“Independent” news site ‘The Intercept’ is primarily funded by billionaire Pierre Omidyan

Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras have teamed up to create an online news site called “The Intercept”. This project was funded primarily with money from Ebay billionaire Pierre Omidyan. …

While I think that these authors frequently publish useful information (such as the Snowden documents), one thing I’ve noticed is that their analysis rarely puts this information in a historical context. For example, Scahill’s documentary “Dirty Wars” doesn’t even mention the US-backed death squads in Latin America, Vietnam, etc. — it just talks like the “War on Terror” counterinsurgency/assassination programs came out of nowhere … In addition to being ahistorical, their work is also ideologically neutral (“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. “) … You’ll rarely, if ever, hear any of them say words like “capitalism”, “imperialism”, “nationalism”, or “revolution”. They talk about these surveillance/counterinsurgency programs without analyzing in-depth how the wealthy benefit from these social control technologies. They act as if this can all be fixed by reforming the law and “respecting the Constitution“.

Would this Ebay billionaire have funded their journalism outfit if Scahill and Greenwald were openly anti-capitalist and anti-nationalist? I highly doubt it …

As Jerome Roos has put it:

So, while The Intercept has the power to deal a major blow to the ideological apparatus of the security state, it should be clear that a model relying solely on the good intentions of a multi-billionaire philanthropist can never be truly democratic — nor is it likely to ever seriously challenge the system of class privilege that sustains its funder’s wealth. What we need today is a much deeper political-economic critique that explicitly connects the rise of the security state to the panicked attempts by the 1% to defend their wealth and privilege in the face of mounting social discontent in an increasingly globalized world. Would Pierre Omidyar — or even Glenn Greenwald himself, for that matter — really be comfortable with such a line of analysis?

“Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza”

A Palestinian man carries a wounded child at a hospital following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on November 17, 2012. Photograph: Moiz Salhi/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian man carries a wounded child at a hospital following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on November 17, 2012. (Photo: Moiz Salhi/AFP/Getty Images)

‘A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza – beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably “defending itself” – is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.’

— Glenn Greenwald in “Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza” (The Guardian, 17 November 2012)