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Friday, 24 August 2012

Assange's image suffers at home for his notoriety

Assange fronts the media, London, August 2012.
I don't often listen to the radio. Yesterday I did while driving back from visiting a friend a few hours away, and as usual I was tuned to the ABC local station. In the morning I had heard people talking about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also; that was during an interview with Stella Rimington, the former MI5 head, now a novelist. Her ostensible reason for fronting the mic answering questions about WikiLeaks was to promote her new spy novel. But there is a compulsive need among Australian journalists to address the Asssange issue at every opportunity, so Rimington had to answer questions about WikiLeaks as well. At the other end of the day there were a few of those typical types you hear on ABC radio doing a talk program. You know the ones. They're articulate, well-adjusted, cautious, polite and reasonable. They have careers and children, they eat at nice restaurants, they have opinions. And these vultures were talking about Julian Assange on air.

The problem with WikiLeaks, said one of them, a woman, is that Julian Assange is identified too closely with the organisation, and she gave the opinion that whenever Assange opens his mouth she throws up a bit in hers. Clearly, she doesn't like Assange. You get a lot of this kind of backstabbing on social media as well from the same kind of well-adjusted and reasonable people, but in the final analysis it's the tall-poppy syndrome at work. I hear it so often from the same well-adjusted, reasonable types who use Twitter.

The thing about Assange is that he's Australian and it's an affront to every well-adjusted, reasonable, mediocre Australian that a fellow citizen could achieve the level of recognition that Assange has done. If he had an American accent it would be different. Americans are supposed to deliver new, outlandish and original ideas to us here in Australia. But Assange is a local, and he gets this casual and unkind treatment every time one of these well-adjusted, educated, reasonable types hits the airwaves with their opinion.

It makes me sick. So does the implication that Assange is receiving too much exposure. As the public face of WikiLeaks, an organisation that can only work if most of its members operate in secret, it's perfectly natural for Assange to be in the public eye. In addition to that, Assange was the originator of the WikiLeaks idea. If anyone deserves to receive the accolades for its success, Assange does. These well-adjusted, reasonable, middle-class types cannot - or will not - see the perfect logic whereby Assange receives publicity. You cannot trust them, they are jealous, and they use their perfect, well-adjusted reasonableness to try to cut down one of the most interesting men Australia has produced in decades.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'm one of those well-adjusted middle-aged types. female, but not alas back-biting on the ABC.
i get the same throw-up-in-my-throat effect when i listen to ABC female announcers. why is that? it's because they are mealy-mouthed. they simper and use words like 'tremendous' as if that is sposed to impress us. i can name a few off the top of my head. and some of my middle-aged friends express similar back-biting views. not on twitter though.
PS, i love JA. think he is ...er.. tremendous