The Intercept is a left wing news website financially supported by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. It was co-founded in 2014 by left wing journalist Jeremy Scahill, lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.
It frequently reports the details of top secret national security information provided to it by sources within the U.S. intelligence community. These sources are frequently breaking the law by providing this information.
Two controversies since 2014 have called into question the content and professionalism provided by the reporters. In February 2016, Juan Thompson, a reporter at the Intercept, was fired after it was discovered he had been inventing both sources and made-up quotes attributed to the fake sources.  In 2017, an Intercept national security reporter was accused by two former sources of carelessly revealing their identities after they had provided him with top-secret information or damaging testimony regarding the U.S. government’s covert operations. 
The Intercept also provides coverage and commentary regarding U.S. politics and public policy from a socialist perspective. The editorial policy promotes the notion that replacing capitalism with socialism is the solution to environmental problems. The site has published the anti-capitalism writings of far-left writer Naomi Klein since 2017. 
While Republicans and supporters of free markets frequently receive negative coverage and headlines, the Intercept is also editorially biased against establishment (insufficiently socialist) Democrats. Repeated favorable coverage was given to socialist-leaning challengers running against incumbent Democrats during the 2018 primaries. A profile of the left wing challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) was titled: “Tom Carper’s 40-Year Record of Defending Banks is Being Challenged By Kerri Harris in a Democratic Primary.” 
Co-founder Glenn Greenwald has supported both the decision of Wikileaks to publish the emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee prior to the 2016 election and the need for Americans to know the inner workings of the DNC described in the illegally obtained material; he was also involved in the disclosure of national security information by Edward Snowden in 2014. 
The current editor-in-chief, Betsy Reed is former executive editor of the pro-Russian left-wing magazine The Nation. As of 2015, she was paid $300,927 in salary and other compensation.  Several of the reporters and leadership working for The Intercept also have affiliations with left wing journalism and media outlets.
The Intercept was co-founded in 2014 by lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and left-wing journalist Jeremy Scahill. In 2013, Poitras and Greenwald had assisted former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in his effort to release top secret information regarding the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance programs; Snowden later relocated to the Russian Federation, and Poitras made a film glorifying the defector, Citizenfour. The Intercept was designed as a platform to continue reporting and investigations. As of October 2018, the website lists a staff of nearly 60 reporters and other employees. 
The start-up financing was provided by Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar. As of 2015, the Intercept is a project of First Look Media Works, Omidyar’s 501(c)(3) dedicated to producing left wing media content. 
The Intercept’s investigations, content, and commentary focus on domestic politics and policy from a far-left perspective, while its coverage of national security is infused with strong anti-American and pro-Russian views, skepticism toward American overseas intervention, and Western governments’ use of secret information in national security operations. Reporting classified Western national security information, often provided to the Intercept by sources who may have broken laws to obtain it, is a regular feature on the news site.
Coverage and commentary on The Intercept regularly promotes the theory that capitalism is the cause of is catastrophic climate change swiftly making much of the planet dangerous to inhabit and that replacing capitalism with Soviet-style state ownership of the economy is the solution.
The title of an August 2018 essay written by senior correspondent Naomi Klein is “Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not “Human Nature.”” It retraces the history of the global warming movement through the 1980s, and also the rise of international trade agreements and the liberalization of global markets and capital, arguing that freer markets killed what she believes was the momentum to save the planet. Her conclusion is that most or all of modern civilization must end: 
“There is nothing essential about humans living under capitalism; we humans are capable of organizing ourselves into all kinds of different social orders, including societies with much longer time horizons and far more respect for natural life-support systems. Indeed, humans have lived that way for the vast majority of our history and many Indigenous cultures keep earth-centered cosmologies alive to this day. Capitalism is a tiny blip in the collective story of our species.”
Similarly, the title of a September 2018 feature asks “Is Nationalization an Answer to Climate Change?” It provides several ideas and examples implying the answer is “yes.” These include a proposal from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) to take 40 percent of U.S. corporate board seats away from the stockholders who own the companies and give them to labor unions; and another proposal to have the U.S. taxpayers, through the federal government, purchase 51 percent of American energy companies. Examples are provided of similar plans and nationalizations that have been proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, the arguably Marxist leader of the Labour Party in the U.K. 
The 3500-word report carries a notation at the bottom that “Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America” provided funding for the work.  Heinrich Böll Stiftung is a “non-profit political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party.” 
An 8-part, October 2015 series titled “The Drone Papers” is presented as an analysis of the “inner workings of Obama’s drone wars” — the targeted killings of foreign terrorists and their allies by remotely-piloted aircraft. The reporting is based on what is described as a “cache” of slides from a “whistleblower” who had access to top secret material produced by the U.S. intelligence community’s Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Task Force. The raw source material (with some redactions) was posted along with the Intercept’s summary and analysis. 
U.S. drone policy was also the subject of the very first story ever posted by the site on February 10, 2014. Also based on classified information given to the reporters by sources who may have broken the law, that report contended the National Security Agency was targeting its drone strikes on the cell phones of suspected terrorists, and thus could not always be certain whether it was killing its intended target or someone else in possession of the phone. 
Bias against Republicans
Partisan Republican causes and free-market organizations routinely receive skeptical coverage and analysis from the Intercept.
During confirmation hearings and debates regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Intercept produced dozens of highly critical commentaries and podcasts supporting left-wing claims that Kavanaugh had committed sexual misconduct in his youth. 
The libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch are also a frequent topic of skeptical reporting. Representative headlines include “Mike Pence is the Koch Brothers’ Manchurian Candidate,” and “Koch Document Reveals Laundry List of Policy Victories Extracted From the Trump Administration.” 
Coverage of Democrats and the Left
Though The Intercept’s editorial agenda is left-leaning, it is frequently critical of Democratic politicians and policies that conflict with the site’s far-left, anti-American ideology and support for exposing Western national security secrets.
Co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald has repeatedly defended the decision by Wikileaks to release emails stolen—allegedly by entities working as fronts for Russian military intelligence–from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election. In addition to agreeing with the propriety of exposing the emails, Greenwald also believes the American public had both a right to know what was in the emails and benefitted from what was learned. Wikileaks and Greenwald both collaborated with the release of classified national security information by Edward Snowden and assisted Snowden’s travel to Russia, having sought asylum for the defector in socialist Venezuela. 
Writing for the Intercept before the 2016 election Greenwald compared the disclosures by Wikileaks to the decision by the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, arguing that because the information stolen in both instances was genuine and important for the public to know, the motives of those stealing the data were irrelevant: “It’s often — perhaps almost always — the case that sources have impure motives: a desire for vengeance, careerism, ideological or political advantage, a sense of self-importance, some delusional grievance, a desire for profit.” 
In April 2018, following the DNC filing a lawsuit against Wikileaks for publishing the emails, Greenwald noted that documents stolen from private corporations by sources are frequently used by media to expose controversial and illegal behavior, and that reporters should be denouncing the DNC’s lawsuit.
“Media figures have constantly sounded the alarm about threats to press freedom each time Donald Trump posts an insulting tweet about various media personalities,” wrote Greenwald. “But the DNC’s lawsuit — just like the attempts of the Obama and Trump DOJs to criminalize and prosecute whistleblowing under the Espionage Act — is an actual grave threat to those press freedoms.” 
Support for Left-Wing Challenges
The Intercept has given favorable and repeated coverage to left wing primary challenges against Democratic incumbents, particularly those coming from candidates aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
Reporting on the September 2018 primary victory of a DSA candidate over an incumbent Democratic state senator in New York, an Intercept reporter wrote “For eight years, Albany has been a sort of personal fiefdom for [Democratic] Gov. Andrew Cuomo… That Albany vanished Thursday night.” 
Similarly, an August 2018 report previewing a left wing primary challenge against Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Carper provided this description: “Staked with millions in campaign donations, Carper has taken the side of the [banking] industry in virtually every policy debate over [almost 40 years], with the unfortunate side effect of helping to create the conditions for the 2008 financial crisis — and the next one.” 
Criticisms of Insufficient Revolutionary Zeal
A September 2018 report accused House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California of “vowing to handcuff her party’s progressive ambitions” with an agenda that “continues a trend of Democrats caring far more about deficits than Republicans, constraining the activist impulses of liberal policymakers while giving conservatives free rein to blow giant holes in the tax code.” 
The Intercept criticized the Democratic National Committee in August 2018 for being too cozy with the domestic energy industry. The DNC had reversed a ban on taking contributions from traditional energy companies in response to some organized labor leaders who wanted a more forceful statement that the political party was not hostile to the sometimes unionized energy sector employees. 
The Intercept is a project of First Look Media Works, a nonprofit organization created to support left-wing journalism and funded by Ebay co-founder Pierre Omidyar. According to First Look Media’s tax return, the organization spent $10.5 million to operate the website in 2016. 
Two Intercept reporters have been criticized for fabricating sources and handling sources improperly.
Staff reporter Juan M. Thompson was fired by the Intercept in February 2016 after the revelation that he had fabricated quotes and invented sources for some of his stories. Thompson had reported on the June 2015 white supremacist mass murder of African-American worshipers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church; Thompson’s dispatches included purported quotes from the attacker’s cousin that he had been enraged when a former girlfriend dated a black man. In its investigation, the Intercept could neither verify the story nor find family members who knew of a person by the alleged “cousin’s” name. 
Allegations from two previously confidential sources who claim to have given classified information to Matthew Cole, now national security reporter for the Intercept, and the circumstances regarding the arrest of a third, have raised doubts regarding whether or not Cole adequately protects the anonymity of those who trust him with their identities.
In 2007 former CIA officer John Kiriakou exposed the U.S. government’s policy of waterboarding terror suspects. His email exchanges with Cole regarding the story were later used to convict and imprison Kiriakou for two years. Cole was then working as a freelance reporter. 
In a 2017 interview with left-leaning podcast host Peter Collins, Kiriakou said Cole was “single-handedly responsible for putting me in prison.” 
In the same interview, former U.S. Army Sergeant Joe Hickman accused Cole of giving his name to the Pentagon while calling to investigate information Hickman says he shared confidentially with Cole. Hickman alleged that three terror suspects were murdered at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in 2006. 
As with the Kiriakou incident, this occurred before Cole was working for the Intercept.
A June 2017 story from the Intercept, credited to Cole and three other reporters, exposed a National Security Agency (NSA) report regarding evidence of an attempt by Russian military intelligence to hack into voting software just prior to the 2016 U.S. election.  Reality Winner, an employee with a federal contractor handling classified information for the NSA, was arrested that same week after the FBI obtained a copy of the report that had been mailed anonymously to the site and traced it back to Winner. The investigation began because a reporter from the Intercept, hoping to verify the report was real, had shown it to another NSA contractor, who in turn gave it to the FBI.  Kiriakou blamed Cole on Twitter: “Matthew Cole burns yet another source. It makes your entire organization untrustworthy.” 
The leadership of The Intercept and many of its contributors have previous associations with left-leaning news organizations and journalism. Some examples are noted below.
Betsy Reed serves as editor-in-chief of The Intercept. She is a former executive editor of the left-wing, pro-Russian magazine The Nation. As of 2015 she was paid $300,927 in salary and other compensation from First Look Media Works, the non-profit that operates the Intercept. 
Naomi Klein is a far-left journalist who is a senior correspondent for the Intercept. She is also at the Nation Institute and contributing editor for the affiliated far-left, pro-Russian magazine The Nation. The announcement of her new position at the Intercept included this explanation: “Predatory capitalism thrives on crisis, and Trump’s rule threatens to plunge the world into a seemingly endless series of political, environmental, and humanitarian disasters. No one is better than Naomi Klein at exposing the hidden agendas of disaster capitalists and their agents in government.”