Muckraking journalist Glenn Greenwald has become one of the world’s most relevant and ground-breaking reporters because of his work, and he got into a heated exchange with a right-wing journalist on a Brazilian talk show last week.
Brazilian columnist Augusto Nunes initiated the dust-up as the two men grew more heated toward each other, pointing fingers in each others’ faces. Nunes shoved Greenwald’s face away with his hand, and Greenwald responded with a punch – although it appears he missed – before the men were ultimately pulled away from each other.
The footage can be seen here:
The violence broke out after the exchange became personal, with Nunes accusing Greenwald’s homosexual lover of neglecting the children adopted by the couple. Greenwald is a resident of Brazil who has become a controversial figure over his dogged opposition toward Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
“I was thinking of this couple: Glenn Greenwald spends the day on Twitter or working as a recipient of stolen messages; David is in Brasilia […]. Who takes care of the children they adopted? That’s what the Juvenile Court should investigate,” Nunes said, according to a translation by BuzzFeed News.
Nunes was referring to leaks released on Greenwald’s publication, The Intercept, showing alleged law enforcement corruption in the lead up to the jailing of corrupt former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was released from jail last week following a Supreme Court ruling.
“We have a lot of political differences, I have no problem being criticized for my work. I criticize him too, but what he did was the ugliest and dirtiest thing I’ve ever seen in my career as a journalist,” Greenwald said in response to Nunes’ accusation.
As the brouhaha between Greenwald and Nunes clearly indicates, political tensions are soaring with Greenwald seen at the center of the growing maelstrom.
Lula’s release from jail, despite his complicity in the “Operation Car Wash” scheme, may indicate his return to politics. Animus has developed against Greenwald, who is seen by many as a foreign agitator working to return the country to the corrupt left-wing status quo that President Bolsonaro was elected to clean up.
Greenwald maintains that he is doing a public good, and even claims that he is receiving death threats as a result of his controversial reporting. He is emboldened by the push-back and refuses to relent no matter what the cost may be.
“This is the kind of risk that you take on if you want to be not just a journalist, but the kind of journalist that confronts power. So, of course, the risks aren’t fun, but at the same time it’s very gratifying to feel like you’re using the guarantee of a free press for what it’s for, which is shining a light on the corrupt acts carried out in the dark by the society’s most powerful actors,” Greenwald told Democracy Now in July.