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Julian Assange

“Facebook is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented.” — Julian Assange

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my constant refrains is that Americans are now the most propagandized people in the world. Whenever I say this, I also say that I’m not just throwing a rhetorical grenade. I am being completely serious. My constant concern is that, because of the failure of our media, we know very little about what is actually going on in the world. Instead, we get a constant blare of distraction, drivel, and misinformation. They tell us what they want us to know, and anything else is difficult or impossible to get. Assange expresses my precise concern: that without accurate information, we cannot understand the true state of the world or plan for our own future.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are probably the most powerful forces in the world today, damaged though they are, that are operating to break through the lies and secrecy and get real information to people. Because of that, Assange is criminalized and hounded.

I’m posting links to a 40-minute interview with Assange last year, by Russia Today. This interview is by no means out of date, and it provides important background on the drama now playing out in London, with Assange holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy.

The ironies are incredible:

— That in our times, only a Russian organization is independent enough of U.S. and Western interests to bring us this interview. Please note that I do not allege that the Russian media tell the truth about Russia; far from it. But they can tell the truth about the United States, because they are not in our orbit or under our thumb. Nor do they need to propagandize, because the unadorned, unspun truth is so powerful on its own.

— Note how civil and intelligent this interview is — quite unlike anything on American television. No one shouts, no one interrupts. The interviewer asks excellent questions in an intelligent sequence, then listens silently, giving Assange plenty of time to respond.

— Note that no one is spinning — neither the interviewer for Russia Today, nor Assange.

I defy anyone to disprove any of the hundreds of facts that Assange covers in this interview. He is no idealogue. He is simply a truth teller. I have often said that the best journalists, the real journalists, are people who find it pretty much impossible to lie because of an honor for the truth that is almost religious. There are very few journalists like that anymore. Most journalists today are simply too weak to resist the forces that have degraded and corrupted the media. They are all equally cowed, they all sing the same song, and they all think they’re doing a great job. For those who don’t know me, I should mention that I spent my entire career in the newspaper business, that I know more than my share of (and am ashamed of) the journalists you see on television today, and that I have for decades been an amateur scholar of propaganda.

The first part of the interview deals largely with important events in the Arab world last year. The last half of the interview will be of more interest to Americans, including Assange’s statements about the threat to privacy from Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. It’s worth taking the 40 minutes to listen to the entire interview, just to get a feel for the inferiority of the American media and how it deceives us, and to size up Julian Assange as a person.

Here are links to the two-part interview: Part1Part 2.


  1. chenda wrote:

    Thank you for posting this David. The interview was extremely interesting, albeit disturbing.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    An emailed comment from a reader in Nevada:

    “I find your blog very interesting, and I’m happy to see someone writing what I truly believe with regard to American media. It has gotten to the point for me that I cannot watch our national news programs because I am so busy calling them liars and ranting about how they should not be getting away with this. It is unfortunate, to say the very least, that most Americans will buy whatever is sold by the media, and call someone unpatriotic for questioning the legitimacy of the ‘news’ reports on offer. With regard to Assange specifically, his recent statement denouncing America’s witch hunt was called ‘bizarre’ by the reporters at CBS and dismissed outright as rants. Incredible!! I suppose it must be easier to make a person appear insane than to acknowledge the possibility that the powers that be could be hiding some very terrible truths.

    Please keep writing, as I would love to keep reading what you have to say on a variety of subjects.

    Best wishes…

    P.S., cook that rooster before he hurts your lovely hens!!”

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  3. admin wrote:

    I think the situation is terrifying. Usually, propagandized people know that they are being propagandized, and they learn to reverse-engineer the propaganda to who see who it serves. But in this country, the people who are most susceptible to propaganda see their propaganda as their only lifeline to the truth. I think this is largely because the right wing and its “think tanks” have put a lot of work and a lot of science into developing their propaganda and making the propaganda latch on to people’s already-existing fears and hatreds. I think it also has a lot to do with the low level of education in America, our history of racial hatred, and the gullibility of religious fundamentalists. It is getting more and more extreme. This country could slide into fascism very quickly and very easily if an economic crisis (or any kind of crisis) was bad enough or prolonged enough.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink
  4. admin wrote:

    By the way, I simply cannot watch television “news.” It gets me so angry that I just don’t think it’s healthy. And I’m not even talking about Fox. CNN is nothing but a pig circus. On those rare occasions when I see a few minutes of Fox, it leaves me completely baffled. You’d think that anyone with a second-grade education and an IQ over 75 would be able to see through it. But tens of millions of people eat it up.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  5. Quetal wrote:

    Re your last note, if you can uncover why the tens of million eat it up, you would become God like 😉 Where I live, all I hear is the current administration is conspiring to do this or that to undermine what values America stands for. Pretty funny indeed

    Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

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