Edward Snowden’s Retail Psychoanalysts in the Media

Posted: 2013/06/18 by Punkonomics (@dearbalak) in Uncategorized

“I am firm. You are stubborn. He is a pig-headed fool.” (Bertrand Russell)

Corey Robin

As soon as the Edward Snowden story broke, retail psychoanalysts in the media began to psychologize the whistle-blower, identifying in his actionsa tangled pathology of motives. Luckily, there’s been a welcome push-back from other journalists and bloggers.

The rush to psychologize people whose politics you dislike, particularly when those people commit acts of violence, has long been a concern of mine.  I wrote about it just after 9/11, when the media put Mohamed Atta on the couch.

I also wrote about it in this review of the New Yorker writer Jane Kramer’s Lone Patriot, her profile of the militia movement.

In October 1953, literary critic Leslie Fiedler delivered an exceptionally nasty eulogy for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the pages of the London-based magazine Encounter. Though the Rosenbergs had been executed for conspiring to commit espionage, their real betrayal, claimed Fiedler, was of…

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