How we determined this rating:
Editorial Review: Oct 2023
- Community Feedback: ratings
- AllSides has low or initial confidence in this bias rating.
Unless otherwise noted, this bias rating refers only to online news coverage, not TV, print, or radio content.Learn about our bias rating methods
About The Intercept's Bias Rating
The Intercept is featured on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
The Intercept is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Left.
What a "Left" Rating Means
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Left display media bias in ways that strongly align with liberal, progressive, or left-wing thought and/or policy agendas. This is our most liberal rating on the political spectrum.Learn more about Left ratings
Bias ReviewsWe use multiple methods to analyze sources. Learn how we rate media bias.
A small group of AllSides reviewers — one person each with a bias on the left, center, and right — reviewed content from The Intercept for media bias. The team noted The Intercept published a unique brand of journalism that primarily demonstrated anti-elite bias from the left perspective.
The Intercept’s reporting reflected perspectives common in media coverage on the left, such as pro-union, pro-progressive, pro-labor, pro-democracy, pro-LGBTQ/social justice, and was sympathetic to Palestine, critical of Israel, and in general critical of figures in power, like the Biden Administration, major corporations, and other key U.S. government officials. The team did note, however, that contrary to its bias on Israel and Palestine, The Intercept’s past coverage of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict appeared to come from a more Center perspective. The team also noted that anti-elite bias shown by The Intercept is also often shown by some Right-rated media outlets and commentators.
The outlet primarily shared original commentary and investigative reporting that the AllSides team determined came from different angles than many mainstream media outlets. On its “About” page [Retrieved Oct. 27, 2023] The Intercept declared itself “dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism,” which is consistent with the anti-elite bias the team found the outlet to exhibit.
At the time of review, topics covered by The Intercept included the Israel-Gaza conflict, the United Auto Workers strike, Big Tech, book bans, and U.S. politics.
Community FeedbackFeedback does not determine ratings, but may trigger deeper review.
As of March 2024, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for The Intercept. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Left bias.
Confidence LevelConfidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of March 2024, AllSides has low or initial confidence in our Left rating for The Intercept. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
The Intercept is an online publication that launched in February 2014. It has a strong focus on freedom of the press, providing "aggressive and independent adversarial journalism" and imposing "transparency, and thus accountability, on those who wield the greatest governmental and corporate power." Its three co-founding editors were Glenn Greenwald, Laura Potras, and Jeremy Scahill.
The Intercept is owned by First Look Media, which was created and is funded by eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar. Greenwald is best known for his role in a series of reports published by The Guardian in June 2013 that detailed the United States and British global surveillance programs, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden.
Co-Founder Glenn Greenwald's Accusations of Bias
In Oct. 2020, Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald resigned from the publication, accusing it of censorship and bias in an open letter. The Intercept responded with a statement denying the allegations. Greenwald wrote in part:
"The final, precipitating cause [for my resignation] is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression. ... "I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose."
Greenwald went on to accuse The Intercept's "current iteration" "completely unrecognizable" compared to its original vision. He wrote:
"Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, it 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." "It is even rarer for The Intercept to publish content that would not fit very comfortably in at least a dozen or more center-left publications of similar size which pre-dated its founding, from Mother Jones to Vox and even MSNBC."
Intercept Editor in Chief Betsy Reed responded by saying the resignation stemmed from a "fundamental disagreement over the role of editors in the production of journalism and the nature of censorship." She continued:
"Glenn demands the absolute right to determine what he will publish. He believes that anyone who disagrees with him is corrupt, and anyone who presumes to edit his words is a censor. Thus the preposterous charge that The Intercept's reporters and editors, with the lone exception of Glenn Greenwald, have betrayed our mission to engage in fearless investigative journalism because we have been seduced by the lure of a Joe Biden presidency. A brief glance at the stories The Intercept has published on Joe Biden will suffice to refute those claims. The narrative he presents about his departure is teeming with distortions and inaccuracies — all of them designed to make him appear a victim, rather than a grown person throwing a tantrum."
Coverage of the COVID-19 Lab Leak Theory
The Intercept – despite being rated Left by AllSides during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – received attention when it provided investigative journalism covering the theory that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
Third-Party Accusations of Bias
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple noted in February 2014 that The Intercept refuses to use the term ""targeted killings" to refer to the U.S. drone program, instead referring to the drone strikes as "assassinations." Wemple noted that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder disagreed that the killings amount to assassinations, and that "mainstream media outlets appear to side with Holder on this particular issue."
Bias of Intercept Writers
In February 2017, The Intercept hired Naomi Klein as Senior Correspondent. Klein is a social activist and critic of capitalism (Wikipedia). For The Intercept, she has written pieces such as, "Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not 'Human Nature'" and "The U.S. Government Has Become the Ultimate Extension of Donald Trump's For-Profit Brand."
The Intercept's Self-Proclaimed Bias
The Intercept says it is devoted to "fearless, adversarial journalism." Its stated editorial approach "does not mean mandating “balance” when one perspective on a subject — such as the science of climate change, or the justification for a war crime — is clearly without merit."
The Intercept Ownership and FundingFunding and ownership do not influence bias ratings. We rate the bias of content only.
Owner: First Look Media, Pierre Omidyar
In September 2022, The Intercept received $500,000 as part of a larger $4 million grant from Sam Bankman-Fried's foundation. After Sam Bankman-Fried's arrest for fraud, a spokesperson for The Intercept said, "At this time, we are still gathering the information we need to make a principled decision in accordance with our mission and values." The funding from SBF has lead to accusations of bias in their coverage of SBF and the fall of his cryptocurrency FTX.
Financing and ownership information last updated January 4, 2023. If you think this information is out of date or needs to be updated, please contact us.