Is it merely a social agenda of eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar, to fund anti-government groups in Ukraine and build a left-wing journalistic effort in First Look Media online? Website PandoDaily published a story Friday reporting that Omidyar had bankrolled the protest groups that toppled the government of Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych.
So, questions began flying as to who knew of this funding? Glenn Greenwald, former writer at the Guardian, Snowden leaker and now Editorial Operations at Omidyar’s new First Look Media, replied Sunday evening that he knew in 2011 of the funding by Omidyar.
PandoDaily's Mark Ames wrote: ‘What all this adds up to is a journalistic conflict-of-interest of the worst kind: Omidyar working hand-in-glove with U.S. foreign policy agencies to interfere in foreign governments, co-financing regime change with well-known arms of the American empire — while at the same time hiring a growing team of soi-disant 'independent journalists' which vows to investigate the behavior of the US government at home and overseas, and boasts of its uniquely 'adversarial' relationship toward these government institutions.’
While indignation seeped through the words, Greenwald in his Sunday evening reply stated that he was independent in his reporting and that knowledge of this item did not affect his reporting in the past or in the present and future.
Last November Mark Ames on PandoDaily had criticized Greenwald and Omidyar about ‘privatizing’ the Snowden files. He wrote, ‘Never before has such a vast trove of public secrets been sold wholesale to a single billionaire as the foundation of a for-profit company.’
Paul Carr owner of PandoDaily and writer Mark Ames did not give much time to Greenwald and First Look people to reply before posting. When Erik Wemple of the Washington Post asked Paul about the timeline of response, Paul responded, ‘A small number of hours.’ The reason Carr and Ames didn’t give them longer is tactical. ‘Honestly, I was thinking, ‘I don’t trust Greenwald one bit. He would have a response up before we even post our thing,’ says Carr.
When Eric Wemple asked First Look Media for an official comment for his blog on the Washington Post for today, the response was to ask for more content. ‘First Look has embraced a non-hierarchical leadership structure, meaning that it could be challenging to find anyone who’ll speak for everyone there,’ writes Eric Wemple at the close of Monday for some open replies to the question of conflicts in journalistic interest.
Rem Rieder writes Monday in the USA Today that, 'as the Omidyar venture, which has launched its first digital magazine, The Intercept, takes shape, it will be watched closely. But I continue to see it as source of hope, not alarm.'
To view other articles see list below in Author's suggestions and view the video atop this article from the Huffington Post interview with Glenn Greenwald on journalistic freedom.
Twitter: Victoria Wagner@victoriaross888