Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and accused rapist, is the new darling of the right-wing, due to his unending attacks against Hillary Clinton. Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy for four years, has been embraced by Fox “News” host Sean Hannity, as well as other right-wing pundits. In 2010, Hannity railed against Assange, asking why the Obama administration couldn’t “stop this guy from stealing highly classified documents that puts people’s lives at risk.” But now that Assange is going all-out against Clinton, he’s suddenly appearing on conservative media, and his statements are being aggregated by right-wing blogs and websites.
Googling “Julian Assange Breitbart” results in dozens of articles on Breitbart specifically about Julian Assange, and not many of them are negative. A few of the headlines:
WikiLeaks Tweets ‘Clinton Cash’ Video Link to its Millions of Followers
Julian Assange: WikiLeaks Info On Trump No Worse Than What He Says Publicly
Julian Assange ‘Assassination’ Claimed After Foiled Ecuadorian Embassy Break-in
In late August, Assange appeared on both Fox and Friends and The Kelly File, to attack Hillary Clinton, and promote the idea that Clinton is dishonest, and unfit to be president. It’s important to note that Assange has never said or leaked one single thing about Donald Trump being unfit for the presidency. So much for being fair or balanced, huh?
In fact, Julian Assange doesn’t really say much at all about Trump. During his appearance on Sean Hannity’s show, Assange stated:
We have information that touches on the Republican Party’s campaign. In assessing that information, we will publish it, of course. But, Donald Trump, you know … doesn’t have a history of being in government.
Assange also told Hannity “we will be publishing quite a lot of information about George Soros.”
Julian Assange is allegedly libertarian, a fan of Ron and Rand Paul, and while he frequently criticizes the United States for being, in his words a “superbully,” he never says anything negative about Russia. Which may be why many people, some in the intelligence community, wonder if the DNC hacks are somehow tied to Vladimir Putin. From the New York Times:
Notably absent from Mr. Assange’s analysis, however, was criticism of another world power, Russia, or its president, Vladimir V. Putin, who has hardly lived up to WikiLeaks’ ideal of transparency. Mr. Putin’s government has cracked down hard on dissent-spying on, jailing, and, critics charge, sometimes assassinating opponents while consolidating control over the news media and internet. If Mr. Assange appreciated the irony of the moment-denouncing censorship in an interview on Russia Today, the Kremlin-controlled English-language propaganda channel-it was not readily apparent.
There is also the rather bizarre “coincidence” that recent WikiLeaks hacks have often benefitted Russia.
Julian Assange is an accused rapist, hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy. The allegations against him are strong enough that prosecutors in Sweden refuse to drop the rape charges, hoping that they have a chance to bring him to court before the charges expire in 2020. Julian Assange has, it seems, decided that information attacking Hillary Clinton is all WikiLeaks is interested in; it does not matter where that information comes from, or who is responsible for procuring it.
It would be easier to support Julian Assange if he was not selling himself on Russian propaganda television, and doing the same on American right wing propaganda television. It would be easier to support Mr. Assange if he allowed his accusers the right to face him in court. It would be easier to support Julian Assange if he were the old version of himself, dedicated to highlighting and exposing human rights violations, championing Chelsea Manning, and trafficking in honesty. This new version seems smarmy, bigoted, self-promoting, misogynistic (related to his accusers), and at the very least, in denial over Russia’s behavior on the global stage.
Julian Assange is trending today because of comments he made during an interview on Australian television. Assange claims the Clinton campaign “threatened” Senator Bernie Sanders, which is why Sanders dropped out of the race. The same fringe blogs and websites gaining heretofore unequaled traffic and revenue by sharing Assange’s statement are also anti-Clinton, some are pro-Trump, and even others are pro-Putin. One such website, Donald Trump News, included the following in their article on Assange’s interview:
Assange’s admission appears to substantiate claims by the Kremlin who revealed they had evidence that Jane Sanders was physically threatened in order to “get Bernie on board” with Hillary’s campaign.
The right-wing is so desperate to install Donald Trump in the White House, they now adore Julian Assange, and accept propaganda from the Kremlin as fact.
The left-wing hates Hillary Clinton so much, they now share articles from right-wing media, and tout Russia Today or Wikileaks as a reputable source for information.
The rest of us just shake our heads in disbelief, and wonder when, if ever, we’ve seen an election cycle this dysfunctional, or this bizarre.