Ecuador’s attempted character assassination of whistleblower Julian Assange stepped up since his arrest last week, with officials offering various excuses to justify his expulsion — and the media has been eagerly lapping it up.
Apparently more interested in (allegedly) salacious details of Assange’s almost seven-year exile inside the west-London embassy, members of the UK and US press have been breathlessly repeating flaky Quito-leaked claims about his living habits and personal hygiene.
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Embassy skating: Security cameras record Assange rolling through Ecuador diplomatic mission’s room Wikileaks founder was arrested and dragged out of the embassy in London last week after the South American nation revoked his political asylum. Interior minister Maria Paula Romo later revealed that Assange’s mental and physical state had deteriorated during his seven-year stay at the embassy, and he reportedly exhibited increasingly anti-social behaviour.
While Assange awaits the very likely possibility of extradition to the US and prosecution for reporting on the sins of the world’s most powerful, mainstream media “journalists” are doing humanity another great service — by posting irrelevant videos and pictures taken inside the embassy in an effort to assist Quito in its smearing efforts.
Footage of Assange messing around on a skateboard has travelled around the world quicker than a historic WikiLeaks document dump (back when the media was interested in cashing in off the back of Assange’s work).
The way Establishment media culture built up the cult of WikiLeaks, profited off WikiLeaks, then savagely turned on Assange with shameless hive mind efficiency—is something frightening, like a real-life "irrational mob mentality" in action pic.twitter.com/wEnJA1zKz8
— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) April 11, 2019
News outlets around the globe have been excitedly posting the footage and any other juicy tidbits they can get their hands on, but the UK’s Daily Mail has truly been on top of the story, reporting on Assange the “overgrown teenager” and even posting “exclusive” photographs of his “fetid lair” and the “squalid horror” in which he lived.
This Pulitzer-worthy scoop contained one photograph of a perfectly clean bathroom and a sneaky snap of a kitchen with one not-yet-washed dinner dish. Assange, the Mail tells us, also “had the run” of the embassy and “bagged” himself a nice bedroom. The lucky thing; one wonders why he ever complained about his circumstances at all. Who needs unnecessary luxuries like light, air, medical care or internet access?
— Danielle Ryan 💬 (@DanielleRyanJ) April 15, 2019
Other accusations from Ecuador have included that the WikiLeaks founder played loud music, left the cooker on, smeared feces over the walls of his bathroom and left some dirty underwear in the toilet. Notably, those particular claims have not been backed up by evidence — but they are still being reported on without little to no skepticism at all.
The always-curious minds that populate US and UK newsrooms have instantly accepted and promoted the notion that it was not extreme pressure from Washington that prompted Ecuador to finally push the eject button on Assange’s stay, it was obviously this convenient “misbehavior” that got too much for them.
Western media has uncritically reported every absurd excuse Lenin Moreno has offered for expelling Julian Assange from Ecuador’s embassy. Meanwhile, the massive corruption and voter fraud scandals he’s facing have been mostly ignored. https://t.co/CsSvJWgOAy via @DenisRogatyuk
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) April 15, 2019
Or perhaps it was the leaked pictures of Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno eating lobster in a fancy hotel room bed that finally did it. WikiLeaks denies having anything to do with the leak, but they are indeed the kind of photographs that might anger a corruption scandal-plagued president who imposed austerity measures on his citizens while apparently living the high life himself; just the kind of man journalists ought to be cherrily assisting in the shameless smearing of a whistleblower who is desperately fighting for his freedom.
There’s little concern either from Assange’s fellow journalists that Ecuador was seemingly spying on him while inside the embassy. Instead, the media has dutifully and unquestioningly reported Quito’s claims that Assange himself used the embassy as a “center for spying.” In one particular attempt to justify its decision to revoke his asylum and invite British police inside its embassy to arrest him, Ecuadorian officials claimed Assange’s cat was possibly spying on them with a secret camera embedded in its collar.
Any journalist who focuses on Assange’s personal characteristics or foibles, rather than the vast amounts of newsworthy information he has brought into the public domain, reveals that they’re more interested in gossip and tabloid trash than “journalism”
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 14, 2019
Meanwhile, as journalists and commentators joke about his plight, Assange is languishing in the UK’s notorious maximum Belmarsh Prison where he awaits a US extradition hearing for the crime of committing real journalism.