Left-wing internet publication The Intercept declared Friday it “stands by its reporting” following backlash over a story that accused journalists from competing conservative outlets of smearing Black Lives Matter protesters during coverage of multiple violent demonstrations last year.
In addition, the outlet also stood its ground following a report earlier this month that it had obtained more than 65 gigabytes of data on users of Gab, a rising social media site that has become a haven for people booted off of the major platforms for various reasons. Referring to Gab users as “violent white supremacists,” The Intercept also allegedly attempted to fundraise off the story.
“Over the past several days, wild and unfounded accusations have been hurled at The Intercept. We publish corrections and clarifications when we get something wrong, but none of these attacks have any merit whatsoever,” the Intercept noted Friday evening in a post.
“In the rancorous and dizzying world of social media, falsehoods are amplified and it is often difficult for well-intentioned readers to discern the truth… We are proud of this reporting, which in intent as well as execution bears no resemblance to the caricature being drawn on social media,” the outlet continued.
(Video: Fox News)
“The Intercept, like other news organizations, often reports on how the news is made and who makes it. Media criticism is central to our approach to journalism, and always has been… Reporters who have influence on the public’s understanding of events — as the Riot Squad clearly has when it comes to BLM protests — are the most important to interrogate,” The Intercept continued. “That is a concept our critics understand, and an argument they themselves make relentlessly. It applies no less to this case.”
The outlet then claimed that its own correspondents have “become targets of vicious harassment” as part of a backlash to its reporting, adding that “the physical security of not just our staff but even their families has been threatened” and their information posted online, which is known as “doxxing.”
“The editorial leadership of The Intercept condemns these attacks, and stands 100 percent behind our journalism and our staff and their families,” the outlet added.
The editors then took a thinly-veiled shot at investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who co-founded The Intercept.
“It is particularly sad and infuriating that much of the impulsion for this campaign has been generated by the unbalanced tweets of a founder of The Intercept who resigned and falsely accused The Intercept of censoring him as part of his effort to launch his Substack blog,” the editorial claimed.
In its ‘Riot Squad’ report, which included a biased video, The Intercept singled out Townhall senior writer Julio Rosas and The Daily Caller’s Jorge Ventura, both of whom crisscrossed the country last year, at great personal risk, to document violent demonstrations in response, initially, to the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. The report contended that the only reason why Rosas and Ventura were reporting on the rioting was due to “the right-wing media’s campaign to portray racial justice protests as anarchic and dangerous.”
In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Friday evening, both journalists defended their coverage while calling out major media outlets for ignoring most of it.
“Obviously, they didn’t appreciate the fact that myself and Jorge actually reported on these riots that happened last year,” Rosas said. “It just so happened that the groups that were rioting often were either Black Lives Matter or Antifa or some amalgamation” thereof. He also said he was “surprised” he and his Riot Squad colleagues weren’t “smeared” sooner.
“The first rule of journalism is to hold the powerful accountable and tell stories that are being untold,” Ventura added, going on to say “we just did our jobs and reported the news.”
“It seems like now just reporting the news is a crime,” he continued while condemning The Intercept’s reporters for failing to even reach out to him and Rosas for comments.
Later, Greenwald also excoriated his former publication for the stand editors were taking.
“This is genuinely disgusting and dangerous,” he said. “They believe that the real menaces are individuals who have politics or ideology different than their liberal orthodoxies. So these reporters are now like criminals to them because they report for right-wing sites, thus this targeting.”
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