On Dec. 7, the notorious radical mastermind of WikiLeaks turned himself in on a sexual assault charge in London. But in the liberal media, the condemnations are few. There are no real enemies to the media elite's left, especially if they can be (very loosely) identified with journalism. Julian Assange may be highly motivated to cripple American "imperialism," but his relentless efforts to disrupt American foreign policy is a good thing when the media are manipulating the government's reaction by choosing which leaks they will publish and promote.
Time magazine editor Richard Stengel, for example, told Charlie Rose on PBS that Assange is an "idealist" that "sees the U.S. since 1945 as being a source of harm throughout the planet," but he's not really opposed to him. He put Assange on the cover of Time with an American flag gagging his mouth and feigned a position of balance. In his "To Our Readers" letter, Stengel conceded Assange is out to "harm American national security," but there is a public good unfolding, in that "the right of news organizations to publish those documents has historically been protected by the First Amendment." Our founding fathers, Stengel huffed, understood that "letting the government rather than the press choose what to publish was a very bad idea in a democracy." He tapped the reader on the chest: "I trust you agree."
Americans the world over could die because of these intelligence betrayals. But hip, hip, hooray for the freedom of speech that got them killed?
Some might ask, on the people's behalf: In our democracy, whom do you trust to defend you from another terrorist attack? Time magazine? The New York Times? Who elected them to act as our guardians against terrorist violence and mayhem?
Time hailed Assange, Australia's "information anarchist," with the headline "The Wizard from Oz." (No question mark.) There's even buzz that they're considering Assange as their 2010 "Person of the Year." For their cover story, Stengel interviewed Assange over the Internet and provided a welcoming American forum for his boasts.
Stengel asked about the "unintended consequences" of Assange's massive leaks, causing the U.S. to "make secrets more impenetrable." But apparently, this is an intended consequence. Assange shot back that a government clampdown on secrets is "very positive," since government can either be "efficient, open and honest" or "closed, conspiratorial and inefficient." His goal is not to make the U.S. better; it is to harm this country.