90 Miles From Tyranny : Assange: The Press Are "Opportunistic Snipers" That Publish Nothing More Than Very, Very, Very Inaccurate "Weaponized Text"

Monday, February 20, 2017

Assange: The Press Are "Opportunistic Snipers" That Publish Nothing More Than Very, Very, Very Inaccurate "Weaponized Text"

"What is special about WikiLeaks is that it's not just another damn story, it's not just another damn journalist putting their damn byline, advertising themselves and their position on another damn story."

That's the assessment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who appeared in Sydney over the weekend (albeit via video link) for a wide-ranging discussion on the failings of modern media, the power of leaked information and why WikiLeaks is happy to court scandal.

And while he says newspapers publish nothing more than "weaponised text," he's more than happy with the advent of "fake news."

WikiLeaks, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in October last year, has never been one to shrink from its stated goal of uncovering "government and corporate misconduct." However, the organisation has come under fire in recent months for the way it releases information, particularly around the timing of its leaks in the lead up to the 2016 election.

But speaking to the audience in Sydney -- including supporters who were willing to yell their support during the live cross -- Assange defended WikiLeaks as "a wonderful library you can trust" and a source of "original pristine information."

"You're not reading pre-weaponised knowledge," he said of the organisations' millions of documents. "When you read a newspaper article, you are reading weaponised text that is designed to affect a person just like you.

"I think that is the real beauty of WikiLeaks... it is that sea of information, that treasure, that intellectual treasure, that rebel library of Alexandria you can go into."

Assange's comments throughout the two-hour event pitted this unfiltered archive of information against what he called the "very, very, very inaccurate" press and the "opportunistic snipers" that work in the industry as journalists.

But this disdain for the global news media did not...

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