Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist for the New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box, apologized for his “hyperbole” in saying on CNBC that he’d “almost arrest” Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald reported in early June that the NSA was secretly snooping on American phone and email records. His source was revealed to be Edward Snowden, a contractor who leaked files and fled to Hong Kong. Snowden has since been charged with espionage, according to NBC, and is rumored to be trying to get asylum in Ecuador.
On CNBC’s Squawk Box on June 24, Sorkin said, in part, of Snowden, “I would arrest him and now I’d almost arrest Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who seems to be out there, he wants to help him get to Ecuador.”
According to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, Sorkin backtracked his comments on Twitter lately, tweeting:
@ggreenwald just to be 100% clear: i am not saying you or any journalists should be arrested. i’m FOR transparency. i was raising other q’s
— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) June 24, 2013
But, in fact, Sorkin DID say that Greenwald should be arrested, so his tweet is, in effect, saying, “I didn’t say what I actually said.”
Sorkin later fully apologized on June 25’s Squawk Box for his comments about arresting Greenwald.
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Sorkin said that his comment “didn’t come out right” and noted that the comment was made on live TV, according to a transcript of his on-air statement published by Jim Romenesko.
Further, Sorkin said he “overstepped with my language.” Video of Sorkin’s comments is published over on Mediaite.
“I’m sorry I said it that way, and I’m sorry I said it,” he said. Sorkin also tweeted an apology to Greenwald.
Greenwald responded on Twitter saying “Thank you: accepted & appreciated.”
Last week, David Gregory from NBC’s Meet the Press questioned Greenwald about his involvement with Snowden, according to the Huffington Post. “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”
Greenwald challenged the question, calling it “pretty extraordinary” that Gregory would ask “whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.” However, Gregory argued that he was just “raising questions, which is not actually embracing any particular point of view.”