The First Look Media exodus that spread like wildfire in 2014 is apparently not finished as investigative reporter Ken Silverstein penned a scorching series of resignation posts this weekend about the company owned by Pierre Omidyar.
Silverstein, an investigative reporter who worked at The Racket and The Intercept, took to Facebook to announce he was quitting the company. In posts spanning across Saturday and Sunday, the former Harper’s Washington editor dubbed his experience at First Look as “Welcome to the Slaughterhouse.”
“You know what’s cool about being a former employee of First Look/The Intercept?” Silverstein wrote. “That Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Betsy Reed and Pierre Omidyar all believe in Free Speech and the First Amendment so they won’t mind my writing about my time working for and with them. Tentative title: “Welcome to the Slaughterhouse.”
Silverstein peeled back the curtain at last year’s company holiday party, saying he was embarrassed when two independent staffers “interviewed” Omidyar about his morning routine:
“Since you are all hanging on the edge of your seats, he drinks tea and reads stuff, the NYT and other things…and for the record, I boycotted this embarrassing affair and sat in a conference room with two other people, one who no longer works there and one who may or may not. It’s hard to keep track. What a joke.”
Silverstein also painted the picture of how former Racket chief Matt Taibbi was forced to resign with all of his staffers shoved out the door fairly soon after.
“Then, when the company pulled the plug some months back, it fired the remaining staff and told them to clear out of the office immediately, that very day, to take their things and get out and FL would generously give them one month severance. I am pretty sure the Koch Brothers treat fired workers with greater respect.”
He wrapped the Facebook tirade up by contrasting what he and his colleagues were promised vs. what they actually received.
“I am one of many employees who was hired under what were essentially false pretenses; we were told we would be given all the financial and other support we needed to do independent, important journalism, but instead found ourselves blocked at every step of the way by management’s incompetence and bad faith….”
Silverstein’s Facebook posts are set under “Friends Only.” Jim Romenesko has the series here.