Glenn Greenwald resigned from The Intercept, the media outlet he co-founded in 2014, after accusing the outlet of trying to “censor” his article about unverified emails taken off a hard drive that Hunter Biden purportedly left at a repair shop.
Greenwald announced his resignation on his new Substack, alleging that editors tried to “censor” parts of his article that were critical of Joe Biden because of anti-Trump bias. He said a request from his editor to cut out large parts of the article violated his contract and that the outlet asked him not to publish the article elsewhere because it would be damaging to the company’s reputation.
“The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct,” he said. “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.”
Greenwald later published the article itself, criticizing media outlets for not reporting on the story while linking to numerous mainstream media reports questioning aspects of the story while reiterating allegations about Joe Biden.
Intercept hits back:
“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,” Intercept Editor Betsy Reed said in a statement. “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.”
“The narrative Glenn presents about his departure is teeming with distortions and inaccuracies — all of them designed to make him appear as a victim, rather than a grown person throwing a tantrum,” she added. “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 the dubious claims of a political campaign — the Trump campaign — and launder them as journalism…It is Glenn who has strayed from his original journalistic roots, not The Intercept.”
Emails show dispute with editors:
Emails posted by Greenwald show that editor Peter Maass asked Greenwald to focus on his thesis that media outlets were ignoring the story, which he noted was undercut by the media reports he cited, and remove parts that make unsubstantiated claims about Joe Biden.
“The draft’s core problem is the connection it often asserts or assumes between the Hunter Biden emails and corruption by Joe Biden,” Maass wrote, noting that mainstream outlets have found “no corroborating evidence” of Joe Biden’s involvement. “These are major issues that I feel undermine the draft’s thesis and are downplayed in the draft,” he wrote.
“A connected problem is that your draft asserts there is a massive suppression attempt by the entire major media to not report out these accusations, but then doesn’t explore how major news organizations have done significant stories, and those stories, such as the Journal’s, have not found anything of significance,” he continued. “A somewhat related aspect that I don’t think the draft gives fair notice of: the New York Post and perhaps the Wall Street Journal appear to be the only major news organizations that possess the contents of the hard drive.”
Greenwald responded to the email with two lengthy replies accusing the outlet of bias, censorship, and violating his contract.
“Your comments about The Intercept and your colleagues are offensive and unacceptable,” Reed said in a response.