Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Launched in 2014 by First Look Media, The Intercept is a news organization covering 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 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.”
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 studios, 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 this criticism has led to the 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 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.
Failed Fact Checks
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 and censorship of writers. (5/18/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 03/14/2021)