Monday, December 6, 2010

"As the World Spirals". A New Global Soap Opera

Critics are calling WikiLeaks a soap opera. It's "gossipy" some say. Nothing to see here.

If that's the case, why are they so afraid of Julian Assange?

The Jerusalem Post claims: In the name of decency and democracy, the founder of WikiLeaks is holding the world hostage.

I prefer to think that the world was held hostage by embedded journalists, used to sell the war, not report on it; and media outlets who do more to suppress information than reveal it.

Canadians and Americans in particular, who have been suffering from a news deficiency, are turning to WikiLeaks as the only purveyor of truth.

ABC calls WikiLeaks a blueprint for things to come:

The inner processes of statecraft have never been so completely exposed as they have been in the last week. The nation state has been revealed as some sort of long-running and unintentionally-comic soap opera. She doesn’t like him; he doesn’t like them; they don’t like any of us! Oh, and she’s been scouting around for DNA samples and your credit card number. You know, just in case.

None of it is very pretty, all of it is embarrassing, and the embarrassment extends well beyond the state actors - who are, after all, paid to lie and dissemble, this being one of the primary functions of any government - to the complicit and compliant news media, think tanks and all the other camp followers deeply invested in the preservation of the status quo. Formerly quiet seas are now roiling, while everyone with any authority everywhere is doing everything they can to close the gaps in the smooth functioning of power. They want all of this to disappear and be forgotten. For things to be as if WikiLeaks never was.

The concentration of corporate media, designed to manipulate public opinion, has been broken. For those of us frustrated with lack of viable information, we are overjoyed. Our cup is overflowing.

And guess what? We're smart enough to sort through the gossip and decide for ourselves what is important and what is not. The media should be doing the same thing, instead of attempting to spin the story to minimize the political damage.

Arthur Brisbane in the New York Times asks: What if the Secrets Stayed Secret?

The image of Mr. Assange as ringmaster is deeply disturbing, especially since he seems to so relish his worldwide notoriety. The image of great news organizations as performers in the ring, though, is even more alarming to me. These are what some would view as the journalistic “problems” of this latest chapter in the WikiLeaks story: The exposed secret cables seem to threaten what little stability there is in the world. Extreme damage control by the United States is now urgently needed across a broad diplomatic front. And, to cap it off, many view the episode as an exercise in master manipulation of the news media by someone whose aims are obscure.

As unsettling as these issues are, it is appropriate to take a deep breath and consider the alternative. What if, instead of publishing what it knew, The Times had chosen to pass on WikiLeaks’s 250,000-plus secret documents? What if The Times had mulled it all over and determined that the release of such sensitive information would endanger the government’s efforts to advance American interests in the world, and so concluded reluctantly that the newspaper would have to suppress the story?

Journalistic “problems” notwithstanding, it’s simply inconceivable that The Times would choose this path. The Times, like other serious news organizations in democracies, exists to ferret out and publish information — most especially information that government, business and other power centers prefer to conceal. Arming readers with knowledge is what it’s about, and journalists are motivated to pursue that end.

'Arming readers with knowledge is what it’s about, and journalists are motivated to pursue that end.' Do you hear that Canwest, Sun, Globe and Mail, and all the others who have been complicit in stifling rather than reporting the news?

Look over here. It's us. Your former readers who now have to look elsewhere for content and substance. Who have now joined the ranks of the Assangenites (cool word, huh?) and given up on you.

So to my "comrades" (hee, hee), enjoy the updates. And to our so-called media: read 'em and weep.


  1. Well said.

    I tried my best to be cautious about this at first, because I think there definitely is a potential to misuse this sort of information, but contrasting the leaks, some of which are extremely interesting, with the media reaction by and large either passing it off as gossip is ridiculous, but then they go ahead and treat it like gossip without talking about the geopolitical implications, which is equally ridiculous. And the US government hacking the site and doing god knows what else is more than slightly disturbing, as are assassination calls by Canadian and American conservatives.

    At the end of the day though, Julian Assange already won.

  2. "We are not born with saddles on our backs, nor are some born with boots and riding crop to ride us" Thomas Jefferson

    let the truth out, and we take the saddles off many.

  3. J.P. Barlow (a very smart Harvard man) quotes M. McLuhan: "World War III will be a global information war w/ no division between civilian & military participation," and tweets: "The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops."

    'Infowars' is not an Alex Jones website solely; it never was. Wikileaks has focused light and united many. These are not 'theories' anymore - it has begun.

    ‎"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy"
    - 1984 (George Orwell)