The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald quits, claims editors censored story critical of Biden

Intercept editor-in-chief said resignation stemmed from a disagreement about the role of editors

Glenn Greenwald is walking away from The Intercept, citing widespread “repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity” from liberal editors who support Joe Biden as the reason he resigned from the media outlet he co-founded on Thursday. 

Greenwald explained his decision in a scathing blog post that blasted his former company for censoring an article that was critical of the Democratic presidential nominee and his alleged overseas business dealings.

He called the current iteration of The Intercept “completely unrecognizable when compared to that original vision” because it no longer offers a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives. 

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“Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media,” he wrote.

“The final, precipitating cause is that 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.”

Greenwald explained that the censored article was “based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct,” which has been an ongoing issue among the mainstream media. Many outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times and Washington Post, had opted against reporting on certain stories related to Biden’s alleged overseas business practices. 

“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 wrote. 

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“I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would,” he continued. “But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose."

Greenwald posted the censored story on his personal Substack blog and said his work will land there for the immediate future. 

“This was not an easy choice: I am voluntarily sacrificing the support of a large institution and guaranteed salary in exchange for nothing other than a belief that there are enough people who believe in the virtues of independent journalism and the need for free discourse who will be willing to support my work by subscribing,” Greenwald wrote. “I could not sleep at night knowing that I allowed any institution to censor what I want to say and believe — least of all a media outlet I co-founded with the explicit goal of ensuring this never happens to other journalists, let alone to me.”

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He feels The Intercept censored the article because it was “critical of a powerful Democratic politician vehemently supported by the editors in the imminent national election,” but doesn’t think the behavior was unique to The Intercept. 

“These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom,” Greenwald wrote. “ I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and — regardless of the risks involved — simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates.”

The Intercept’s editor-in-chief Betsy Reed defended her organization in a statement to Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple. She said Greenwald's decision to resign stemmed from "a fundamental disagreement over the role of editors in the production of journalism and the nature of censorship."  

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Reed called the claim that The Intercept’s editors are all pulling for Biden “preposterous” and said a brief glance at her website would refute those claims. “Facts are facts and The Intercept record of fearless, rigorous, independent journalism speaks for itself,” she wrote. 

“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,” Reed wrote. “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 harsh rebuttal to Greenwald’s resignation failed to mention anything specific about the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden’s alleged overseas business associates that was first reported by the New York Post, instead chalking them up to “dubious claims” pushed by the Trump campaign. 

However, Hunter Biden’s former business associate claimed he met twice in the past with the former vice president -- despite past statements from Biden that he had no involvement with or discussions about his family's overseas ventures.

That associate, Tony Bobulinski, gave an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday and detailed his alleged meetings with the Democratic presidential nominee—one of which took place on May 2, 2017, according to text messages first reported by Fox News last week.

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Those messages indicated that the meeting did, in fact, take place. Bobulinski claimed Tuesday that it was Hunter Biden and Jim Biden, the brother of the former vice president, who had pushed the meeting and dismissed concerns that it could hurt the family politically. 

Speaking with Carlson, Bobulinski also claimed Biden’s denials of knowledge in his son's foreign dealings during the presidential debate was "a blatant lie."

The article that Greenwald said was censored by The Intercept was posted on Subbstack, headlined, “THE REAL SCANDAL: U.S. MEDIA USES FALSEHOODS TO DEFEND JOE BIDEN FROM HUNTER’S EMAILS,” and detailed recent developments to the ongoing controversy such as mainstream media outlets refusing to cover the story. 

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.