It was an eye-rolling moment for many at The Intercept. Multiple staffers at the outlet pointed out that, despite his objections to editing from above, Greenwald was ultimately one of the least-edited writers at the site. While the editing processes around his work varied—his lengthier, often-reported pieces tended to get editorial scrutiny, while his columns did not—Greenwald would often announce in internal company channels that he was planning to publish columns, causing copy editors to scramble at the last minute to, as one editor put it, “fix broken sentences and danglers and modifiers and word salad that he would generate.”

Top editors were somewhat uncomfortable with the leeway afforded to Greenwald, but his status as a co-founder of the place, along with predetermined contractual agreements, allowed him fairly broad discretion over his editorial work. Greenwald told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview that his contract allowed him to self-publish except in instances that may put the publication at legal risk, and instances where the subject matter involved original reporting that was of an “unusually complex nature.” While Reed believed that the piece met the second threshold, Greenwald did not.