07/16/2013 04:06 pm ET Updated Jul 16, 2013

Shep Smith To Glenn Greenwald: Government Tries To 'Prosecute' Journalists For Leaks It 'Doesn't Like'

During his interview with Glenn Greenwald on Thursday, Shep Smith suggested that the government only pursues the sources of leaks that make it look bad.

Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who broke news of the NSA's secret domestic surveillance programs, spoke to Smith about Edward Snowden's potential future leaks. He said that the Obama administration has been trying to "demonize" Snowden by making it look like he is trying to harm the U.S., but that that isn't the case.

"Whenever there are leaks that the government likes, you're held up, and whenever there are leaks that the government doesn't like, they try to prosecute you," Smith said. "There's a pattern here."

Greenwald agreed, alleging that the government employs a "double standard" for leakers.

Later, Smith asked Greenwald, "Are you surprised by all the voices who have come forward to say, This guy has done nothing productive, Americans don't need to know this stuff, in defense of national security. This guy should be condemned and locked up?'"

Greenwald said that the one aspect of the backlash that has surprised him is that "journalists are the ones who have been leading the attack."

He has clashed with numerous people in media, including MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski and Melissa Harris-Perry and the Washington Post's Walter Pincus, over their comments about Snowden. David Gregory also came under fire from Greenwald and viewers when he asked him why he shouldn't be prosecuted.

Meanwhile, Shep Smith has been a vocal critic of the revelations about the NSA. He once joked that he could now reach Eric Holder every time he picked up the phone, and ripped FBI director Sean Joyce for "misspeaking" while defending the secret surveillance programs.



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