‘Supine MSM’ won’t sound alarm over Assange arrest despite earlier profiting from his work
The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is a severe blow to press freedom, but the mainstream media has no objections, despite never shying away from writing articles based on his publications, analysts told RT.
“What we’re seeing right now is criminalization of journalism; the criminalization of publishing,” analyst Patrick Henningsen said hours after the UK police forcibly removed Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
This “very unfortunate” development affects each and every journalist, but the “supine mainstream media isn’t protesting what’s going on,” he added. The leading Western outlets are “in lockstep with the government of the US, the UK, Spain and others” and just don’t see Assange as their colleague.
There’s “no viable Fourth Estate” anymore, only the “government media complex,” Henningsen said.
That aside, Julian Assange has been “a modern Robin Hood for independent journalists. Everybody used what he revealed on [Hillary] Clinton; on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” independent journalist Luc Rivet told RT.Also on rt.com ‘No journalist will be safe from extradition to the US for doing his job’ – Wikileaks editor warns
And the MSM also heavily relied on the work done by the WikiLeaks, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell explains. “Assange didn’t leak anything,” but only made documents, obtained by Chelsea Manning, available to the public. He’s “a publisher in the same way that the New York Times and the Guardian that also published the leaks of Chelsea Manning,” Tatchell said.
The fact that it’s only Assange, who is being persecuted by the US, but not those outlets, “smacks of double standards. It smacks of a vendetta,” the activist pointed out.
The reason the US authorities are going after him isn’t because he caused any damage per say, but because he caused huge embarrassment exposing American wrongdoing around the world.
Henningsen stressed that nowadays “things only become protest-worthy if the mainstream media is giving it coverage,” so Assange’s arrest won’t lead to large-scale rallies, adding that only concerned activists will take to the streets.
He expressed the belief that Ecuador, which sheltered Assange for more than six years, withdrew the publisher’s asylum claim as a result of “backroom deal that’s been done between the Ecuadorian, British and the US governments.”Also on rt.com 'Pathological hatred': Ecuador's Moreno sold 'Assange's head' to the US – ex-president Correa to RT
Assange will most likely be extradited to the US where and the “danger is that Julian Assange will not face justice,” but only “a facade of due process,” he said.
“What’s he’s going to face is secret grand jury proceedings, most likely in northeastern Virginia, most likely it’ll be ruled on by the judge, who has ruled against every single whistleblower under the Obama administration, including Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou and many others.”
The US indictment against Assange alleges that the publisher and journalist engaged in a “conspiracy” with US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks back in 2010.Also on rt.com Assange critics and ‘journalists’ having field day on Twitter after whistleblower’s arrest
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