In 2013, Edward Snowden, an ex-NSA freelancer, released to journalists massive amounts of documents showing the NSA has been spying on US citizens and using vulnerabilities in smartphones and data centers. Since then, I’ve wanted more oversight on our government agencies. I felt so in the dark! Conspiracies! Agendas! The government is spying on us! Are we being protected, or just monitored? Should we panic? How bad is it?
Intercepted looks deeper into surveillance, and government and corporate motivations.
Even though Intercepted is known as a liberal podcast, they attack the left as much as the right.
From The Intercept’s about page:
“The Intercept is dedicated to producing fearless, adversarial journalism. We believe journalism should bring transparency and accountability to powerful governmental and corporate institutions, and our journalists have the editorial freedom and legal support to pursue this mission.”
If you’re interested in reading my latest reviews on other political podcasts, check out FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: At the Intersection of Stats and Politics and “Can He Do That?” A Political Podcast Keeping Trump in Check.
When Snowden leaked the NSA surveillance documents in 2013 to Glenn Greenwald, a litigation lawyer of 10 years and writer for The Guardian, Glenn co-created The Intercept, a website devoted to exposing government corruption, spying, and surveillance. Since then, The Intercept has continued to release many leaked cables and documents to expose the government’s secrets.
Starting in January 2017, The Intercept started a weekly hour-long podcast called Intercepted to disseminate and discuss authentic journalism.
The host of Intercepted is Jeremy Scahill, known for his book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is a fellow at The Nation Institute, previously a producer and contributor to Democracy Now!, and is the co-founder of The Intercept. He monologues leading into the topic, moderates a panel of writers and editors from The Intercept, and interviews a politician or journalist.
Every Intercepted contributor is an award-winning or well-renowned journalist who examines leaked cables, documents, and more, to share details you either won’t hear or get the full story on the nightly news, such as the Obama administration’s drone procedures and the first comprehensive publication of classified documents about U.S. capture and kill operations.
Glenn Greenwald is often a panelist and contributor to the podcast, offering a detailed and comprehensive take on any topic. Jeremy interviewed Glenn about Snowden and the current administration’s ties to Russia within the 2016 campaign… I don’t agree with every view Glenn and Jeremy share, but I don’t disagree either. They provide a lot to think about and a perspective that is rarely shared.
The interview portion illustrates the methods their journalists use to uncover details about government programs. On episode 5, The “Undisciplined Authoritarian,” Jeremy interviewed Sam Biddle, an American technology journalist. He is a reporter for The Intercept and was formerly a senior writer at Gawker. Sam is the author of “How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped The NSA Spy On The Whole World.” Palantir is a software tool that governments can use to analyze mass-collected data.
On Episode 8, “Snowden vs. Trump,” Jeremy was Live at SXSW 2017 and interviewed Edward Snowden. After leaking the NSA documents, Edward Snowden fled to multiple countries but his passport was canceled while he was in Russia, forcing him to stay there. Here is a clip from that episode about Snowden’s new life on the run, and his almost zen outlook.
At the end of each episode, Jeremy invites an artist to share their music or verse. The music and poetry provide the commentary and passion that only artists can deliver. Featured on the 8th episode is Kayem, a Libyan-American hip-hop artist who has had to keep a low profile the past few years due to multiple FBI visits and detentions, despite no charges or convicted crimes.
Season Two started May 2017. The new season includes an interview with Glenn Greenwald about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and a frank conversation with Jill Stein about her role in the election, that photo of her with Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn, and why the mainstream media loves to hate her.
I appreciate Jill’s persistence in the face of challenges from all sides, and she continues to fight for what she feels in right, just, and fair. I also like this interview because I was expecting harsh challenges from Jeremy too; instead he asked tough but fair questions.
In June of 2017, NSA documents were leaked to The Intercept and posted on the site. The following day, Reality Winner, contracted with the NSA, was arrested and charged with the leak and The Intercept came under scrutiny for their part in her arrest. On the episode “The Trump Mixtape,” Jeremy addresses the issue.
The Intercept is funded by First Look Media, a non-profit founded by philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with the billions he made from the IPO of eBay. Intercepted is the podcast you want to listen to if you’re looking for journalism that isn’t owned by corporations or advertisers, and provides not only a variety of voices from the panelists and guests but also entertainment with musical guests and poets, leaving the listener with more to consider.
You can find more at theintercept.com/podcasts. To listen to my podcast review of Intercepted listen below…