Hypocrisy: Julian Assange Blasts Media for Publishing Leaks About Him

You just can't make this stuff up. According to the Times of London (subscription required), Julian Assange is angry at the UK Guardian for publishing details of sexual assault allegations against him based on…wait for it…a leaked police report. Stones, glass houses, etc.

Assange is especially peeved, the Times reported, that the Guardian "selectively published" details of that report. Gee, you mean that publishing only sensational excerpts of leaked private information might present an incomplete and misleading narrative to the paper's readers that could damage the reputations of those involved? You don't say.

Michael Calderone of Yahoo News reported Tuesday:

In the [Times] article, Assange claims that The Guardian tarnished his reputation by publishing new details Friday about the rape and sexual assault allegations made against him in Sweden, based on a leaked police report.

The Times reports that Assange is "particularly angry with Nick Davies"—the article's author—for "selectively publishing" damaging allegations from the 68-page report. Davies isn't just any reporter covering WikiLeaks; he's said to be a friend of Assange's and also helped broker the original agreement to provide leaked cables to The Guardian, New York Times and Der Spiegel. (Davies could not be reached for comment.)

Assange said the leak of the Swedish police report "was clearly designed to undermine my bail application." He added: "Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison."

Leigh defended Davies on Twitter Monday night, suggesting that The Guardian reporter actually kept out specific details from the police report while publishing what was deemed necessary for the story. That runs counter to Assange's view that the Guardian treated him unfairly in how the paper covered the allegations.

"Nick left out a lot of graphic and damaging material in the allegations because he thought it would be too cruel to publish them," Leigh said by phone.

So information was leaked, newspapers picked up on the information, published select bits in a move certain to reflect poorly on the individuals involved, but withheld other bits out of at least a minimal concern for the well-being of those individuals. And now Assnage is complaining about it…or facilitating it, depending on whose livelihood is at stake.

Oh, but according to Assnage, his organization - you know, the one with the word "leak" in its name - doesn't actually promote leaks. "We are an organization that does not promote leaking," he told the BBC, presumably with a straight face. "We're an organization that promotes justice…through the mechanism of transparency and journalism."

For someone who's such a big fan of transparency and journalism, Assange is sure hostile to both when he is the topic of discussion. I've written before that his stated principles are in fact antithetical to journalism (he sees no inherent value in truth - it's a means to an end), and his disdain for the Guardian demonstrates just how uninterested in transparency he is. Assange wanted to be a public figure. Fine. He'll be treated like one.

Foreign/Non-English Media BBC Online Media Journalistic Issues Julian Assange

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