Glenn Greenwald Media Criticism

“The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”: Nicolle Wallace. Nobody Spreads it More Relentlessly.

From her days as Bush/Cheney propagandist, to her stint on The View, to her role as beloved-by-Democrats MSNBC host, Wallace has perfected the art of sociopathic lying.
Screen shot from our new original video about Nicolle Wallace, “The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation” (credit: Matt Orfalea)

By Glenn Greenwald / Substack

The most blatant and shameless liars from the first term of the Bush/Cheney administration have, revealingly, enjoyed great success in media and journalism. That is because serial deceit is not a liability for a thriving career in corporate journalism but rather a vital asset — provided that the lies are in service of ruling class policies. Tawdry propagandists who helped drive post-9/11 America into a bottomless pit of lies and self-destruction have become the most highly-paid and beloved stars of liberal media. They include: 

  • Former Bush White House speechwriter David Frum of The Atlantic and CNN; 
  • Bush/Cheney CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden of CNN;
  • Ubiquitous amoral neocon warmonger Bill Kristol of MSNBC and various #NeverTrump groups; 
  • Al-Qaeda/Saddam conspiracy theorist Jeffrey Goldberg, now editor-in-chief of The Atlantic;
  • The various scumbagscon artistspredator-protectors and fraudsters of the Lincoln Project, drowning in #Resistance cash and frequent MSNBC appearances; 
  • Pro-war Florida GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, now a multi-million host of MSNBC’s flagship morning show and anchor of its corporate brand; and, 
  • Rep. Liz Cheney, long-time vocal supporter of her father and now a literal “hero” to American media liberals.

But few Bush-era propagandists have thrived more, made more money, and developed a more devoted and swooning liberal fan base than the official Communications Director of the Bush/Cheney White House and 2004 Bush/Cheney-reelection campaign, Nicolle Wallace. Having catapulted from her work as Jeb Bush’s Press Secretary to the White House to senior adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign (working for her close friend, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt, who recently performed one of the most public and sustained nervous breakdowns in the history of the internet), Wallace was always beloved by the DC press corps. 

In 2005, when she was named Bush White House Communications Director, The New York Times lavished her with praise, claiming that she “comes from a different mold than the small band of Texans who carry out the White House press policy” and admiringly noted that “she was once fired for being too nice to reporters.” She endeared herself further to corporate journalists by repeatedly sabotaging the McCain campaign from which she was collecting a paycheck, leaking negative stories about McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (whose selection as Vice Presidential candidate was driven primarily by liberal icons Bill Kristol and Steve Schmidt). 

As Wallace — seeing the media’s love affair with Obama — began shrewdly repositioning herself as a liberal, she claimed in 2010 that she did not even vote for McCain due to her misgivings about Palin (a claim which Schmidt repeated about himself for the first time last week during his multi-day psychological erosion). When Wallace published a self-glorifying novel about the first female chief of staff (modeled after herself) to the first female president in 2011, liberal corporate journalists including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gushed over it, while The New York Times’ reporter Ashley Parker, now of The Washington Postheralded her as “the tough, savvy and hard-charging conservative political operator” who enjoys a close friendship with CNN’s Dana Bash. 

So beloved was Wallace by the corporate press that she was rewarded in 2014 with a highly lucrative contract to be a co-host on ABC’s The View. She then joined NBC News. Quickly adapting to her new role as a Republican who vehemently despised Donald Trump — easily the most lucrative Trump-era archetype —- MSNBC bestowed her with her own afternoon cable show in 2017. She quickly became one of Democratic viewers’ most popular hosts — constantly giving a platform to Schmidt and other Lincoln Project sleaze merchants as part of the #NeverTrump gang, a faction so beloved by corporate media employees that they filled cable green rooms and newspaper op-ed pages while having little to no representation among the actual voting populace. Liberals love Wallace so much that she was given a second hour to host in 2020.

But lurking beneath her perky smile, multi-million-dollar media contracts, gushing liberal fan base and a long list of media admirers is something extremely dark and pernicious. In a swamp of professional liars and sleaze merchants, Nicolle Wallace has distinguished herself easily as one of the most seamless and casual liars in the world of Washington politics and media. She thrived in the Bush/Cheney administration precisely because she was so adept at selling the White House’s deadly lies to liberal corporate media employees, dressing up those lies in a pleasing-to-liberals packaging that she learned from growing up in a affluent town near San Francisco, and then at Berkeley and Northwestern’s School of Journalism. She was the vintage conservative who liberals could love — a smiling sophisticate, someone willing to betray her GOP employers to impress liberal journalists, an amicable young woman touting degrees from the types of schools that impress coastal media elites — and it was virtually inevitable that she would thrive within media corporations that need women who can credibly claim to be conservatives yet appeal to liberal sensibilities and flatter liberal audiences.

PolitiFact, Aug. 8, 2019

Wallace has employed those personality traits in service of the most toxic and insidious of all tasks: a happyrelentless purveyor of official disinformation. When the CIA wants the American public contaminated with its lies and disinformation, Nicolle Wallace’s lips begin moving. She delivers the anonymous disinformation campaigns of the U.S. security state with a tone of empathy, compassion, and liberal elegance, all in the language and with the affectations which affluent liberals most admire. 

She has an unsurpassed ability to broadcast to audiences outright lies whispered to her by Deep State operatives — one after the next — without flinching or betraying the slightest sense of a conscience or moral compass. She lies like only a sociopath can: exuding charm and warmth yet utterly vacant on the inside, except for a soul festering in rot. Over the last twenty years — from her perches at the White House, on The View, and now at MSNBC — nobody has made liberals eat up Pentagon and neocon war propaganda more eagerly and uncritically than Nicolle Wallace.

There is literally not a single liberal/CIA disinformation campaign over the last six years that she did not fully and uncritically embrace. Each time the U.S. Security State and Democratic Party fabricated blatant lies and embarked on injecting their poisonous brew into the American bloodstream, Nicolle Wallace was at the forefront. Using the skills she harnessed to help lead Americans into one of its most destructive and immoral wars in U.S. history — the invasion and 15-year destruction of Iraq — the former Bush/Cheney shill, now a DNC and CIA shill, has played a starring role in virtually every lie American liberals have been led to believe.

Because Wallace is primarily a video performer — she rarely writes or speaks extemporaneously, instead clinging loyally to talking points and teleprompter scripts — video is the only medium that can really convey the full extent of her brazen contempt for the truth. After we began compiling many of the examples of Wallace’s leading role in spreading official disinformation, we asked Matt Orfalea — who came to prominence as a young videographer for the 2016 Sanders campaign and who has since become a much more heterodox voice on his Rumble page, which he began after repeatedly being censored by YouTube — to produce a video with the goal of viscerally conveying who Nicolle Wallace really is and the dark arts on which she relies for her careerist and ideological project.

Orfalea is an artist: a highly creative and unorthodox videographer. The videos he produced for journalist Matt Taibbi regarding the media’s disinformation orgy about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and its even more deceitful effort to lie to the public about the materials on Hunter Biden’s laptop are two of the best political videos I have seen in years. The video he produced for us on Nicolle Wallace — the Typhoid Mary of Disinformation — is, in my view, at least of the same quality. The tone and tenor of this video are obviously quite different from those we typically employ to do our reporting here, but the video so perfectly conveys who Wallace is, and how she spews and disseminates disinformation, that I am very proud to present it and eager for you to watch it.

The free trailer, available to all, is below. The full mini-documentary, for subscribers only, follows after that. Above all else, it demonstrates the key point about this new discourse about “disinformation.” Those who most flamboyantly warn of the dangers of disinformation and seek to censor the internet in the name of fighting it are, (through such tactics as the defunct-for-now Homeland Security Disinformation Board) in fact, the most aggressive and destructive purveyors of disinformation in the world.

The trailer for “The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”:

The full video, “The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation,” produced by this Substack and Matt Orfalea:

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, “No Place to Hide,” is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of exposés in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting. 

25 comments

  1. Thanks, Captain Obvious. How long had this column been written before you decided to hit send? There is nothing new to opine about here. We know all about the Neo-Cons who have infiltrated the main stream liberal outlets and what they stand for. This drivel has become too frequent from you, but befitting for a Murdoch employee. Videographer? Really? I trust you’re working hard on your next Substack piece where you constructively criticize the white- nationalist, neo-fascistic Fox News. Or do you not want to bite the hand that feeds you? The great Mike Royko said no self respecting fish would wrap itself in a Murdoch paper.

    1. agree 100%. if anything, the GG piece only furthers the hypernormalization of meaningless partisan back and forth while the real powers have free reign.

  2. That is exactly what first amendment was designed for.

    Freedom of corporate press.. to lie profusely and with impunity. Practice of corporate media first amendment rights is nothing but disinformation for power and profit.
    Assange case of psychological torture and political imprisonment of independent journalist who was condemned by corporate press while effectively making millions of his work constitutes proof of how first amendment is understood and used for by corporate and government MSM. According to shills like Wallace we all have free speech rights to talk to a wall in our prison cell.

  3. all “this” might be true about Nicole….BUT…..she gets the breaking hot news pieces early,,,as does ARI…wouldn’t miss her or ARI ….brilliant, articulate, fact based presentations…….at least her presence is one of being smart and sincere….doesn’t seem to get nasty or mean spirited or repugnant like FOX entertainment propagandists news people ……..I can say this because I tune into FOX to make sure they are still a menace to society and click back to Nicolle, ARI, Amanpour, BBC, the publics……for some regaining my sanity and self respect….

    1. Lmao so you watch a video of 2 dozen fake news points this woman created and youre take is she gives good news. YOU are the reason this country is falling apart, you MORON. WAKE THE F UP

  4. It’s not just a Wallace problem.

    MSNBC continues to feed egregious lies and distortions to its audience, a consistent stream of liberal Democrat/neocon programming that feeds the military/industrial racket and hides important realities from its audience.

    MSNBC is a major factor in the disastrous fact about our “politics.”

    Which is : the anti-war party is the MAGA Republican base and libertarian goofballs like Ron Paul and the pro-war party, including the Potemkin radical “Squad” is the pro-war Democratic party.

    All of this results from immediately attributing any questioning of the Ukraine debacle to Trump’s “collusion” with Putin, their shared leadership concepts and GOP voting suppression.

    MSNBC’s roster of “experts” includes no one who challenges the narrative that the eastward thrust of NATO is unrelated the Ukraine war — even though people like George Kennan, architect of the anti-communist “containment” strategy of the USSR and William Perry, former defense Secretary — vehemently opposed the idea.

    No need to call Chomsky on this one.

    Anti-Trump emotions are are used to validate retired generals, Clinton/Obama Administration hacks, Cold War retreads like Evelyn Farkas and professional distortionists like Michael McFaul.

    No space for serious discussions about the origins of the conflict in the new Cold War. These ideas are all presented as Putinesque propaganda. Segue to images of white people being killed and forced from their homes.

    People “just like us” Wallace blubbers.

    MSNBC was a major factor in derailing Sander’s momentum, leading directly to the election of the blundering, absurd “bipartisan” Biden clown-show. (Sanders is no socialist. But he might have succeeded with a FDR-like program, ameliorating the effects of neoliberal piracy.)

    Chief spinster in that effort was Chuck Todd, whose run-up to the Democratic nomination included guests from National Review and he Daily Caller, and a nincompoop “analysis” that concluded Democrats needed to “fall in love” with a candidate. He and the happily defunct Chris Matthews constantly asked lights like Klobuchar (forget about free tuition, dopey ) and Beto to opine — never Sanders, ESPECIALLY when he was leading buy a wide margin.

    Every so often he’s mention that a candidate was raising a lot of money. Ever tell the audience from whom and to what end?

    CRICKETS.

  5. My family have been brainwashed by the MSM into supporting Ukraine in the war and opposing a peaceful settlement. There is no reasoning with Democrats. They are as hard-headed and prejudiced as any Republican. Their prejudice is the politically-correct, Liberal ethnic hatred of Russians.

    1. American exceptionalism always requires a bogeyman. It has shifted with time from Native Americans, to Blacks, to the Irish, to Italians, to Jews, and with wars to German, Japanese, Sunni and Shiites, other Arabs, and successful Asians. A constant has been the hatred of Russians, carried over from old Europe (the Ottoman Turks have fallen away). Many “escapees” from the Soviet Union have kept the hatred alive, particularly in the Clinton/ Obama/ Biden administrations, where the Russians (and Slavs in general) are seen as untermenschen, an inferior race with many national resources, that must be taken by the white supremacists of America. Biden has picked up the mantle of Hitler, building a NAZI-based puppet government to instigate a civil war in Ukraine, and to provoke the Bear by slaughtering ethnic Russian Ukrainians. Western Ukraine is fertile ground for Biden’s NAZIs: https://forward.com/news/462916/nazi-collaborator-monuments-in-ukraine/
      Disclaimer: I have lived abroad, I have met many Russians and like most people they are generally good natured and friendly. They don’t have tails; not so sure about our CIA stenographers and mouthpieces.

  6. Contrary to what is said in the Wallace video (0:21), microwave weapons do, in fact, exist. See https://www.zersetzung.org/mind-control/mc-research-docs/106-list-of-mind-control-symptoms-2003-cheryl-welsh

    And Havana Syndrome is likely not caused by the mischief of crickets. Beatrice Golomb, MD, Ph.D, professor of medicine at the San Diego School of Medicine, “says publicly reported symptoms and experiences of a ‘mystery illness’ afflicting American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba and China strongly match known effects of pulsed radiofrequency/microwave electromagnetic (RF/MW) radiation.” See https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180829115456.htm

    1. Citing a 2018 “Science Daily” article that Havana Syndrome was NOT crickets, and ignoring the flurry of reports from last October (2021) that Havana syndrome WAS just crickets: https://www.businessinsider.com/secret-2018-state-dept-report-havana-syndrome-noise-crickets-2021-10
      seems more than a bit disingenuous? Our poor CIA…

      While I don’t care for Nicolle Wallace, at least she is not just another Biden administration shill from a Polish/ Ukrainian/ Soviet Jew background (like Disinformation Tsar wannabe Nina Jankowitz: https://twitter.com/wiczipedia/status/1492329509076574220), who take their families’ “suffering” from 80-120 years ago personally to direct their energies and American Foreign Policy at revenge against Russians, even if it means nuclear war.

      1. Given the choice between Dr. Golomb’s claim and standard-issue denials from the State Department, I’d confidently go with the former.

        Thankfully I’m knowledgeable enough on the subject to know that electromagnetic weapons exist, that they’ve been used on law-abiding citizens, and that the villains can only get away with such reprehensible crimes because of a criminally otiose Congress.

        From a 2006 Project Censored study:

        “New technological capabilities have been developed in black budget projects over the last few decades — including the ability to influence human emotion, disrupt thought, and present excruciating pain through the manipulation of magnetic fields. The US military and intelligence agencies have at their disposal frightful new weapons, weapons that have likely already been covertly used and/or tested on humans, both here and abroad, and which could be directed against the public in the event of mass protests or civil disturbance.”

        https://www.projectcensored.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ElectromegnaticWeapons.pdf

    2. Your post is indicative of what a fruitcake-only diet does to a person ….

  7. Good lord, Glenn. You ding Wallace (rightfully) for her role in pushing the murderous and otherwise awful Bush/Cheney agenda, but in your advanced state of anti-liberal derangement you can’t see how ridiculous it is to write this piece without saying a word about tireless and well-documentedly dishonest Bush and Cheney boosters like Fox News. You even, oddly, ding Wallace for failing to stay loyal to the pushers of the Bush/Cheney agenda that you admit was terrible.

    I’m no fan of corporate and other kinds of socially deleterious liberals, but man, you’re just nothing but another propagandist yourself when you let your so pronounced biases get in the way of honestly characterizing the lay of the land politically, socially and economically.

  8. one of many—except for the ostracized tucker carlson all media in Usa is ruling class fake news—as Geoffrey Gorer wrote, “liberal media in USA most distorts the truth”

  9. “There’s no plausible way to dispute that Fox News host Tucker Carlson is spreading racist conspiracy theories, but Glenn Greenwald has been trying anyway.

    Since Greenwald — a former Salon columnist, and after that a Pulitzer-winning reporter for the Guardian — departed from the Intercept in September 2020, he’s become a stalwart defender of Fox News, and Carlson in particular. As Carlson has gained in viewership and impact — he’s the most widely watched cable news host in the U.S. — his commentary and political positions have come under increased scrutiny. With that attention has come intense criticism. But he has Greenwald in his corner, who has let forth a flood of pro-Carlson arguments, primarily delivered on Twitter, his medium of choice.

    Shortly before the May 14 massacre in Buffalo that left 10 dead, the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, published a 180-page manifesto online. The post explained that he targeted the Tops Market grocery store because the neighborhood was majority Black, in an act of political violence aimed at striking fear into nonwhite U.S. residents. Gendron’s ideological outlook was highly influenced by the racist conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement,” which holds that whites in the U.S. are being systematically replaced by people of color in a demographic change that’s being masterminded by a cabal of elites.

    That demographic-threat conspiracy theory has been laundered in prime time by none other than Carlson. Using his perch atop cable news rankings, the Fox News host has worked to spread the message of demographic threat far and wide among conservatives. Gendron’s manifesto doesn’t mention Carlson specifically, a point seized on by Greenwald to explain away the connections between the messaging from his favorite cable news host and the shooter. But the ideological through-line is hard to miss.”

    Here is the thing.

    Since the publication of the pile of demagogic propaganda bile above I’ve been scratching my head. Why is Chief left-ish Neo Progressive Greenwald publishing that pamphlet now? What’s new in Wallace’s career that triggered it? Why now?

    His latest defense of Carlson’s conspiratorial ‘Replacement Theory’ provides a possible answer.

    Carlson is without a doubt the sleaziest, most relentless disinformation spreader in existence, if not history of cable TV. The latest right-wing Buffalo massacre is traced directly, thematically speaking, to the dangerous, acidic, anti-racist ‘Replacement theory’ hate speech Carlson had been spewing for some time now.

    In an oft used Neo Progressive tactic, the entire BS nonsense above is an attempt at deflecting the dire consequences of fascistic hate speech the right’s narrative had become, the despicable defense of which is a long-term Greenwald pet project.

    Unfortunately, the adaptation of pet Neo fascists by left-ish Neo Progressive pundits is gaining track. In a recent publication concerning the left-ish fable about (imaginary) censorship, Taibbi decried its supposed wide range “from Chomsky on the left to Tucker Carlson on the right”; in a recent confused (and largely fraudulent) Hedges’ tirade against ‘US militarism’, Hedges denotes ‘statesman’ Trump and Green, two of the most consistent and brazen Neo Fascist liars US politics had ever seen, as truthsayers.

    I am often asked about what Neo Progressives mean. It is those on the left who, while promoting progressive causes, policies and politics, have adopted the extreme right-wing anti-liberal goal, its hateful, anti-democratic tactics (e,g,. enemies lists, negative doomsday narratives, the strict, tunnel-vision selection only of facts supporting their narrative and the invention of alternative ones when none can be found, regime change, scorched earth preference, and so on), zero-sum thinking, and more.

    Greenwald is one. His deflection tactics in the text above is classic of the genre.

  10. How sad that Glenn Greenwald continues to pollute this site with his noxious presence. I guess no one at Scheerpost cares that this guy continues to normalize and defend Tucker Carlson, even after last week’s massacre in Buffalo.

  11. The Nicolle Wallace video is hilarious, despite her outrageous and constant lying. Watch the entire video if you want a really good laugh.

  12. How’s that mirror looking lately Glenn? You locking in on those eyeballs? Real honest like? Taking a deep look? Asking if it’s enough?

    Like other commenters here, I have doubts. It’s not because we want to hate you, it’s because there aren’t many people we expect more from these days. But here we are, doing that with you.

    You’re not wrong on this piece, or many of the others of course…. nor are you bad at what you do. But this is exactly the problem. In totality your work has done a hard turn to play for team R since you left the Intercept. This is not an ‘opinion’, there is ample data to prove the tenor and targets of your work have changed. The question is why? ( It takes a lot of restraint not to cast aspersions here, but I’ll make the effort… my backspace key now a bit more worn).

    Many of us came to respect you for what you did with Snowden. You MUST see that America is circling the drain and quick. You MUST feel you are selling part of your soul every time you suit up for FUX news… every time one of your newfound friends is shocked by your adherence to things like modern science (e.g. blowback from vaxxing your kids). Why then, do you stay quiet on the Big Lie (even as your substack readers openly wonder that same thing)? On the oversteps of religious fundamentalism? On the, ‘now far too normalized’ dog whistle vernacular built by the echo chamber on the right?

    I can hope that the distance in your new homeland deprives you of the poisoned air we have been breathing and rapidly increasing toxicity. If you were sucking the same wind we are, you’d see clearly that the only way to proceed with integrity is to use your new platform to call out both sides. We are past the ‘lesser of two evils’ phase and crossing into ‘some really dramatic shit has to happen or…’. If you can’t stand up with integrity and stand by the people, help them see that they are being divided to suit the ends of a vapid elite who can.

    In closing, I’ll pose to you the same statements I’m posing to myself these days. “If not you who? If not now when?”

    Are we wrong to expect more? I hope not. But you’re going to have to show us something here and soon…

    1. @Joker Public
      The Democratic Party has in many ways been worse than the Republican Party starting with all the Russiagate crap. Greenwald reports on both parties, and on both the left and right. He’s interested in uncovering and reporting the truth, not which party the liars belong to.

      You, on the other hand, are clearly obsessed with the false duality of Republican v. Democrat. Who gives a damn? Just two factions of the duopoly that represent different factions of the ruling class, and that are on the same side on big issues like war, Wall Street, and neoliberalism. Your obsession with this false duality is why you find fault in Greenwald’s reporting, not because of anything he’s done wrong.

      1. @Jeff,
        We’ve been through this before…. you know, where you ascribe things to other that they did not say and are nowhere in the text of their statements.

        But thank you for introducing another aspect to this argument that I left out… which is that my issue has nothing to do with false duality. It is about authenticity and integrity and the need to call out their deficiencies everywhere they exist. As is the case with your response to my post, and an enormous volume of Glenn’s recent work the craven tactic of arguing with a straw man, rather than the best possible version of whatever it is you are arguing against.

        Be a better man, argue with steel men, not straw men.

      2. @Joker Public
        “[Y]our work has done a hard turn to play for team R since you left the Intercept.” Ahem.

        You haven’t said exactly which issues you are upset that Greenwald hasn’t covered, at least in this thread. Just saying that he favors Republicans is just a conclusory statement with no support. Name the issues you wish that he’d covered, then we can have a real discussion about this. Otherwise, you’re just a detractor who’s upset that his team is being revealed for the corrupt scum that they are (no offense meant to nonhuman species, it’s just a human saying).

  13. What’s the word I’m looking for? It has to do with a bowl of milk. Ah, I know: Catty. Greenwald used to be a delight to read and he’s written important essays. Now it’s mostly just “aren’t I clever” dreck smothered in a holier-than-thou sauce of self-righteousness.

  14. It’s hard for me to understand why to refuse to label people like Rachael Maddow and Nicolle Wallace as the corporate Democrats that they are. They call themselves liberals but just because they define themselves as such does not mean they aren’t corporate Democrats. You do a disservice to your readers and give ammunition to the right wing by conflating the 2. Admittedly, corporate Democrats are just as beholden to corporate money as is the entire Republican Party. And, they are hypocritical and morally bankrupt as any other pro-corporate person or group. But, by conflating the 2, you give the right wingers’ the ability to attack anti-corporate Democrats by labeling them as liberals. Stop spreading this disinformation or you may soon become “The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation.”

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