In most places, a record like Bob Beckel would probably lead your employer to tell you to take your act elsewhere. But if you're running a right-wing propaganda network, he's a pretty valuable "leftist" to keep around.
New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley–whose work has been regularly featured in the paper's Corrections box–doesn't think much of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's new TV show, which debuted on the Russian-backed RT cable channel. Stanley takes her shots–the channel has a "zesty anti-American slant," she writes, then crudely notes: "A few correspondents can sound at times like Boris and Natasha of Rocky & Bullwinkle fame." OK. Stanley runs down the various controversies swirling around Assange, then presents his response: "Mr. Assange tells reporters that he is being persecuted for political reasons, which, even if true, doesn't exactly help his case." I'm [...]
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange believes people are out to smear him and his organization. That much seems clear. Today the New York Times' Ravi Somaiya writes a piece that would seem to confirm those suspicions. Theheadline today: Assange Complains of Jewish Smear Campaign The issue hereis what an editor at theBritish magazine Private Eye says Assange told him–that there is, in the Times' words, "a Jewish-led conspiracy to smear his organization." There's no way for the Times to verify this information, as Glenn Greenwald points out at Salon. So why the definitive-sounding headline? And the background to Assange's "rambling phone call"raises [...]
The long 60 Minutes segment on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from last night (1/30/11) is definitely worth a look. But this set-up from correspondent Steve Kroft was certainly odd: Julian Assange is not your average journalist or publisher, and some have argued that he is not really a journalist at all. He is an anti-establishment ideologue with conspiratorial views. He believes large government institutions use secrecy to suppress the truth and he distrusts the mainstream media for playing along. Assange believes the government keeps important secrets? And that mainstream media play along? That is kooky.
Joe Biden on Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak (PBS NewsHour, 1/27/11): I would not refer to him as a dictator. On WikiLeaks' Julian Assange (NBC's Meet the Press, 12/19/10) DAVID GREGORY: Mitch McConnell says he's a high-tech terrorist, others say this is akin to the Pentagon Papers. Where do you come down? JOE BIDEN: I would argue that it's closer to being a high-tech terrorist than the Pentagon Papers. For the record, neither journalist pushed Biden to explain his opinions.
If a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail because of a leaked cable, this entire, anarchic exercise in "freedom" stands as a human disaster. Assange is a criminal. He's the one who should be in jail. –Joe Klein, Swampland (12/1/10) Actually, Julian Assange didn't leak anything–he can't, because he didn't have access to classified documents. Someone (or someones) who did have such access leaked those documents to Assange's WikiLeaks, which, as a journalistic organization, made them available to the world, both directly and through other media partners. This distinction, which is widely ignored in commentary on [...]