Glenn Greenwald said on Thursday that he has resigned from The Intercept, the online publication he co-founded in 2014, claiming that editors “censored” an article about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that he said “raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct.”
“To say that such censorship is a red line for me, a situation I would never accept no matter the cost, is an understatement. It is astonishing to me, but also a reflection of our current discourse and illiberal media environment, that I have been silenced about Joe Biden by my own media outlet,” Greenwald wrote in a lengthy resignation note published on Substack. “The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove 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.”
In a statement, The Intercept lambasted Greenwald’s narrative as “teeming with distortions and inaccuracies” and said the journalist was “throwing a tantrum.”
“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. 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,” the statement said. “The narrative he presents about his departure is teeming with distortions and inaccuracies — all of them designed to make him appear a victim, rather than a grown person throwing a tantrum.”
“For now, it is important to make clear that our goal in editing his work was to ensure that it would be accurate and fair. While he accuses us of political bias, it was he who was attempting to recycle a political campaign’s — the Trump campaign’s — dubious claims and launder them as journalism,” the statement continued. “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.”
Greenwald said that he will publish the article he claims The Intercept censored on his Substack page.
In the resignation email — sent to The Intercept’s editor in chief, Betsy Reed, and First Look Media’s CEO, Michael Bloom — Greenwald added that he had become “extremely disenchanted and saddened by the editorial direction of The Intercept under its New York leadership for quite some time.”
“The publication we founded without those editors back in 2014 now bears absolutely no resemblance to what we set out to build — not in content, structure, editorial mission or purpose. I have grown embarrassed to have my name used as a fund-raising tool to support what it is doing and for editors to use me as a shield to hide behind to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes,” Greenwald wrote.
The Intercept, launched in 2014 and funded by eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, first rose to prominence for reporting on highly classified documents from the National Security Agency that had been leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.