A video of a conservative Brazilian journalist slapping American journalist Glenn Greenwald across the face Thursday during a livestreamed YouTube and radio broadcast in Brazil has rapidly gone viral on social media.
In the exchange, the Brazilian columnist, Augusto Nunes, accuses Greenwald and Greenwald’s husband David Miranda of not properly caring for their two adopted Brazilian children. Miranda is a Brazilian politician representing the state of Rio de Janeiro in the Chamber of Deputies.
In the video, Nunes can be heard asking: “Who’s going to take care of the kids?”
— George Marques (@GeorgMarques) November 7, 2019
Greenwald responds by repeatedly calling Nunes a coward, until Nunes throws a punch at Greenwald - but misses as Greenwald blocks him. The two then stand up, and Nunes slaps Greenwald across the face. Bystanders around the two journalists intervene, yet Greenwald, who is best known for reporting on the US government’s surveillance programs based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, still attempts to swing at Nunes.
Greenwald, who is also one of three co-founders of The Intercept, has long opposed right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, prompting some Brazilian politicians to call for Greenwald’s deportation. Greenwald currently lives in Rio de Janeiro in a house surrounded by armed guards, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement on Twitter Thursday, Greenwald explained that the incident during the radio broadcast sheds light on how Brazil’s far-right movement “craves violence in lieu of politics and debate.” He also accused Nunes of homophobia and called his physical act of violence “fascism.”
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 7, 2019
“I think what’s most important is that the Bolsonaro movement, including the president’s son and his mentor and many members of Congress of his party, are applauding this violence because it’s a fascist movement. They want civil war, they want violence in our political discourse, and that’s what makes them so dangerous,” Greenwald said.
The New York native has also published several stories in Intercept Brasil this year questioning the fairness of the corruption investigation Operacao Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash, which involves executives at state-controlled energy company Petrobras accepting bribes in return for awarding contracts to construction firms at inflated prices, with the money laundered at businesses such as petrol stations and car washes, Sputnik reported.
Greenwald’s reporting, which was based on leaked correspondences, concluded that when Brazilian Justice Minister Sérgio Moro was a head judge in the investigation, he instructed prosecutors on how to formulate their case again former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Silva began serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption in April 2018; however, it was later reduced to eight years and 10 months a year later. The former Brazilian president governed the South American country from 2003 to 2010.