Al Jazeera is not our friend. It's no better than the BBC or Grauniad.
Posted by Morrissey on January 25, 2023, 7:28 am
Al Jazeera's The Listening Post did a piece on Assange on Saturday 24 November 2018. It was "balanced" in the sense that it featured two decent journalists and two weasels.
We also saw brief clips of interviewers from CNN and BBC (the egregious Evan Davis) pushing the ludicrous false rape charges in the face of Assange and his lawyer, long after those false charges had been dropped.
But we expect crude propaganda and lies in the NY Times and the Grauniad. What is more sinister, and more infuriating, is that Al Jazeera's Richard Gizbert, pretending to be neutral, smoothly recycles the black propaganda in his introductory comments. I've highlighted the worst of them.
Key: = black propaganda = black propaganda with a facetious tone
Host Richard Gizbert: .... Now he's at the mercy of an Ecuadorian government that's running out of patience, and he may be running out of time. …. Even Julian Assange's supporters conceded that WikiLeaks' practices can be contentious, such as exposing material without redaction … releasing Hillary Clinton's emails has damaged WikiLeaks' journalistic standing and infuriated anti-Trump voices in America. … Assange also has issues with his new landlord. The Ecuadorian President who granted him asylum, Rafael Correa, has been succeeded by Lenin Moreno, who wants better relations with Washington. The new government hasn't evicted Assange, but his internet connection, his communications with the outside world, are now controlled by the embassy. With his health reportedly failing, and the lack of sunlight getting to him, Julian Assange cannot even go to a hospital for fear of being arrested. And Assange also has cause to feel aggrieved by the same news outlets that once feasted on the material that he handed to them on a plate. Not unlike his Ecuadorian hosts, many of those news organizations have turned against him...
Grauniad columnist James Ball:[smirking] There's nothing like a cock-up to make the truth come to li-i-i-iight. If you are in the embassy of a country, you should probably try and be a good house guest. He's also, on multiple times, acted against Ecuador's diplomatic interests, uh, he picked a fight with Spain, which is sort of one of their key European allies. He interfered in the U.S. election, and so-o-o-o-o, in the end, they will find something to get him ou-u-u-u-ut. Or Assange's patience will crack and he'll try and make a break for it.
The Nation reporter Eric Alterman: The left was very excited about WikiLeaks and excited about the fact that things that governments had traditionally kept secret were no longer going to be kept secret. It seemed to be part of this whole new wave of "nothing is secret any more in the age of the Internet. … It's true that Julian Assange used to be a lot more popular before SOMEBODY undermined American democracy with the help of, uh, the Russians, and gave us this President who is destroying democracy in the United States and threatening the entire world. I don't see Assange as a VICTIM any more, I see Assange as someone who helped to victimize American democracy. And if Julian Assange is being demonized for that, then count me among his demonizers. [smirks]
La Repubblica reporter Stefania Maurizi: They fear a dumbing effect. They realize that inside the U.S. intelligence community there are many people who have seen all sorts of abuses, they are terrified that there could be a hundred Chelsea Mannings, a thousand Edward Snowdens. They cannot kill Julian Assange, so all they can do is use legal cases against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which they have done. … Thanks to my Freedom of Information Act requests in Sweden it was possible to reveal the crucial role of the U.K. authorities in creating this legal and diplomatic quagmire, for example, advising the Swedish prosecutors to question Julian Assange only after his extradition to Sweden. They write: "Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request." The press was running some stories like: "SWEDEN COULD DROPE CASE SAYS ASSANGE" and the U.K. authorities wrote to the Swedish prosecutors: "Don't you dare get cold feet."
Glenn Greenwald: If you go and challenge and threaten and undermine the world's most powerful institutions, as WikiLeaks has done, they are going to impose on you retaliation. It was actually a 2008 U.S. Army intelligence report that described WikiLeaks as an "enemy of the state" and talked about different ways that they could destroy the organization and we can read about that document because ironically it got leaked to WikiLeaks which then published it on its own website. …. What we've never seen any evidence for is that there's been any collaboration between WikiLeaks and the Russian government, even though for some reason now it's totally acceptable in Western media outlets to simply assert as though it's fact. … Whatever you think of Julian, whatever you think of WikiLeaks, what has been done to him over the last six to seven years is a very sustained, serious, and deliberate violation of his basic liberties, and yet that has been almost entirely disregarded by the Western media, instead the attempt is to make you view him with such disdain and contempt. It's incredibly insidious because essentially what they're doing is the dirty work of those who are violating Julian Assange's rights. Being turned over to the U.S. government, being prosecuted for journalism, for publishing documents has always been his principal worry, and it ought to be the worry of anyone who does journalism anywhere in the world.
"How to get rid of an unwanted housemate"---Juno Dawson, The Grauniad, 17 Oct. 2018
"Julian Assange, Cat Hater"---Lia Miller, The New York Times, 9 March 2011
"The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador's embassy is pride"---James Ball, The Grauniad, 10 Jan. 2018
"WIKILEAKS' JULIAN ASSANGE IS A TERRIBLE HOUSEGUEST'---WIRED, 2 Nov. 2018