Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
World Press Freedom Index: USA 45/180
Launched in 2014 by First Look Media, The Intercept is a news organization that covers national security, digital privacy, government secrets, politics, civil liberties, the environment, international affairs, technology and more. The Intercept was founded by former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and former Nation writer Jeremy Scahill.
The editors are Betsy Reed and Jeremy Scahill. Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights litigator who is also known for obtaining and publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA surveillance while working for The Guardian.
On 10/29/20 Glenn Greenwald resigned from Intercept citing censorship of his reporting on Joe Biden.
The Intercept’s long term mission is “to provide aggressive and independent adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues, from secrecy, criminal and civil justice abuses and civil liberties violations to media conduct, societal inequality and all forms of financial and political corruption.”
Read our profile on United States government and media.
Funded by / Ownership
The Intercept is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s media company, First Look Media, a non-profit media organization focused on entertainment studio, consumer businesses, and journalism. Omidyar initially committed $250 million and continues to support it through First Look Media. First Look Media’s other brands include Topic, Field of Vision and the Nib. The Intercept also receives reader donations.
Analysis / Bias
The Intercept has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats such as this New Yorker article that reads “Greenwald’s focus on “deep state” depredations has exiled him from MSNBC but has given him a place on Fox News.” Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald has criticized MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for turning into an “utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack.” Greenwald says these criticism have led to an end of his appearances on MSNBC. Greenwald often criticized left leaning media coverage of Trump-Russia collusion, namely CNN, MSNBC and CBS, arguing that “very little evidence supported the idea that Moscow was hot for Donald.” However, The Intercept is harshly critical of both Donald Trump and right-wing policies with articles such as this: Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Culmination of War on Terror Mentality but Still Uniquely Shameful.
In review, The Intercept publishes articles with strongly emotionally loaded language such as “The Ignored Legacy of George H.W. Bush: War Crimes, Racism, and Obstruction of Justice” and “The 10 Most Appalling Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short and Dreadful Life.” The Intercept rejects mainstream establishment politics in favor of progressive liberalism with this pro-Bernie Sanders quote: “ignore the opinion polls and the bogus arguments against him: whether you like him or not, Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner right now”, from “Critics Say Bernie Sanders Is Too Old, Too White, and Too Socialist to Run for President in 2020. They’re Wrong.” When it comes to sourcing The Intercept always uses credible sources such as Washington Examiner, The Economist, The Hill Politico, NYMag, and the Washington Post.
In general, The Intercept provides in-depth investigative stories that are sensational in nature. Most stories are critical of the right-left establishment and lean strongly progressive left in ideology.
A factual search reveals they have not failed a fact check, however, in 2016 they fired Juan Thompson for fabricating quotes and establishing email accounts to trick editors. The Intercept reported: “Thompson admitted to creating fake email accounts and fabricating messages, but stood by his published work. He did not cooperate in the review,”
Overall, we rate The Intercept progressive Left Biased based on story selection that routinely favors the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting, rather than High due to previous fabricated work as well as censorship of writers. (5/18/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 10/30/2020)