh maniacally.
Bet you didn’t see that coming.
And the Mighty Greenwald, as is his wont, concludes by threatening to leak more damaging secrets until Obama knuckles under to his will.
Today’s speech should be seen as the first step, not the last, on the road to restoring privacy. The causes that drove Obama to give this speech need to be, and will be, stoked and nurtured further until it becomes clear to official Washington that, this time around, cosmetic gestures are plainly inadequate.
Well, let’s kick off the weekend with what has to be the most hilariously un-self conscious tweet ever posted by the Mighty Greenwald:
Whiny columnists who sit on Twitter taking endless pot shots, then publicy self-victimize the minute someone says something critical of them
Yes! He really wrote those words, with no apparent clue that he was describing himself. What a perfect encapsulation of the narcissistic anarchist pseudo-movement he champions.
The Romney campaign seized on Newt Gingrich’s ludicrous pronouncement at last night’s debate, with a press release outlining Gingrich’s history of over the top egomaniacal self-adoration: ‘I Think Grandiose Thoughts’.
A Selection Of Speaker Gingrich’s Thoughts Over The Years
Gingrich on Gingrich:
“I Think I Am A Transformational Figure.” (pbs.org, 12/2/11)
“I Am Essentially A Revolutionary.” (Adam Clymer, “House Revolutionary,” The New York Times, 8/23/92)
“Philosophically, I Am Very Different From Normal Politicians … We Have Big Ideas.” (Andrew Ferguson, “What Does Newt Gingrich Know?” The New York Times, 6/29/11)
“I Have An Enormous Personal Ambition. I Want To Shift The Entire Planet. And I’m Doing It. … I Represent Real Power.” (Lois Romano, “Newt Gingrich, Maverick On The Hill,” The Washington Post, 1/3/85)
“I First Talked About [Saving Civilization] In August Of 1958.” (Robert Draper, “He’s Baaack!” GQ, 8/05)
“Over My Years In Public Life, I Have Become Known As An ‘Ideas Man.’” (Andrew Ferguson, “What Does Newt Gingrich Know?” The New York Times, 6/29/11)
“I Am The Longest Serving Teacher In The Senior Military, 23 Years Teaching One And Two-Star Generals And Admirals The Art Of War.” (GOP Presidential Candidates Debate, 12/15/11)
By the way, Newt seems to think “grandiose” means spectacularly brilliant and visionary … but Wikipedia has a somewhat different take on the word: Grandiosity.
Grandiosity is chiefly associated with narcissistic personality disorder, but also commonly features in manic or hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder.
It refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness, the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.
A perfect description of Newt Gingrich.