Yes, WikiLeaks Led to the Revolt in Tunisia At least according to New York Times editor Bill Keller, who just last week blasted WikiLeakes chief Julian Assange in a massive profile, calling him "arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous." But that doesn't mean the work Assange's organization does can't spur political change. "The simple nuts and bolts answer to that is, in the case of the Wikileaks cables in Tunisia, Wikileaks certainly did make a difference," Keller told NPR today.
Wikileaks: Where Do You Stand? | Overseas Press Club of America Wikileaks founder Julian Assange In recent weeks, the news has been dominated by the Wikileaks disclosure of classified State Department documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, in the name of freedom of speech, defenders of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange have been mounting hacking attacks on those trying to disavow him, ranging from Amazon.com and PayPal (for cutting off Wikileaks access) to the Swedish prosecutor who accuses him of rape.
(Newser) – New York Times editor Bill Keller's lengthy essay on dealing with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange continues to ricochet around the blogosphere, with most of the attention focused on his not-so-flattering assessment of Assange as a person. He describes the WikiLeaker as "arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial, and oddly credulous" and says Assange became "transformed by his outlaw celebrity." The WikiLeaks' honcho went from an unkempt "office geek" type to a "cult figure" with styled hair and a penchant for "fashionably skinny suits and ties," writes Keller. He also describes the falling-out that occurred between the newspaper and the "conspiratorial" Assange, defends his paper's journalistic motives, suspects "the impact of WikiLeaks on the culture has probably been overblown," and, despite the frayed relations, thinks it's "chilling to contemplate" government persecution of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks tweeted that the essay is another "self-serving smear." New York Times Editor Bill Keller Says Julian Assange Was 'Arrogant' and 'Conspiratorial'
I’m loath to write again about Wikileaks, or about its pig-to-man founder, Julian Assange. Not because I’ve run out of things to say, but because the response is so predictable when I do. Within minutes, the Assange fanboys – the Wikiliebers, if you like – will swarm into the comments, accusing me of unfairly slandering their hero. “He’s sticking it to The Man!” Bill Keller vs Wikileaks: Goodnight, Julian Assange, And Bad Luck
The Times just posted a lengthy article by executive editor Bill Keller, which tells the story of last year's WikiLeaks dumps through the eyes of the Gray Lady. The piece will appear in this coming Times Magazine, but it's really worth reading now. The whole thing is interesting, from its depictions of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange (he went from a being a disheveled "bag lady" or "derelict" who smelled "as if he hadn't bathed for days" to a stylish "cult figure" who was "evidently a magnet for women") to its lengthy explanation and eloquent defense of the Times' motives. It walks readers through how, and why, the paper chose to highlight the narratives it did. Bill Keller: Colluding With WikiLeaks Was Fun at First, Then Annoying
The Times's Dealings With Julian Assange Artwork by Jenny Morgan (left) and Daniel Gordon (right) I was interested. The adventure that ensued over the next six months combined the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of handling a vast secret archive with the more mundane feat of sorting, searching and understanding a mountain of data. As if that were not complicated enough, the project also entailed a source who was elusive, manipulative and volatile (and ultimately openly hostile to The Times and The Guardian); an international cast of journalists; company lawyers committed to keeping us within the bounds of the law; and an array of government officials who sometimes seemed as if they couldn’t decide whether they wanted to engage us or arrest us. By the end of the year, the story of this wholesale security breach had outgrown the story of the actual contents of the secret documents and generated much breathless speculation that something — journalism, diplomacy, life as we know it — had profoundly changed forever.
The house on Grettisgata Street, in Reykjavik, is a century old, small and white, situated just a few streets from the North Atlantic. The shifting northerly winds can suddenly bring ice and snow to the city, even in springtime, and when they do a certain kind of silence sets in. This was the case on the morning of March 30th, when a tall Australian man named Julian Paul Assange, with gray eyes and a mop of silver-white hair, arrived to rent the place. Assange was dressed in a gray full-body snowsuit, and he had with him a small entourage.