replies to an email from a reader re: his new Pierre Omidyar/First Look media venture and his NSA reporting. Among his revelations/explanations:
--He has no ownership stake in First Look at all. "My relationship to First Look
unchanged from my relationship to Salon and the Guardian: I will write
and news articles which they publish. The only formal difference is
because it's a start-up, we're building the whole thing from the ground
part of my work now, and in the future, will go beyond just the
personally producing to help shape and construct what the new venture
will be. That is a big part of what makes it so exciting for me."
--"The centrality of me and the NSA story to
this new venture has been wildly overstated. Yes, my joining it is what caused there
to be a lot of publicity in the first instance, but that's only because we were
not ready to announce it when it leaked. This is going to be a general-interest
media outlet with many dozens of journalists, editors and others with long and
established histories of journalism, and obviously extends far beyond my work
or the NSA story."
--They are not "holding back documents."
--Media have wrongly claimed that only he has the full Snowden docs, ignoring that Laura Poitras also has them.
--The theories that Omidyar created the new org to suppress Snowden docs that make him or eBay/PayPal look bad is "absurd...the very idea that this large group of people with
a history of very independent journalism against the largest governmental and
corporate entities is suddenly going to be told that they're "not
allowed" to publish a big story because Pierre doesn't want it published,
and we're all just going to passively and quietly obey, is truly laughable to
me, but I concede that I can't disprove that to you."