I am not a journalist, but I have been reading this argument about how some view Julian Assange of Wikileaks as a journalist, even though he is a personally repulsive human being. Given the low regard that many of use hold the modern practice of journalism — bothsiderism and false equivalency, protecting access to politically powerful but dubious sources, and group thinking and sticking with false narratives, I cannot honestly say what is “good journalism.” And when Assange was arrested in London, there are many of his defenders who claim that he is journalist who has done a public service with his actions. But I just read this gem from the Mueller Report about Assange:
WikiLeaks, and particularly its founder Julian Assange, privately expressed opposition to candidate Clinton well before the first release of stolen documents. In November 2015, Assange wrote to other members and associates of WikiLeaks that “[w]e believe it would be much betterfor GOP to win … Dems+Media+liberals woudl [sic] then form a block to reign in their worst qualities. . . . With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities.,dems+media+neoliberals will be mute . … She' s a bright, well connected, sadisitic sociopath.”156
The bold is my work. The quote above is from page 44 of the Mueller Report.
First up, Assange would not be the first so called journalist — I do not believe he has a degree in journalism — to have an agenda or lack anything even approaching objectivity. I can recall that Bob Novak abandoned any pretense to being a journalist in 1972 when he qouted an anonymous Democrat who said that presidential Democratic candidate McGovern was all for “Acid, Amnesty, and Abortion.” This is same Prince of Darkness who outed a CIA agent because her husband opposed George W. Bush’s Iraq War. Then, I remember reading NYT’s columns by William Safire where you said that the Clinton’s were “pathological liars.” This was the same guy who wrote speeches for Nixon.
But we are expected to think that a man who calls Hillary Clinton a “sadistic sociopath” as some kind of journalistic hero?
And I do not get Assange’s political reasoning. Maybe the rest of you all can make sense of it, but here is another Assange reason for opposing Clinton:
156 1 l/19/15 Twitter Group Chat, Group ID 594242937858486276, @WikiLeaks et al. Assange also wrote that, “GOP will generate a lot oposition [sic], including through dumb moves. Hillary will do the same thing, but co-opt the liberal opposition and the GOP opposition. Hence biliary has greater freedom to start wars than the GOP and has the will to do so.”
Therefore, Assange took it upon himself to decide to swing an election for a particular candidate. I don’t know. Call me naive, but I am not sure that journalists are supposed to swing elections for candidates. Yes, I know they have in the past, but I don’t consider journalists who try to swing elections as objective journalists. They are political partisans.