Maybe we shouldn’t be shocked. Then again, maybe we should, given that the progressive illiberal mob has decided to force Glenn Greenwald to resign from the publication he co-founded, The Intercept. Like Bari Weiss, who bolted from The New York Times over its "woke" makeover, Greenwald penned a lengthy resignation and post on Thursday about why he's choosing to leave. The straw that broke the camel’s back was his piece about Hunter Biden. In essence, the editors at The Intercept told him to remove all the parts…that criticized Joe Biden:
Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media.
The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.
The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.
I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose.
Look, you may not agree with Greenwald all the time. Hell, 85-95 percent of the time, you might not agree with him, but he’s a good reporter. He doesn’t kowtow to anyone, and he’s fiercely independent. If I’m going to read someone with a very different point of view, those are all good qualities to have. Greenwald helped reveal the NSA secrets that Edward Snowden spilled in 2013. In fact, that’s what The Intercept was founded upon, a safe haven for whistleblowers. Greenwald added that its current form is totally unrecognizable from its original roots. He goes into some personal history as well, including why he first started blogging in 2005, ending with the series of events where the publication he founded started to decline. In a way, it’s a brief history of how the woke and conformist factions engulfed this publication. Greenwald was an original Trump-Russia collusion skeptic. He called out members of the media for peddling these unhinged theories about this story, how there was no there-there with all of it, and how Trump’s election has broken the media and the minds of liberal America.
It was the Reality Winner story he says that marked the point where The Intercept tried to get onboard the Russiagate train. In 2017, Winner, an ex-NSA employee, smuggled a copy of an intelligence report about Russian interference in 2016 by stuffing it in her pantyhose and later handing it over to The Intercept. Greenwald had no involvement in this story. He makes that point because the site fundraised off his name and on stories which he was vehemently against. In short, he says the publication probably did this to counter the many articles he had written expressing extreme skepticism over the collusion delusion:
The Intercept — while gradually excluding the co-founders from any role in its editorial mission or direction, and making one choice after the next to which I vocally objected as a betrayal of our core mission — continued publicly to trade on my name in order to raise funds for journalism it knew I did not support. It purposely allowed the perception to fester that I was the person responsible for its journalistic mistakes in order to ensure that blame for those mistakes was heaped on me rather than the editors who were consolidating control and were responsible for them.
The most egregious, but by no means only, example of exploiting my name to evade responsibility was the Reality Winner debacle. As The New York Times recently reported, that was a story in which I had no involvement whatsoever. While based in Brazil, I was never asked to work on the documents which Winner sent to our New York newsroom with no request that any specific journalist work on them. I did not even learn of the existence of that document until very shortly prior to its publication. The person who oversaw, edited and controlled that story was Betsy Reed, which was how it should be given the magnitude and complexity of that reporting and her position as editor-in-chief.
It was Intercept editors who pressured the story’s reporters to quickly send those documents for authentication to the government — because they was eager to prove to mainstream media outlets and prominent liberals that The Intercept was willing to get on board the Russiagate train. They wanted to counter-act the perception, created by my articles expressing skepticism about the central claims of that scandal, that The Intercept had stepped out of line on a story of high importance to U.S. liberalism and even the left. That craving — to secure the approval of the very mainstream media outlets we set out to counteract — was the root cause for the speed and recklessness with which that document from Winner was handled.
But The Intercept, to this very day, has refused to provide any public accounting of what happened in the Reality Winner story: to explain who the editors were who made mistakes and why any of it happened. As the New York Times article makes clear, that refusal persists to this very day notwithstanding vocal demands from myself, Scahill, Laura Poitras and others that The Intercept, as an institution that demands transparency from others, has the obligation to provide it for itself.
Despite all of this, I did not want to leave The Intercept. As it deteriorated and abandoned its original mission, I reasoned to myself — perhaps rationalized — that as long as The Intercept at least continued to provide me the resources to personally do the journalism I believe in, and never to interfere in or impede my editorial freedom, I could swallow everything else.
But the brute censorship this week of my article — about the Hunter Biden materials and Joe Biden’s conduct regarding Ukraine and China, as well my critique of the media’s rank-closing attempt, in a deeply unholy union with Silicon Valley and the “intelligence community,” to suppress its revelations — eroded the last justification I could cling to for staying. It meant that not only does this media outlet not provide the editorial freedom to other journalists, as I had so hopefully envisioned seven years ago, but now no longer even provides it to me. In the days heading into a presidential election, I am somehow silenced from expressing any views that random editors in New York find disagreeable, and now somehow have to conform my writing and reporting to cater to their partisan desires and eagerness to elect specific candidates.
To say that such censorship is a red line for me, a situation I would never accept no matter the cost, is an understatement.
"The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression."— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 29, 2020
3) Given their claims, I'm going to publish -- along with the censored article -- the emails about it so people can decide for themselves if it was censored.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 29, 2020
4) I understand TI's editors will slam my journalism as "changed"; I wish they had had the courage to do it before today.
5) Like I said in my statement, The Intercept does still have some great journalists and publishes good things. I hope they can figure out how to induce some people to read it.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 29, 2020
6) This is the CIA-mimicking paragraph I referenced that I was shocked to see at The Intercept: pic.twitter.com/q9jILPwret
Best of luck, Glenn.
He probably won’t be the last to leave over the "woke" legions instituting increasingly authoritarian protocols in the workplace. The threat to workplace freedom and freedom of speech is coming from inside the house, folks. Twitter and Facebook censoring The New York Post on the Hunter Biden stuff is partially grounded with the Left, who don’t want a repeat of 2016 and think $100k in Facebook ads swung the election. It’s insane, but a lot of companies have caved to this insane mob of left-wingers.