Opinion: Fearless Adversarial Journalism Doesn’t Work When You Are Funded By A Billionaire
February 18, 2018
By Elizabeth Vos
Disobedient Media previously opined on the dagger-in-the-back publication of a hit piece against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange just one day after a UK magistrate, with blatant conflict of interest in the matter, shot down his legal representatives’ attempt to finally free him from the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy.
What that article did not address was the patently obvious terminal illness suffered by The Intercept. That is, the outlet claims to publish “fearless, adversarial” reporting, while it is funded by a billionaire. Ken Silverstein, formerly employed at The Intercept and by Omidyar’s First Look Media, has described endemic problems at the outlet that have risen directly out of Omidyar’s leadership or lack thereof.
The fundamental problem facing The Intercept is not ultimately about how or why the outlet published a smear specifically timed to cut support away from Assange, even though that is in and of itself despicable. It’s that doing so acts in support of the very deep state and moneyed, military interests that The Intercept purports to critique “fearlessly.”
Adding to a sense of betrayal of The Intercept’s principles in the wake of the outlet’s hit-piece is the fact that a number of writers at the publication are by all accounts on good terms with Assange, and have worked with mutual supporters including the superb Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi. Maurizi has been a media partner of Wikileaks since 2009, having worked on all of the organization’s releases. Maurizi also worked with Glenn Greenwald on preparation for the disclosure of the Snowden files, in addition to her participation in a large number of projects of huge significance.