Over the past several days, I have watched in disgust as a barrage of lies, smears, and vicious attacks has been unleashed against The Intercept and its journalists. This is a news organization filled with dedicated reporters, researchers, and editors who have produced some of the finest investigative journalism in the country. The Intercept aggressively reports on systematic injustice, war, corruption, and politics with a dedication to making a better world. It has a proven track record of holding those in power accountable regardless of political affiliation. I don’t always agree with my colleagues, and I certainly don’t agree with every story or viewpoint we publish. But I am proud of our journalism, and I am proud of the reporters and editors who work tirelessly to produce it.
My fellow co-founder Glenn Greenwald has been a close friend and respected colleague for years. This is not an easy situation for me. From my perspective, the recent incident with the Biden article that was followed by Glenn’s resignation was part of a much broader conflict and difference of opinion. Neither Glenn nor I wanted to be anyone’s boss, and we also didn’t want to have bosses. That’s a tough setup for a journalistic organization. There has always been a tension over our roles as founders versus those of the editor-in-chief and other leadership, and we have had lots of argument and debate internally. Over the years, I have often found myself in agreement with Glenn, and I also have my strong disagreements with him.
Glenn has alleged that he was censored by the editors of The Intercept. I do not agree with that characterization. From my admittedly limited involvement (at Glenn’s request) with this specific article, it seemed to me that there was a reasonable path to publishing the piece. Glenn clearly disagreed with that and decided to withdraw from that process. People can look at the materials Glenn published and make their own judgment.
In any case, this situation has made me profoundly sad. Throughout his career, Glenn has done invaluable journalistic work, at times at great personal risk to himself and his family. I have long respected him and his work, even in moments of disagreement. I wish Glenn the best in his future professional endeavors, but I find his recent sweeping and disparaging comments about The Intercept and its journalists over the top, unnecessary, and unjust.
Finally, I have worked with Betsy Reed for more than 15 years. She was my editor at The Nation magazine before becoming the editor-in-chief of The Intercept. She edited both of my books, “Blackwater” and “Dirty Wars.” Even in disagreement, I have never questioned her professional or personal integrity, her immense skill as an editor, or her commitment to following the truth wherever it leads. I am proud to have her as a colleague.
Over the years, many people have sought to declare The Intercept dead. And time and again, they’ve been proven wrong. As with all journalism, the work will speak for itself.