Lloyd Grove
February 12, 2014

The Intercept has landed—but with a bang or a thud?

Given the four-month drumroll preceding Monday’s launch of the first in a series of digital magazines planned by First Look Media—eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s $250 million journalism startup—the attendant fanfare has been predictably noisy, with scores of news outlets in the United States and abroad welcoming the new kid on the block.

But the day’s big headline concerning America’s mushrooming espionage and national security apparatus—the new mag’s stated focus—was generated not by The Intercept but by the Associated Press, the 168-year-old news cooperative. The mainstream establishment wire service revealed an internal debate among U.S. government officials about whether an American citizen living abroad, and suspected of being al Qaeda member who is plotting terrorist attacks against the U.S., can be legally targeted by a lethal CIA drone.

That is the story receiving front-page play in Tuesday’s New York Times, whose most recent mention of The Intercept is a Jan. 10 book review of an identically-titled first novel by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

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