Bryan ClarkFormer Managing Editor, TNW
Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.
Proving he’s not above a cheap headline, Julian Assange today detailed how quickly a personal vendetta can detract from good journalism. The dark side of journalism is on full display in this WikiLeaks tweet:
Hillary Clinton strategist Bob Beckel called for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to be assassinated. #DNCLeak pic.twitter.com/9L2ixl24Er
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 10, 2016
In a segment with Fox News, Beckel went completely off the rails and delivered the following thoughts in front of a national audience:
The way to deal with this is pretty simple. We’ve got Special Ops forces. I mean, a dead guy can’t leak stuff. This guy is a traitor, a treasonous… he has broken every law in the United States. This guy ought to be… and I’m not for the death penalty… so if I’m not for the death penalty and want to do it… illegally shoot the son of a bitch.
What the WikiLeaks tweet doesn’t mention, however, is that Beckel is:
- Not a Clinton strategist, nor has he ever been tied to her campaign.
- A moron that made this statement in 2010, not recently.
Of course, that doesn’t keep dozens of “reputable” news outlets from reporting it as if it were true, and just happened in light of the DNC leaks from Assange and WikiLeaks. Assange, a journalist himself, plays on one of the oldest tricks in the book by letting people make false assumptions and jump to incorrect conclusions — all while keeping yourself above board by not making incorrect statements yourself.
What started as a leak of information proving DNC officials colluded to deny Bernie Sanders a democratic nomination — a move that cost DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Shultz her position — has quickly evolved into a personal mission to smear the democratic candidate. If Assange has legitimate information that could aid in this goal — as he claims — then it’s fair game, encouraged even.
If not, he’s simply pandering to the masses and becoming the exact sort of lowest common denominator journalist he claims to despise. One thing is clear though, Assange has made this personal, and by doing so he seems to be willing to hand in ethics for cheap clicks.
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