William Randolph Hearst is famously remembered for this apocryphal quote–
You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.
I don’t labor under the illusion that there was a golden age of truth and nobility in the press which is why stories like this don’t surprise me a bit.
Julian Assange Refuses to Submit to Erin Burnett’s Planned Hit Job
By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake
Wednesday November 28, 2012 11:12 pm
From the beginning, Assange tried to discuss what he found to be important and not trivial or plain disingenuous and ignorant. As the clip shows, he got into how companies are working in countries to engage in widespread surveillance showing documents. Burnett reacted, “I’m curious though about this – A lot of people share this fear about being under surveillance, right? Some people might say you go way too far on it, but people do share your fear. But you are someone trying to champion and like I said benefiting by the Internet by putting out information governments don’t want people to have.”
“Some people might say” is Burnett saying what she thinks. She thinks Assange’s fear of the surveillance state goes to(o) far. She does not want to talk about this issue and, though Assange began the interview ready to talk on this topic, Burnett is prepared to steer this to Ecuador (but not before casting his agenda as something that is nefarious and shady).
Erin Burnett did not get the segment she wanted except if you go to CNN Video where they are featuring a part of the segment that makes it seem like all Assange was asked to do was come on and talk Ecuador and refused to cooperate with Burnett.
Now I’m going to stop right there because Kevin Gosztola’s link doesn’t go anywhere in particular and it took me a while to figure out what he was referencing. I think it was this-
Assange was clearly told he could come on and they would talk about the book. She opened with a question about his thoughts on the Internet. Then, she gradually moved the discussion into one about Ecuador because all she wanted to do was make the point that in her mind she sees Julian Assange, who she thinks is probably a criminal, seeking asylum in a country where the government has no respect for press freedom and he is being used or manipulated for their purposes.
If Burnett had her way, the interview would have been some looney segment about Ecuador exploiting him for their ends to get away with violating freedom of the press. And she would have touted it as “aggressive journalism,” when it is not aggressive at all to set someone up who is the target of one of the most powerful governments of the world and has been granted what someone would consider a refugee status to push for safe transport to Ecuador.
Kevin Gosztola very helpfully embeds the full segment and I thought I’d share it with those of you who think that there is a real journalist in it who’s analysis might interest you (hint: it’s not the one who worked for Goldman Sachs and is engaged to a Citigroup executive).