The Intercept appealed to its readers for donations after the publication revealed that a multi-million dollar grant from disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will be put “on hold” due to FTX’s bankruptcy filing.
Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange fell from a $32 billion valuation to bankruptcy after his company was at the center of major crypto scandals last week.
As Breitbart News Economics editor John Carney explained:
We’re still learning exactly what happened to FTX, but there are clear echoes from the financial crisis. On Nov. 3, Coindesk reported that much of the $14.6 billion in assets of a fund called Alameda Research consisted of tokens created by FTX. These tokens are kind of like airline miles — a type of company-created currency issued to its customers — except they could be traded on crypto exchanges. Many found this annoying because Alameda Research is also owned by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, whom everyone calls SBF. This raised the possibility that the value of FTT, FTX tokens, is artificially propped up by the Alameda dragons’ vault.
In addition to being a Democratic mega-donor, Bankman-Fried has poured millions of dollars into media through one of his philanthropic entities, the Building a Stronger Future foundation.
So @SBF_FTX gave money to outlets like Vox & The Intercept. He had glowing puff pieces in NYT, Fortune, Forbes, CNBC…
Writing big checks to Democrats buys a lot of shiny PR
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) November 16, 2022
The Intercept is one of several media outlets that received a huge donation from Bankman-Fried’s foundation.
Bankman-Fried pledged $4 million to The Intercept over two years. So far, the outlet has received $500,000 of the $4 million to support its “biosecurity and pandemic prevention” reporting.
But The Intercept’s deputy editor Roger Hodge announced Friday that future grant payments are “on hold” and used the announcement to ask readers for donations.
Hodge He wrote:
Much remains unknown about the future of FTX and SBF’s charitable giving. We’ve been in touch with our colleagues at other nonprofit newsrooms that have received support from the Building a Stronger Future Foundation, and we remain hopeful that other donors committed to this project will step forward.
But as of today, we have a significant hole in our budget. If you can, please consider donating today to support The Intercept’s crusading independent journalism.
How many posts did SBF bribe? pic.twitter.com/nLDGr15XGo
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) November 18, 2022
It is unclear whether the store plans to keep or return the $500,000 it has already received from Bankman-Fried’s foundation.
In the wake of the FTX collapse, a number of celebrity endorsers, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Larry David, David Ortiz, Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, along with Bankman-Fried, are being sued by cryptocurrency investors.
FTX was “ultimately a Ponzi scheme, misleading clients and prospective clients into the false impression that any cryptocurrency assets held on the Deceptive FTX Platform were safe and not invested in unregistered securities,” the lawsuit alleges.
The Intercept isn’t the only media outlet to receive funding from Bankman-Fried’s Building a Stronger Future Foundation.
I wrote earlier today that there is a huge question mark over whether the SBF will be able to continue funding media in the future.
The grants have been allocated to:
— The interception
— The Law and Justice Journalism Project
— A podcasthttps://t.co/hqeislc8fr https://t.co/cPT1geNoGw
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) November 11, 2022
ProPublica similarly received a $5 million grant from the foundation to support its “pandemic and biothreat preparedness” reporting, receiving one-third of the grant earlier this year, with the remaining two-thirds disbursed over the next two years.
However, ProPublica president Robin Sparkman also announced that future grant payments will be “on hold.”
New: Grants from Sam Bankman-Fried’s foundation to ProPublica are on hold. The following is ProPublica president Robin Sparkman’s email to staff this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/J62bdFsppo
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) November 11, 2022
Sparkman he said Bankman-Fried’s foundation is “evaluating its finances and, at the same time, is in discussions with other funders about taking over a portion of its grant portfolio.”
New media outlet Semafor, headed by ex New York Times Columnist Ben Smith also received an undisclosed investment from the Building a Stronger Future Foundation. Vox also received an undisclosed amount from the foundation.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him Twitter.