Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – The Economist, a magazine operated out of the UK, has a story yesterday titled, “Fox News and Julian Assange.” This is interesting. Yesterday we talked, I and Andrew, about the comparison between what James Rosen did and what Julian Assange was doing. As the Economist very thoughtfully goes through this and goes through the story, they conclude that what Rosen did and what Assange did are the exact same thing. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: This was intriguing, I think. The Economist, a magazine operated out of the UK, has a story yesterday titled, “Fox News and Julian Assange.” This is interesting. Yesterday we talked, I and Andrew, about the comparison between what James Rosen did and what Julian Assange was doing. As the Economist very thoughtfully goes through this and goes through the story, they conclude that what Rosen did and what Assange did are the exact same thing. They may have happened under different circumstances, but they’re the same thing. The Economist says:
There is, however, another prominent figure whom the US government has aggressively and publicly sought to prosecute as a co-conspirator for encouraging a US government official to leak classified documents. That would be Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and currently an international fugitive holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Let’s go to Glenn Greenwald:
“That same ‘solicitation’ theory, as the New York Times reported back in 2011, is the one the Obama DOJ has been using to justify its ongoing criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: that because Assange solicited or encouraged Manning to leak classified information, the US government can ‘charge [Assange] as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.’ When that theory was first disclosed, I wrote that it would enable the criminalization of investigative journalism generally…
That’s what always made the establishment media’s silence (or even support) in the face of the criminal investigation of WikiLeaks so remarkable: it was so obvious from the start that the theories used there could easily be exploited to criminalize the acts of mainstream journalists. That’s why James Goodale, the New York Times’ general counsel during the paper’s historic press freedom fights with the Nixon administration, has been warning that ‘the biggest challenge to the press today is the threatened prosecution of WikiLeaks, and it’s absolutely frightening.’”
The mainstream press, regardless of ideological colouration, has reacted with uniform anger to the revelation of the buried years-old co-conspiracy theory the government used to get its search warrant on Mr. Rosen. The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza has been tweeting furiously about it. [Mike: They might have said the Sirius XM’s Mike Church has been talking furiously about it.] There was no such solidarity in reaction to the government’s open, public accusations against Mr. Assange. Indeed, Fox News commentators were dismissive of Mr. Assange’s free-speech claims; further on the right, the Washington Times* ran an op-ed piece advocating that Mr. Assange be assassinated . . .
Mike: Andrew, do you remember who wrote that?
AG: I’m not positive about that one.
Mike: It was someone at the Washington Times.
. . . and National Review Online‘s Jonah Goldberg wondered puckishly why he wasn’t dead already. Yet Mr. Assange’s actions were formally exactly the same as those of Fox News’s Mr. Rosen: he encouraged an American official to leak top-secret information, and then he published it.
Mike Church Show Transcript: Wilson-Era Espionage And Sedition Acts Are Unconstitutional But Used By Obama Today
What we are seeing here is basically class solidarity on the part of the mainstream press. When the offender was just a weird foreign hacker running a blog staffed with encryption-happy radical volunteers, people who thought of themselves as regular journalists were often disdainful of the effort and ambivalent about how the government treated him.
Mike: In other words, because Assange was not formally a member of Guardian UK or New York Slimes or the Washington Post, [mocking] “This blogging kook with a funky hairdo! He’s a sex fiend, too, by the way. This guy’s not doing real journalism the way we do it.” Oh, but he was, he was.
. . . and ended up as an international pariah, but you know, what he did was pretty shady, right? But now that it seems the US government has leveled the same charges, for the same behaviour, against someone working in the classic model of mainstream American journalism, a regular old reporter like us—well, that’s another story.
AG: I would just say that Jeffrey Kuhner wrote the Washington Times editorial. Just looking at the first paragraph of it, it is very scary what he is promoting.
Mike: Read it. What does it say?
AG: It’s “KUHNER: Assassinate Assange? Web provocateur undermines war on terror, threatens American lives.”
Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security. The WikiLeaks founder is more than a reckless provocateur. He is aiding and abetting terrorists in their war against America. The administration must take care of the problem – effectively and permanently.
AG: You could very similarly make the jump that the release of the terror plot in Yemen by exposing that, you are aiding and abetting a terrorist cell. You could make the argument that the media member that exposed that cell plan or what the CIA / FBI was going to do to disrupt that would then be aiding and abetting the terrorists. So those AP reporters should be taken care of effectively and permanently. I would hope Jeffrey Kuhner writes an editorial citing his same previous one and either apologizes or stays with the same belief, but I kind of doubt that.
Mike: Wait for it. Don’t hold your breath because I want you to be here tomorrow. Don’t go on a hunger strike. Don’t stop drinking kale shakes and protest. I don’t think that’s forthcoming, but I’ve been surprised before.
End Mike Church Show Transcript