11 March 2014
John Cook, Gawker Editor, Joins The Intercept
First Look Media Adds Editor of Gawker
By NOAM COHEN
MARCH 10, 2014
First Look Media, the online news venture backed by the technology billionaire
Pierre M. Omidyar, is adding John Cook, the editor of Gawker, to its growing
stable of journalists, the publication announced on Monday.
The project became public in October with the news that Mr. Omidyar would
initially invest $250 million and was bringing in the national security reporters
Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. In December, Mr.
Omidyars organization said he had already made an infusion of
Mr. Cook will become the editor in chief of The Intercept, a digital magazine
introduced in February and currently edited by Mr. Greenwald, Mr. Scahill
and Ms. Poitras.
The magazine has been focused on reporting on the disclosures about government
surveillance exposed by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security
Administration contractor, which is a story that Mr. Greenwald and Ms. Poitras
previously reported on for The Guardian and other publications.
Mr. Cooks hiring was first reported by ReCode. Over time, Mr. Cook
said in an interview, The Intercept will broaden its mission to more generally
cover national security and criminal justice.
He said his mission was to make sure the reporting was read, that the magazine
doesnt limit our audience to preaching to the choir. And,
he added, hopefully its not boring.
Mr. Cooks hiring is the latest in a series of notable additions to
First Looks staff, including the Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi,
who will be running his own digital magazine.
Like Mr. Taibbi, who has built a reputation as a brash and determined critic
of Wall Street, Mr. Cook has enjoyed sparring directly with the subjects
of his reporting, particularly Roger Ailes and Fox News. Mr. Cook shepherded
the Fox mole, whose behind-the-scenes dispatches from inside
the network in 2012 were popular on Gawker. (The mole was revealed to be
an associate producer on The OReilly Factor, and was promptly
We are trying to build an operation that takes risks, said Mr.
Cook of his and Mr. Taibbis hirings.
To find stories that pick fights and pick the right fights. The model
is to be adversarial and fierce and aggressive and yes, that is on