WikiLeaks Coverage: Another Good Reason to Support Consortium News

Consortium News has provided leading WikiLeaks coverage from as early as 2010, under its founder Robert Parry. It’s another good reason to support Consortium News.

Joe Lauria

On Dec. 16, 2010 Robert Parry wrote an article on Consortium News about Julian Assange that is as relevant today as it was nine years ago. Parry wrote about the Obama administration’s attempt to indict Assange for simply doing what all investigative journalists do: namely encourage their sources to turn over secret information even if they have to break the law to do so. While the Obama DOJ eventually decided against indictment because it would cross the red line of criminalizing journalism, the Trump administration crossed that very line on the very same evidence the Obama administration rejected. It was an especially prescient and relevant article from the late founder of Consortium News, written just eight months after the release of the Collateral Murder video.

Bob wrote:

“Whatever the unusual aspects of the case, the Obama administration’s reported plan to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for conspiring with Army Pvt. Bradley Manning to obtain U.S. secrets strikes at the heart of investigative journalism on national security scandals.

That’s because the process for reporters obtaining classified information about crimes of state most often involves a journalist persuading some government official to break the law either by turning over classified documents or at least by talking about the secret information. There is almost always some level of ‘conspiracy’ between reporter and source.”

Robert Parry

Julian Assange

If you read the two indictments against Assange, for which the Trump administration wants the imprisoned publisher extradited from Britain to Virginia, they describe this very process of investigative journalism that Bob, one of America’s greatest investigative reporters, described in his piece. Assange is accused of helping Manning hide her identity, not to hack classified material that the indictment says Manning already had legal access to. And Assange is accused of goading Manning to give over more material, as if that is a crime. The indictments describe journalism, not hacking.

Essentially what Bob was saying is:  all investigative journalists are Julian Assange. And that’s why corporate media sell-outs, who defend the powerful and not the public, don’t consider Assange a journalist, though he has done exactly their job, only better. The satirical publication The Onion put these made-up words into the mouth of Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, a frequent target of Bob’s ire:

“It’s abundantly clear that Mr. Assange was focused on exposing documented evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan without so much as a thought for the journalists who faithfully parroted the U.S. military’s talking points when we could have been investigating information that ran contrary to that narrative—does he realize how that makes us look?”

In the years since that article by Bob, Consortium News’ coverage of WikiLeaks and Assange has grown into the most extensive to be found in either established or alternative media. Last year the site began hosting a weekly online video vigil for Assange while he was still in the Ecuador embassy, which developed into CN Live! Around the time of his arrest on April 11, 2019 we provided wall-to-wall coverage for several days and continue to remain on top of the story. Last week’s CN Live! was completely devoted to Assange.

In the face of corporate media malpractice on this story, we remain committed to fighting to get the facts out about Assange–a journalistic test case for the ages on which the future of journalism literally hinges. But we can’t do it without you. So please give a tax-deductible contribution to our Fall Fund Drive so that you’ll still be able to turn to Consortium News for the latest news, analysis and commentary on the plight of Julian Assange and a free press. 

Please honor Bob Parry’s legacy and help us cover Julian Assange by
donating  generously to our Fall Fund Drive. We’ve almost hit our target!


6 comments for “WikiLeaks Coverage: Another Good Reason to Support Consortium News

  1. Clark M Shanahan
    October 28, 2019 at 20:08

    Terrible News
    Max Blumenthal has been arrested.

    See: The Grayzone

  2. Cara MariAnna
    October 28, 2019 at 15:44

    My modest donation, just made—$50, and how I wish I could add zeros to that—is dedicated to Julian Assange and offered with my deepest respect and gratitude for Robert Parry, Joe Lauria and all the contributors to CN.

    Mr. Lauria, thank you for the unfailing support you show to Assange and all your efforts on behalf of journalistic integrity and freedom. I am everyday grateful for your work at CN.

  3. GMCasey
    October 28, 2019 at 14:03

    The NYT and Washington Post were fully involved with reporting the truth of Watergate. In fact “Deep Throat, ” of the FBI gave information to help the reporters. What has happened to you big newspapers? What has happened to you too, government employees who seem to need to read real American history? And most sad of all———where are America’s reporters who once stood up for truth and justice and who knew knew that no person was above the law—-not even a president. And why, oh why, Obama, did you bring life to the Espionage Act of WW I time? It took Rome 500 years to fall apart—we’re only at year 243.

  4. Drew Hunkins
    October 28, 2019 at 10:41

    “…And that’s why corporate media sell-outs, who defend the powerful and not the public, don’t consider Assange a journalist, though has done exactly their job, only better…”


    • jmg
      November 1, 2019 at 08:35

      There has been a big change in the media recently. After all the smear campaigns against Julian Assange, when his new superseding indictment of May 23 effectively converted investigative journalism and publishing, along with whistleblowing, into espionage — punishable with life in supermax prison — a looming silence on Julian predominates in the corporate media.

      And not just that, according to these excerpts from a FAIR’s remarkable report on the media and Julian Assange:

      “When the US DoJ predictably superseded its initial indictment of Assange on May 23, charging him with 17 additional counts of espionage, corporate media’s demarcation problem just as predictably blew up in their faces. As Assistant Attorney General John Demers announced the new charges, he boldly traced the all-important line, guided by corporate media’s hand: ‘Julian Assange is no journalist,’ he asserted.

      “Because the new indictment is significantly more severe and relates to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified material, not just with how that material was obtained, corporate media are now unsurprisingly questioning the line they were so eager to draw. The New York Times (5/23/19) no longer thinks the Trump administration is doing well by Assange. Bloomberg (5/23/19), the Washington Post (5/24/19) and Fox News (5/30/19) are also having second thoughts.

      “David Corn (Twitter, 5/25/19), for whom the line was so clear a month ago, now sees ‘a threat to journalists.’ Katie Benner apparently deleted her previous demarcation tweet and has since contributed to a new article (New York Times, 5/23/19) about the ‘frightening charges’ now facing Assange.

      “It is impossible to accept that corporate media were simply naïve to the inevitability of further charges against Assange. Moreover, we have known all along that, as C.W. Anderson said nearly ten years ago, ‘it’s very hard to draw a line that excludes WikiLeaks and includes the New York Times’ (CFR, 12/23/10). So why the sudden change of heart? . . .

      “Assange wrote in a 2010 op-ed that WikiLeaks aspires to ‘work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true.’ ‘Scientific journalism,’ he explained, ‘allows you to read a story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?’ . . .

      “So long as the persecution of Assange seemed only to do with his particular style of journalism, corporate media were happy to throw him under the bus. Now seeing that their own jobs could get caught up in the collateral damage (Consortium News, 6/5/19), all of a sudden corporate media are scrambling to erase their line.”

      (Corporate Media Have Second Thoughts About Exiling Julian Assange From Journalism | FAIR | June 5, 2019)

    • jmg
      November 1, 2019 at 14:25

      See also Joe Lauria’s very informative report on this topic:

      “The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act has profoundly affected press coverage of the WikiLeaks founder, with much of the media turning suddenly and decisively in his favor after years of vilifying him.

      “The sharp change has also come from some politicians, and significantly, from two Justice Department prosecutors who went public to express their dissent about using the Espionage Act to indict Assange.

      “To the extent that public opinion matters, the sea-change in coverage could have an effect on the British or Swedish governments’ decision to extradite Assange to the United States to face the charges. . . .”

      (Tide of Public Opinion is Turning in Assange’s Favor — Consortium News — May 27, 2019)

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