Open letter to Greenwald, Scahill, Poitras, Rosen and others in First Look Media

Dear journalists of First Look Media,

There’s a lot of discussion around the source of funding for your new venture. Apparently Pierre Omidyar, billionaire founder of eBay will start you off with a cash infusion of 50 million dollars.

Take the money, please. And yes, it’s true that there is nothing new about this. Big money is commonly behind large media ventures.

And yes, you all have truly impressive track records of fearless, independent, adversarial journalism.

But please don’t ask us to ‘just trust us’ because we are ‘us’ and we’ve definitively proven ourselves in the past.

No individual is above temptation. Money has corrupted the best of us time and time again. What more recurrent theme is there in human history?

We shouldn’t have to place blind faith in you as individuals. If you were politicians that you yourselves were reporting on you would never accept that from them. You’ve built careers asking people not to blindly trust any ‘Great Leader’. We shouldn’t be asked to do that for you either.

We don’t doubt that this money is offered in good faith. Yes, take the money and use the power it uniquely confers on you to develop a new model that is not solely dependent on a billionaire’s goodwill. Seek funding from the grassroots. You have an unprecedented platform to champion the revolutionary potential of crowdfunding – don’t squander this to become like all the ones who came before.

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