By Joe Concha
Journalist Glenn Greenwald has resigned from The Intercept, seven years after co-founding the online publication, citing censorship by his own editors over an article concerning former Vice President Joe Biden.
The 53-year-old shared his resignation letter in a tweet to his more than 1.5 million followers on Thursday afternoon, in which he accused editors of refusing to publish an article he wrote unless he removed “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.”
Greenwald, who came to prominence for helping break the news on classified documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has built a reputation as one of the media’s most combative and contrarian voices. He has frequently battled other journalists online who have criticized his appearances on Fox News and what they say is his dismissal of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
He has also emerged as a vocal critic of the mainstream media, accusing it of quashing alternative views when it comes to coverage of certain news stories. In his resignation letter, Greenwald accused Intercept editors in New York of becoming “increasingly authoritarian” and “repressive.”
“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,” he wrote in his letter.
“All this time, as things worsened, I reasoned that as long as The Intercept remained a place where my own right of journalistic independence was not being infringed, I could live with all of its other flaws,” Greenwald concluded. “But now, not even that minimal but foundational right is being honored for my own journalism, suppressed by an increasingly authoritarian, fear-driven, repressive editorial team in New York bent on imposing their own ideological and partisan preferences on all writers while ensuring that nothing is published at The Intercept that contradicts their own narrow, homogenous ideological and partisan views: exactly what The Intercept, more than any other goal, was created to prevent.“
The New York-born former litigator wrote for Salon and The Guardian newspaper based in London.
The Intercept responded in a statement to The Hill by calling Greenwald’s charge of censorship “preposterous.”
“Glenn Greenwald’s decision to resign from The Intercept stems from a fundamental disagreement over the role of editors in the production of journalism and the nature of censorship,” the statement reads. “Glenn demands the absolute right to determine what he will publish. He believes that anyone who disagrees with him is corrupt, and anyone who presumes to edit his words is a censor.”
“Thus, the preposterous charge that The Intercept’s editors and reporters, with the lone, noble exception of Glenn Greenwald, have betrayed our mission to engage in fearless investigative journalism because we have been seduced by the lure of a Joe Biden presidency. A brief glance at the stories The Intercept has published on Biden will suffice to refute those claims,” it continues.
“We have the greatest respect for the journalist Glenn Greenwald used to be, and we remain proud of much of the work we did with him over the past six years. It is Glenn who has strayed from his original journalistic roots, not The Intercept,” the statement adds.
We have no doubt that Glenn will go on to launch a new media venture where he will face no collaboration with editors — such is the era of Substack and Patreon. In that context, it makes good business sense for Glenn to position himself as the last true guardian of investigative journalism and to smear his longtime colleagues and friends as partisan hacks,” it concludes. “We get it. But facts are facts, and The Intercept’s record of fearless, rigorous, independent journalism speaks for itself.”
The resignation comes one month after Greenwald told Megyn Kelly on her podcast that he was “formally banned” from MSNBC because of his criticism of the network’s coverage of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. MSNBC has denied the ban.