An Interesting Discrepancy in First Look’s Public Statements, Presented for Your Perusal

Ethics, how do they work?
Media • Views: 20,570

An interesting discrepancy, presented for your perusal. First, we have Glenn Greenwald, who is a journalist, professing his “full journalistic independence” from sole owner Pierre Omidyar in his new First Look media venture:

Greenwald goes into (much) greater depth in his written argument before the jury, but the point is the same: how dare you question his full journalistic independence?

On the other hand, we have Jeremy Scahill, one of the first First Look employees, who said this to the Daily Beast:

The whole venture will have a lower wall between owner and journalist than traditional media. Omidyar, he says, wanted to do the project because he was interested in Fourth Amendment issues, and they are hiring teams of lawyers, not just to keep the staff from getting sued, but to actively push courts on the First Amendment, to “force confrontation with the state on these issues.”

“[Omidyar] strikes me as always sort of political, but I think that the NSA story and the expanding wars put politics for him into a much more prominent place in his existence. This is not a side project that he is doing. Pierre writes more on our internal messaging than anyone else. And he is not micromanaging. This guy has a vision. And his vision is to confront what he sees as an assault on the privacy of Americans.”

That sure doesn’t sound like full journalistic independence to me.

An interesting discrepancy, presented for your perusal.

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