Monday, November 02, 2020

Feminized View Through Overton's Window Of Glenn Greenwald's Departure....,

nymag  |  In Greenwald’s view, The Intercept was founded in order to resist such censorious impulses but has since succumbed to them, as he put it in his resignation essay:

Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, [The Intercept] is rapidly becoming just another media outlet with mandated ideological and partisan loyalties, a rigid and narrow range of permitted viewpoints (ranging from establishment liberalism to soft leftism, but always anchored in ultimate support for the Democratic Party), a deep fear of offending hegemonic cultural liberalism and center-left Twitter luminaries, and an overarching need to secure the approval and admiration of the very mainstream media outlets we created The Intercept to oppose, critique and subvert.

“He could have chosen to be a part of the mix, part of the conversation, the daily, weekly conversation about what we should be covering and what stories we were working on,” Hodge said. “But he never did that. He always held himself aloof from the newsroom and never, ever soiled himself with the day-to-day business of news gathering.”

Ryan Grim, The Intercept’s D.C. bureau chief, told Intelligencer that Greenwald’s conflict with The Intercept was part of a larger culture clash between Greenwald, a civil libertarian who objects in the strongest possible terms to any limitations on freedom of speech, and some of his younger left-leaning colleagues, who believe they have a responsibility to call out and try to shut down what they consider hateful or harmful speech. Greenwald wrote that he eventually concluded The Intercept itself embraced this so-called “cancel culture” in being reluctant to publish anything (like his Biden column) that might lead to accusations of aiding Trump and his supporters.

“There’s a phenomenon that exists everywhere, from corporate America to media, where the politics of younger people are different from the politics of some of the older people in these places,” Grim said. “The whole ‘woke debate’ that is played out endlessly on Twitter — he felt like there was too much of that going on at The Intercept.”

Once such example is a previously unreported incident from November 2018, when a group of Intercept staffers joined a virtual protest about Topic magazine, which was owned by the Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media. According to four First Look Media employees, the staffers went on the company’s Slack channel to object to Topic editor-in-chief Anna Holmes’s decision to publish a story about women who belonged to far-right groups, which included glamorous portraits of the women. The protest offended a number of senior Intercept editors, including Greenwald, who objected to the targeting of Holmes, a Black woman, and the suggestion that certain articles shouldn’t be published. (Nothing came of the protest, but Topic was shuttered in 2019 for unrelated financial reasons.)

Following the protest, Greenwald published a column that very pointedly criticized “the growing so-called ‘online call-out culture’ in which people who express controversial political views are not merely critiqued but demonized online and then formally and institutionally punished after a mob consolidates in outrage, often targeting their employers with demands that they be terminated.”

Another flash point occurred in June of this year, when Intercept reporter Akela Lacy publicly called out her colleague Lee Fang for “racist” behavior, including tweets about violence and Black Lives Matter protests. While Fang later released a thoughtful apology, many outside commentators saw him as a victim of cancel culture. In his resignation essay, Greenwald specifically criticized The Intercept’s “decision to hang Lee Fang out to dry and even force him to apologize when a colleague tried to destroy his reputation by publicly, baselessly and repeatedly branding him a racist.” Fang did not respond to a request for comment.

These generational and cultural dynamics have divided a number of newsrooms during the Trump administration.