Friday, January 28, 2011

Assange "elusive, manipulative, and volatile"

The New York Times doesn't think too highly of Julian Assange, writes Ujala Sehgal at

Bill Keller, executive editor of the NYT, penned a blockbuster essay for this Sunday's Times Magazine, where he calls Assange "elusive, manipulative, and volatile... and ultimately openly hostile,"

Apart from his sharply unflattering portrait of Assange, here are the key points Keller makes about the NYT's entire WikiLeaks deal:
  • Aside from a (commonplace) embargo on when the NYT could publish articles on leaked documents,imposed no conditions on what the NYT wrote about them.
  • Assange asked Guardian not to share its third WikiLeaks dump with the NYT (after things got rocky) but due partly to rogue leaks, Guardian concluded it could share the cables anyways.
  • The Obama administration condemned WikiLeaks, but did not seek an injunction to halt publication. There has been no serious talk of pursuing news organizations in courts.
  • The NYT tried to excise information that might harm people, but largely dismissed U.S. government concerns about information that might just embarrass people.

Read more here.

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