It’s too bad Julian Assange is such an ass

Transparency should be the goal of WikiLeaks, not feeding Assange’s ego

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Flickr

Julian’s at it again. Following news of his Kremlin-funded talkshow (!?), last week saw the albino nomad kicking up controversy in London over WikiLeaks’ complicity with Belarusian despot Alexander Lukashenko. It seems WikiLeaks provided Belarus with the names of anti-Lukashenko American “agents” who were then targeted by the regime. And now, as WikiLeaks slowly releases millions of security think tank emails exposing everything from Iranian military secrets to American financial fraud, Assange has found a way to once again make it all about him and the secret U.S. plot to bring him down.

Assange’s juvenile politics, his shameless fame-whoring, his greed, his paranoia, his bad hygiene and worse behaviour: all of it has distracted from the real conversation about transparency. What if he didn’t hate the U.S., blame Jews and cozy up to despots? What if Assange was just a guy dedicated to acquiring and releasing confidential information?

We might then be spared the endless hand-wringing over the ethics of Wikileaks. The strongest moral position for a leaking site is to offer no editorial spin, to play no favourites—to simply be a distributor of information that offers true anonymity for whistleblowers. Verifying the information, redacting the sensitive parts, packaging it into appealing narratives—this is the work of journalists.

Or rather, it should be. Instead, legacy media is too easily seduced into playing the lowbrow fame game, breathing life into Assange’s creepy cult of celebrity. This infamy has been inflated by the same “real” news organs that then indignantly turn up their noses at Assange.

Ultimately, it’s not about Julian Assange. It’s about the information.

Jesse Brown is the host of TVO.org’s Search Engine podcast. He is on Twitter @jessebrown




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It’s too bad Julian Assange is such an ass

  1. More of the same, if you could stop Assange bashing and focus on real news that would be cool. this is all getting very borsome and childish.

    • I agree, this is enough, bad journalists who try to attract readers by smearing fellow journalists like Julian Assange should go into another profession. No one is a fool anymore, information is no longer off limits. The truth is known so stop your dirty tactics.

      • Go back to farming ISK and triple-encrypting your bitcoin accounts, guys. The grownups are talking.

        • ButButBut He’s fighting THE MAN!

    •  Has it not occurred to you Falling that Assange has provided a valuable service AND is a disgusting fame-whore at the same time? That Belarus thing is pretty awful– and shows he a complete hypocrite when it comes to fighting for the little guy. I was behind him before, and I want Bradley Manning set free, but this is beyond the pale…

      •  All I can maybe think in his favour on that count is that if I sincerely believed the US was out to get me (and he DID give them the oppotunity to suggest redactions to the US leaks, which they refused to do) I might want to buy some strongarm friends.  I like to hope i wouldn’t, but I hope I’m never tested.

    • There are very few articles that are written that are hash of Assange. What is important about this article is contained in the second paragraph. It outlines the responsibility of the journalist when reporting facts, such as being neutral, and to distribute the information after redacting sensitive parts.

      • i think you’ve contradicted yourself – you state that there are few articles written that are critical of assange but you also want journalists to be neutral ????

      • Some people just can distinguish between opinion and facts. That is the difference between being “critical/hash” and reporting.

        • anotherbird it is difficult to understand your commentary as you clearly have not grasped a modest proficiency of the english language –  i’m not sure that you yourself know what you are saying as even your typo errors confuse the reader and muddy your argument – in this case i believe you mean “just can’t” instead of “just can”. A small error such as this totally confuses whatever it is you are trying to say – hence the expression “lost in translation”

  2. Did any of his leaks serve a positive pupose?? Like the (bought and paid for) mainstream media tell the truth. If the elite that control the government, media and large corporations gets exposed I would say that’s a good thing.

    • And the people trying to help Belarussians throw off Lukashenko deserve to be exposed, I guess. Meanwhile, one must note that WikiLeaks never targets any actual dictatorships. Instead, as in Belarus, it’s objectively on the dictators’ side. 

  3. Too bad indeed, ’tis also a shame that our parliament is such a herd of Assanges. But let’s not let politics get in the way of a posterial equidae’s ability to skin its own arse.

  4. Oh please….if the media would focus on the information he’s released, society might get somewhere.

    Worrying about the fact he’s not some standard well-scrubbed locavore middle-class Canadian from a suburban setting is parochial, and annoying to boot.

    Gandhi and Churchill were no sweethearts either. It’s what they accomplished that matters

    On edit….PS he’s not an albino either..

    • But he is actively supporting a despotic dictatorship, and that’s all good with you as long as he’s a Lefty, eh?

      • He isn’t a ‘lefty’….stop calling people stupid names just because you disagree with them.

        And he isn’t supporting any dictatorship either….you guys just make this crap up.

        The whole POINT of what he is doing is to whistleblow on secretive govts, and bring them out into the open….the exact opposite of what you’re accusing him of.

        • He’s acting as a private intelligence firm for a known despot. You can defend him all you want, it just makes you look as evil as he is. Did you even read the links that Jesse provided, or are you afraid they won’t fit into your world view?

          • He releases all the info he has….to everybody, on everybody.

            You just don’t approve of all of them.

            Tsk tsk….too bad.

          • That’s simply a lie. They didn’t release the US Diplomatic Cables to everyone, they released them to selected media “partners”. It’s clear that they’re only target is the US government. Thats the only reason you approve of them. If they were to release some dirt on say Hugo Chavez, I’m sure you’d be appalled at the smearing of your dear leader.

          • @Rick_Omen:disqus 

            And who is claiming all this?  Americans, right?  Anyone who stands to be outted…..and you believe every word.

            Again you call people stupid names just because you disagree with them…I don’t support Chavez or anyone else.

            Stop playing lefty/righty with everyone….the Cold War ended years ago.

          • Yes I read the links and even the comments with them.
            He is apparently actively supporting anti-Lukashenko activists like the sister of Sannikov, Bogdanova. If she thinks he is a friend of a free Belarus, I would tend to put more weight on that than the outpourings of a frothing hack from the Guardian.; the paper who dumped a load of unchecked wikileak memos into the public realm contrary to their agreement.
            As to his other alleged short comings, I cannot comment, but if I want to know what pro freedom Belorussians want I will place a greater weight on what they say, than say, someone from India living in the UK.
            Seems to make more sense to me.

  5. Jesse, I recommend that you look more carefully into your sources for all of this negative information about Assange’s character. I think you will find that all of it comes from establishment journalists who have a dog in the fight of old media vs. new media, and they definitely aren’t cheering for the same dog you are. I mean come on — bad hygiene? Am I supposed to take these criticisms seriously? Some upstarts completely upends the traditional model of journalism, and the established journalists suddenly care about stuff like hygiene. Suddenly this is a newsworthy item? The old guard is incredibly, incredibly transparent about the motivation for their dislike of Julian Assange, and I’m surprised at you for swallowing their muck and repeating it as if it’s anything but sour grapes.

  6.   i think the real a__ here is the writer of this is brown. Easy to see what they think about honesty and transparency, must not be liked at McLeans iether

  7. Its Rather Unimportant That Jesse Brown Is Such An Ass. There is no recording, nor any evidence whatsoever that Assange ever blamed anything on “the jews”, and called the unsupported allegation “particularly upsetting”. The stenographer, certainly not journalist, Brown, parrots the claim as if it were a fact. “WikiLeaks” passed information on to no one, Israel Shamir, one of hundreds of journalists whith whom WikiLeaks has worked, has been suspected of doing so. His “bad hygiene”? Are you gullible or this yet another lame attempt at character assassination?

  8. It’s the media that made the Cult of Assange. He has revealed secret information for years, also when noone cared about him.

    • He hasn’t exactly avoided the spotlight.

  9. I expected better from Rosa and Patrick’s son … so much promise at the age of two when I met him…sigh.

  10. This is all entirely the media’s fault. They all hailed him as some kind of hero because he was attempting to embarrass the US, and international media is very anti-American. Then when Anonymous came to his rescue, they were billed as hero’s as well, despite the fact that they’re a known criminal organization.

    And now when things have become more clear about the parties involved, it’s too late to backtrack, so the media’s stuck supporting disgusting people like Assange, and known criminal groups like Anonymous.

    • Anonymous isn’t even a group or organization much less  a ‘known criminal’ one.

      Both Assange and Anonymous reveal govt secrets

      Now if you believe govts should be secretive, that’s your choice….but don’t make up stories because neither of them are following your ideology.

      • You’re stupidity astounds me. How is Anonymous not a “group or organization”? They have meetings, they hang out in the same places, and there is a definite leadership structure. Claiming otherwise is just a display of your impressive ignorance. 
        And as far as not being a criminal organization, please point me to one thing they’ve done that’s been in the news that wasn’t a crime? ONE! 

        You’ve also claimed that OWS isn’t an organization, but why then would they be renting out office space in advance of planned demonstrations? It’s really not that hard to find the truth about these things, but if you insist on burying your head in the sand, that’s your prerogative, I suppose. But know that you’re providing cover for anti-democratic forces. You’re going to sit here and gripe for the next 5 weeks about Harper “stealing” an election, but you have no problems supporting a guy who provides intel to a regime that jails and murders it’s political opponents. Have fun with that, and sleep well.

        • You don’t understand much about the web doya….

          Anonymous comes from all over the world….they only meet online….and no there isn’t a leadership structure. At best only a few know each other.

          Nothing they’re doing is a crime….you just don’t like it.

          OWS isn’t an organization either…nor does it have a structured leadership….they are more democratic than our govt.

          Easy enough to rent buildings, or arrange for food….that has nothing to do with what they stand for.

          Why were there Americans in Belarus promoting revolution?

          Would the US stand for it if some other country was promoting revolution in the US?  Would we stand for it if some other country was backing and arming the FLQ? Hell, we got upset when de Gaulle even said one phrase.

          Had the US behaved itself, neither Assange nor Anonymous would have anything to release on them

          • Oh….so because the US goes after them….they are therefore guilty as charged?

            Honestly Rick….your ability to be such a sheep is unreal.

            THIS is Anonymous:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group)

          • So to prove you’re point that Anonymous is a leaderless non-criminal entity, you point to an article showing that one of Anonymous’ leaders was charged with multiple crimes, plead guilty, and then led the feds to his associates in a cowardly act of self preservation?

            Touche, I guess.

          • It was a sting operation Rick…..pay attention.

            Same tactic they’ve used on unions or any other group they don’t like over the years.

            ‘The guy who offers you the dynamite is the plant’…..was the saying.

            That’s why groups like Anonymous, and Occupy don’t have leaders…leaders are identifiable, and then able to be blackmailed or bought off or have their characters trashed….

            Even so, sometimes the non-leader attempt gets caught up by the govt, but at least these groups are trying.

            Assange is under an all-out assault because he became the public face of Wikileaks….even though there are many people behind it….who continue to publish.

            He was aware of what would happen when he did this, but he draws the fire away from others.

            It’s a new way of doing things Rick….a Resistance strategy in a new age.

          • If you’re claiming that AnonymouSabu was a government agent all along, you’re sadly uninformed.  He was largely responsible for taking out the PlayStation network for almost a month, released credit card info and personal details on hundreds of thousands of people. He certainly wasn’t working for the government then. 

            Pull you’re head out of your ass, they’re resisting anything. They’re committing crimes against completely innocent people for no reason other than because they can. For what cause was the Sony hack done? What point did that prove? Stop defending criminals.

          • Cheesuz Rick, I sent YOU the item….this would mean I read it first.

            He was a rooter….they find weaknesses in computer systems.  He was found out and blackmailed, and they turned him.  It happens.

            Since it’s obvious you know nothing about hackers or hacking, you have no idea why they’re doing it….you don’t even try to find out.

            And certainly people can pose as Anonymous and do any number of things. It’s part of the risk hacktivists take.

          • LOL He “finds weeknesses in computer systems”. “rooter”. wow, you’re quoting the crap outta that story, and it doesn’t make you seem like you’re very well informed. What, per se, do “non-rooter” hackers do? Throw fairy dust at their Macbook Pro’s and hope something magical happens? Do they storm data centers using their unicorns to leap over security fences? You’re so far beyond even your own limited realm of comprehension, it’s quite laughable.

          • Rick, it’s a standard Con tactic to accuse others of what you’re doing yourself.

            I used computers before you were born, boyo…..so give the crap a rest.

          • So you’re still using punch cards? You know that “using computers” doesn’t equate to any kind of knowledge, right? 2 year olds can use computers. 

          • Yes dear, I know….I employ a computer crew

            Now go play elsewhere.

  11. You are a donkeys ASS.

    • I bet you wouldn’t have the guts to do what he did, expose the lies of the government.

      • Tony – anotherbird bares a grudge against assange , manning and anonymous and posts comments against them regularly on publications around the world yet refuses to answer the question if he is being paid to do so or of his true nationality – just check his activity in disqus and you will see what i mean

  12. If Assange is an ass, how does he differ from virtually every major MSM talking head?  You only notice his megalomania because he differs from the MSM in being courageous in what he does.  Apart from selling out the Belorussian opposition, handing out the key to the unredacted US embassy cables, etc. etc.  But when you think of how much blood the MSM has on its hands in the past 10 years, a few murdered dissidents count for nothing.

  13. This hit piece was most likely created by a Jew. What if Julian Assange just shut his mouth and did what the rest of the Jewstream media did? What if he could be bought for the best offer? What if he was an unknown Jew like you? I’m not racist by the way, I’m just a very honest person. Some Jews (not all) are dirtying the well of knowledge.

  14. this is disrespectful. have some respect for a brave man who is not motivated by media corporate interests like you are. perhaps this article point to the jelousy of mainstream media towards a non_censored source.

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