Glenn Greenwald’s Call Same as Bob Parry’s in 1995

After resigning from The Intercept when it suppressed one of his stories, Greenwald is calling for a new news outlet whose aim is the same as what the creator of this website established in November 1995.

Robert Parry receiving the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in London on June 28, 2017. Also, from left to right, are Victoria Britain, John Pilger and Vanessa Redgrave.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

When asked why he started Consortium News now 25 years ago, the late Robert Parry said he got fed up with the resistance he faced from editors at the Associated Press and Newsweek who put obstacles in the way of his stories, often of great national significance. 

The AP refused to publish his story naming Oliver North, explaining his crucial role in the Iran-Contra scandal.  It was only published after it inadvertently went out on the AP’s Spanish-language wire.  

One editor at Newsweek told him asking certain tough questions of U.S. officials was not for “the good of the country.” The facts Parry unearthed went too far in exposing the dark side of American power. His editor was speaking, of course, about what was for the good of the rulers of the country, not the rest of us.

So Bob quit corporate journalism and created a consortium for journalists who ran up against similar obstruction from their editors: a place for them to publish what they could not get published in the mainstream.

In the last article Parry ever wrote, he described why he started Consortium News:

“The point of Consortium News, which I founded in 1995, was to use the new medium of the modern Internet to allow the old principles of journalism to have a new home, i.e., a place to pursue important facts and giving everyone a fair shake. But we were just a tiny pebble in the ocean.”

In that last article, he described in detail what had gone wrong in mainstream journalism, particularly its increasing partisanship:

The trend of using journalism as just another front in no-holds-barred political warfare continued – with Democrats and liberals adapting to the successful techniques pioneered mostly by Republicans and by well-heeled conservatives. …

More and more I would encounter policymakers, activists and, yes, journalists who cared less about a careful evaluation of the facts and logic and more about achieving a pre-ordained geopolitical result – and this loss of objective standards reached deeply into the most prestigious halls of American media.

This perversion of principles – twisting information to fit a desired conclusion – became the modus vivendi of American politics and journalism. And those of us who insisted on defending the journalistic principles of skepticism and evenhandedness were increasingly shunned by our colleagues, a hostility that first emerged on the Right and among neoconservatives but eventually sucked in the progressive world as well. Everything became ‘information warfare.’”


Glenn Greenwald. (Gustavo Oliveira / Demotix)

Twenty-five years later journalist Glenn Greenwald quit The Intercept because, as the Associated Press did to Bob Parry, his editors spiked a story they thought was not for the good of their preferred presidential candidate.  In announcing his resignation, Greenwald revealed that he is intending to start a new publication, very much with the aim of Bob Parry’s.  Greenwald wrote:

“Prior to the extraordinary experience of being censored … by my own news outlet, I had already been exploring the possibility of creating a new media outlet. I have spent a couple of months in active discussions with some of the most interesting, independent and vibrant journalists, writers and commentators across the political spectrum about the feasibility of securing financing for a new outlet that would be designed to combat these trends.

The aim of this publication, Greenwald wrote, would be to tackle the exact problems that Parry had described, which since his death in January 2018, has only grown worse.  Greenwald wrote:

American media is gripped in a polarized culture war that is forcing journalism to conform to tribal, groupthink narratives that are often divorced from the truth and cater to perspectives that are not reflective of the broader public but instead a minority of hyper-partisan elites. The need to conform to highly restrictive, artificial cultural narratives and partisan identities has created a repressive and illiberal environment in which vast swaths of news and reporting either do not happen or are presented through the most skewed and reality-detached lens.

With nearly all major media institutions captured to some degree by this dynamic, a deep need exists for media that is untethered and free to transgress the boundaries of this polarized culture war and address a demand from a public that is starved for media that doesn’t play for a side but instead pursues lines of reporting, thought, and inquiry wherever they lead, without fear of violating cultural pieties or elite orthodoxies.'”

Consortium News was the very first independent news site in the vein that Greenwald describes, and after a quarter of a century, it’s still going. We have always been funded by our readers. But now there’s lots of competition. The Intercept, founded by a billionaire, for instance, is asking $900,000 in its year-end fund drive.

Our fundraising goal is much more modest.  We hope to expand, adding writers and editors to engage in special projects. But we are asking for the bare minimum to keep operating the original, independent news site.  So please make a fully tax-deductible donation to Consortium News today.


Please Contribute to Consortium News’ Winter Fund Drive

Donate securely with Paypal



Or securely by credit card or check by clicking the red button:

17 comments for “Glenn Greenwald’s Call Same as Bob Parry’s in 1995

  1. David F., N.A.
    December 19, 2020 at 05:18

    I’m amazed Greenwald lasted this long at The Intercept. I thought he’d been gone years ago with all the MSNBC crap it spews. I got so tired of filtering though all its nonsense to find his articles, I ended up having to bookmark his home page. And now that he’s left, I don’t feel like a partisan conservaDem when I read his articles anymore.

    Like most here, I also thought his and CN’s integrity was a perfect match. I’m sure he has his reason’s for being where he’s at, but who knows, maybe one day.

  2. Debz
    December 18, 2020 at 23:54

    We need more independent voices/news outlets, that rely on reader subscriptions rather than billionaire owners or funding by private and secret individuals. Go Glen, your leaving The Intercept is long overdue..

  3. DH Fabian
    December 18, 2020 at 22:09

    As we prepare to install the Biden administration, liberal media (echoing the corporate media) once again try to breathe life back into the Russiagate scheme for reasons that remain obscure (especially to them). This time, msm correctly began with an alleged (unsuccessful) attempt to hack into some business computers centered in Texas. Pretty routine, especially this time of year, as hackers try to obtain credit card information. But within one day, the story was twisted into a sordid tale about Russia hacking into national security sites! An out-an-out lie, just like the lies about “Iraq’s stockpiles of WMD.” The problem isn’t just that our media are biased or inaccurate, but that they have become downright dangerous.

    • paul easton
      December 19, 2020 at 19:01

      How do you know it is fake? The Times is running like mad with it. They published an oped by a “Security Specialist” that said the gumment had to replace all its hardware and software. Opportunity is knocking for Security Specialists. We are feeling insecure.

  4. December 18, 2020 at 20:57

    and there is this

  5. James G. Fitzgerald
    December 18, 2020 at 19:22

    “demand from a public that is starved for media that doesn’t play for a side but instead pursues lines of reporting, thought, and inquiry wherever they lead, without fear of violating cultural pieties or elite orthodoxies”

    How much demand is there for this these day? Not much from what I can see, even as I hope I fit into that category. I say “hope,” as I know we all have our pre-conceived notions and biases!

    • DH Fabian
      December 18, 2020 at 22:15

      Agree. A good chunk of the country stopped thinking in favor of merely reciting whatever they hear on Fox/MSNBC. They learned nothing from Bush’s lies about Iraqi WMDs or the Democrats lies about “Russian election interference.” (At the risk of insulting many Americans, Russia truly isn’t interested in today’s US petty party politics.) Next year, we can get back to discussing our ruling duopoly.

  6. CNfan
    December 18, 2020 at 19:05

    Consortium News is a treasure of intellectual integrity.

  7. Nathan Mulcahy
    December 18, 2020 at 19:04

    Why doesn’t Greenwald join Consortium News? But what’s wrong with having more than one great news source? In fact, I like having multiple ones, each with its own style, focus etc.

    Btw, you are doing a fantastic job CN!

      December 18, 2020 at 20:40

      Thank you. But this article in no way says there’s something wrong with having more than one “great news source.” It is an appeal to support the “original” alternative news site on the web, not the “only” alternative news site.

  8. December 18, 2020 at 17:52

    Without the Robert Parry’s and Gary Webb’s digging the planet is doomed to a powerful few, herding a large mass of slaves. Given the planets current inequality and leaning far towards technological and military dictatorships, the freedom to “report” the facts is seriously under assault.
    Regardless of Greenwoods motives for leaving the Intercept,
    the planet needs his continued reporting.
    That’s why I keep contributing to Bob parry’s memory.

  9. John Drake
    December 18, 2020 at 16:27

    Then there is the issue of the Intercept’s handling, or abandoning further publishing, of the Snowden archives which appear to end in May 2019. There is supposedly much left to organize and reveal.

    There appears to be a problem with left leaning independent sites founded by the wealthy. Truthdig is another example , which is now only showing past articles. It’s co-editor has gone elsewhere. Counterpunch has reported on that disaster; it was a very good site.

  10. vinnieoh
    December 18, 2020 at 12:16

    Joe it’s only been a few months since my last donation, but this site is too important and I will help – after I consult the Mrs.

    As for GG here on CN, I wonder if pride or ego may have so far prevented such a collaboration, ie.: being one among many and not in editorial control(?)

  11. Zalamander
    December 18, 2020 at 11:21

    Having Glenn Greenwald join CN would be awesome, please consider!

  12. Richard Coleman
    December 18, 2020 at 10:56

    Why doesn’t Glenn simply join CN? Seems like ‘twould be a marriage made in heaven.

  13. PEG
    December 18, 2020 at 10:40

    Why doesn’t Glenn Greenwald just join the Consortium News team? GG’s substack articles are very worthwhile and would fit right into the CN format. On the other hand, having another high-profile alternative site won’t hurt – after all, the mainstream media is itself divided among various outlets, print, cable, internet, social media…

    • Rob Roy
      December 19, 2020 at 14:40

      …and substack has Matt Taibbi, too.

Comments are closed.