Ken Silverstein is an American journalist who, in September 2010, left his position as Washington editor and blogger at Harper's Magazine, but remained a contributing editor. He resides in Washington, D.C.
He is a self-described "vole" in the newspaper business, and an opponent of what he considers "false 'balance'" in the news media. In 1993, Silverstein started CounterPunch, a political newsletter. Silverstein left this publication in 1996.
He drew attention in 2007 for a report in which he went undercover as part of an investment group with business interests in Turkmenistan, raising questions about journalistic ethics. Silverstein said that he could not have exposed the willingness of the companies to work with a Stalinist dictatorship using conventional journalism methods.
In December 2013, Silverstein was hired as senior investigative reporter by First Look Media. In November 2014, Silverstein began writing for First Look's The Intercept. There, Silverstein sparked some controversy for an article critical of the popular NPR podcast, Serial.
In February 2015, Silverstein announced his resignation from The Intercept in a series of Facebook posts calling his former employers a "pathetic joke". Expressing anger and disillusionment towards the company, Silverstein stated, "I am one of many employees who was hired under what were essentially false pretenses; we were told we would be given all the financial and other support we needed to do independent, important journalism, but instead found ourselves blocked at every step of the way by management's incompetence and bad faith."
Silverstein launched the website Washington Babylon in 2016, for which he is editor-in-chief. The site is named after his previous column at Harper's and the 1996 book he co-wrote with journalist Alexander Cockburn. Silverstein said his goal for Washington Babylon is "to cover DC politicians and journalists like Hollywood celebrities – not the way they are worshiped by our current media masters."