Thursday, January 6, 2011

The MSM Calls For The Head Of Julian Assange

I wanted to round off NMP's coverage of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks story with a list (courtesy of Alternet.org) of eight misconceptions and smears about WikiLeaks by the media. As Glenn Greenwald notes in his column over at Salon, the MSM is going at Mr. Assange and his reputation as if he were Saddam Hussein, and of course as we all know Saddam was Hitler. Of this approach to Mr. Assange, Greenwald says,

...there's something quite surreal about sitting there listening to a CNN anchor and her fellow CNN employee angrily proclaim that Julian Assange is a "terrorist" and a "criminal" when the CNN employee doing that is . . . . George W. Bush's Homeland Security and Terrorism adviser. Fran Townsend was a high-level national security official for a President who destroyed another nation with an illegal, lie-fueled military attack that killed well over 100,000 innocent people, created a worldwide torture regime, illegally spied on his own citizens without warrants, disappeared people to CIA "black sites," and erected a due-process-free gulag where scores of knowingly innocent people were put in cages for years. Julian Assange never did any of those things, or anything like them. But it's Assange who is the "terrorist" and the "criminal."
To Greenwald this episode is most notable because it marks the union of political figures and journalists, of whom he writes, There's just no difference in how they think, what their values and priorities are, how completely they've ingested and how eagerly they recite the same anti-WikiLeaks, "Assange = Saddam" script.

The collective behaviour of those in the media and their lack of scrutiny of what's actually in the cables themselves is an indictment of the press. Glennzilla writes with some awe,
What an astounding feat to train a nation's journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists -- of all people -- lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful.
What's really astonishing is how unsurprising this all is and how accepting we are of this as SOP for the press in the 21st century. Frankly, I'd like to go back to the 1960's when the 21st century still had promise.
 

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