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Podcast Review: Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill

Keith Higgons

Posted on April 14, 2019 10:32

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This isn't your parents liberal journalism.

Online publication The Intercept was founded in 2014 by First Look Media, funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Its current editors are Betsy Reed, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. Initially, it served to publish documents released by Edward Snowden.

Since then, The Intercept has gone on to publish stories involving the U.S. military's assassination program and how SEAL Team Six may have committed potential war crimes. So, there's that. 

As you can see, The Intercept hits a lot harder than NPR. They describe themselves as "adversarial journalism".

They launched their first podcast Intercepted, hosted by The Intercept editor and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill on January 25, 2017 titled "The Clock Strikes Thirteen, Donald Trump is President".

By way of introduction, Scahill started his career as an activist before moving to journalism. He began covering the Kosovo conflict and then covering the endless "War on Terror" in the Middle East, which led to regular appearances on cable shows like The Rachel Maddow Show, The Daily Show, The Bill Maher Show, etc. 

Scahill's first book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. 2013's Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, detailed President Obama's continuation of President Bush's doctrine that "the world is a battlefield," a doctrine that relied on missiles and drone strikes to carry out the bulk of covert operations. Dirty Wars became an Academy Award Nominated film for Best Documentary.

When The Intercept moved into podcasting, Scahill seemed the natural fit. Like its online counterpart, to call Intercepted a progressive podcast would be misleading. Yes, it is, but true to their online mission, Intercepted is "adversarial journalism." A good rule is that if you've never heard of, or read, Jacobin Magazine, you're not going to like much of what Intercepted covers.

The show usually begins with an audio montage that’s a tongue in cheek intro. Recently, they intercut Beto O'Rourke with audio clips from Napoleon Dynamite. Not only was it hysterical, but it also hit a little too close to home.

The first segment is a monologue by Scahill about the shows topic. As you might imagine, hard hitting and opinionated.

The second segment is either an interview with one person or a panel of people, typically academics, activists or progressive journalists. This is usually a Q&A, with much more time given to the guest(s). This segment can clock a little long but is usually worth it.

The next couple of segments are up for grabs and could go anywhere. It could be more interviews to reinforce the subject or be a poem or even a monologue. Recently, the last segment was an interview with Washington D.C. punk band Priests. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, but its always interesting.

Maybe NPR is as liberal and adversarial as you want to get. But if you want to hear a little more, Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill is a great place to listen.

Keith Higgons

Posted on April 14, 2019 10:32

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