Julian Assange – Whats wrong with Gaurdian

I do follow Guardian very closely. Today I read this so-called interview based profile of Julian Assange. Its wrong at so many levels. It doesn't talk anything about his work or whats the effect of it. It's completely focused on his personal life to bring him down at any cost1. Gaurdian which thinks high of itself that it broke up relation with WikiLeaks (on so-called Journalistic grounds) should have given its readers more balanced view, or at least that's what one would expect from a "Journalist" right?. I don't know who is Decca Aitkenhead. But its true that she is very skilled at what she does1.

Go ahead and read the complete article. But I have some paragraphs here (Hopefully Gaurdian won't sue me for copyright) which I find non Journalist types.

Ecuador has granted its guest formal asylum, but the WikiLeaks founder can't get as far as Harrods, let alone to South America, because the moment he leaves the embassy, he will be arrested – even if he comes out in a diplomatic bag or handcuffed to the ambassador – and extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

ISSUE: It seems the writer already knows the future. Read the line "He will be arrested"

But when Assange appears, he seems more like an in-patient than an interviewee, his opening words slow and hesitant, the voice so cracked as to be barely audible. If you have ever visited someone convalescing after a breakdown, his demeanour would be instantly recognisable. Admirers cast him as the new Jason Bourne, but in these first few minutes I worry he may be heading more towards Miss Havisham.

ISSUE: She is also a psychologist

Others have wondered how he could make a chatshow for a state-owned Moscow TV station. "I've never worked for a Russian state-owned television channel. That's just ridiculous – the usual propaganda rubbish." He spells it out slowly and deliberately. "I have a TV production company, wholly owned by me. We work in partnership with Dartmouth Films, a London production company, to produce a 12-part TV series about activists and thinkers from around the world. Russia Today was one of more than 20 different media organisations that purchased a licence. That is all." There is no one to whom he wouldn't sell a licence? "Absolutely not. In order to go to the hospital, we must put Shell in our car. In order to make the maximum possible impact for our sources, we have to deal with organisations like the New York Times and the Guardian." He pauses. "It doesn't mean we approve of these organisations."

ISSUE: Who are these "others"? Dont you expect the journalists to do some background work?

He has a special ultraviolet lamp to compensate for the lack of sunlight, but uses it "with great trepidation", having burned himself the first time he tried it. His assistant, who may or may not be his girlfriend – she has been reported as such, but denies it when I check – is a constant presence.

ISSUE: How is this important?

Assange has been called a lot of things – a terrorist, a visionary, a rapist, a freedom warrior. At moments he reminds me of a charismatic cult leader but, given his current predicament, it's hardly surprising if loyalty counts more than critical distance in his world. The only thing I could say with confidence is that he is a control freak. The persona he most frequently ascribes to himself is "gentleman", a curiously courtly term for a cypher–punk to choose, so I ask him to explain.

ISSUE: Wow, this is wrong at so many levels.

I am not saying that Julian is with-out any flaws. It would have been great if "The Great" Gaurdian had covered both his flaws and achievements. You may or may not like what he does and how he does. It's not important how "likeable" as a person he is. But its important to know that he stuck his neck out which many journalists couldn't do for their readers.

Also Gaurdian respect your readers. They are smarter than you think.

1 Response

  1. December 9, 2012

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