What is the most irking fact about the Wikileaks saga……..
The Wikileaks Players
Wikileaks has been very clear about the fact that it has partnered with a number of the worlds leading media organisations (NY Times etc) and that these organisations are directly involved in vetting the material specifically to avoid some of the charges (endangerment of individuals etc) levelled against Wikileaks…
Profiting without sacrifice
These media organisations are using the material to further their business interests and increase/maintain their readership and their positions as leading media outlets.
Yet it is only Wikileaks and Julian Assange that have been subject to the ire of politicians and business interests and calls to shut them down, calls for them to be harrassed, intimidated, assassinated and subject to direct action to cut off access to funds etc…
Can you imagine the outrage if…
Why is it that politicians of various colours, “powerful” interests (particularly right wing interests) in the US and elsewhere are not calling on the Owners, board chairman or CEO’s / Chief Editors of these large mainstream media organisations to face the same sanctions as those that they advocate for Wikileaks and Julian Assange? Can you imagine the uproar if an elected politician said in public that the Editor of the New York Times should be assassinated?
Ignoring the big collaborators, Why?
Why is it that organisations like Paypal, VISA, Mastercard, Amazon etc have acted directly at the behest of politicians to impose these sanctions against Wikileaks but don’t undertake the same actions against the large media organisations working in partnership/collaboration with Wikileaks?
Guilty of what exactly?
To date despite a lot of bluster Wikileaks has not been charged or found guilty of ANY offences in the US or elsewhere. It has acted as a media organisation and is simply exposing material leaked to it….
What if it had started with the big guys…
The reality is that the cache of diplomatic cables could have been delivered directly to the large mainstream media organisations and those organisations could and would have used them. These media organisations often rely on leaks and whistleblowers to provide them with the material for their “scoops”…. would the same hysteria have occurred if this material was being released solely and exclusively by a large mainstream media outlet?
What are the big guys afraid of?
Would the same calls for extra-judicial sanctions be occurring? Would paypal/visa/mastercard/amazon etc come out and freeze accounts and deny access to these large mainstream media organisations just because a few senators urged them to because they were unhappy with something published in the NY Times etc…. unlikely
The most irking factor about this saga
The mosting irking factor about this saga is that it just stinks of attempts to trample on the little guy…. and the big mainstream media are complicit in this because they are benefitting immensely from the risk taking of the little guy and not highlighting the discrepancy in treatment of themselves as major players in the dissemination of the material…..
Is it just that big media interests and political interests and big business interests are TOO closely engaged to upset the apple cart, or is there some other underlying threat that the big business interests are afraid of? If it is because they are afraid of some action or potential action from Government then they should speak up about it…in the words of Thomas Jefferson..
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Are even the extra-judicial sanctions too late?
Is the community outrage at the attacks on Wikileaks a signal that the world has/is shifting. Are Government and business responses now a matter of trying to close the gate after the horse has bolted??
UPDATE AS AT 13 DECEMBER 2010:
I am pleased to report that the Australian media has taken some action in regards the issue above….. with a letter being sent to the Australian Prime Minister by TV and Radio News Editors and the editors of almost every major Australian metropolitan newspaper.
The letter can be found in full here
In part the letter reads
and also reads:
It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.