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If you didn't get a chance to see this eleven minute back and forth between CNN's Jessica Yellin, ex-Bushie Fran Townsend and Salon's Glenn Greewald discussing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks......I recommend it.
For discussion purposes, I transcribed a segment of the hapless Fran Townsend's response to the always razor-sharp Greenwald.
Fran Townsend: "Is he (Assange) profiting from the commission of a crime? The answer is yes. Nobody cared who Julian Assange was until he came out with these tens of thousands of documents, classified documents. So, what he seeks to do now, is to profit from that. The notion of equating him with public servants and elected officials who publish autobiographies after their government service, and profit from that, is purely outrageous. This is a guy who committed a crime. He did not do what your standard journalists do. Oh, by the way, when your other guest refers to the New York Times..... even the NY Times, when they have very sensitive classified information, would come to the government and redact it. David Sanger went on NPR after this and talked about instances when the NY Times redacted classified information from their reports because to not do so would be irresponsible."
Greenwald calls Townsend out on her two immediate lies....Assange has only released segments of 1200-some cables out of a quarter million he has in his possession....and Assange has not even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. But then, that's what we would expect from a government propagandist like Townsend.
Again, if you can believe it.....the Townsend lies (which virtually all U.S. main media have circulated and continue to circulate).....aren't the worst of what she said in the CNN interview.
The worse part is the establishment understanding of the role of the media.
Just imagine Daniel Ellsberg consulting with the Nixon White House, allowing the Nixon criminals to supervise the redaction of the Pentagon Papers. It's goddamn ridiculous to even suggest it.....yet Fran Townsend claims that it's the job of the constitutional free press to first receive approval from the GOVERNMENT before printing their stories.
Earlier I blogged about the NY Times boss, Bill Keller, and how his understanding of the press is the same as Fran Townsend's....i.e., in a democratic free society in which the press has been given freedom to express itself....for the purpose of keeping the American people informed about what their government is doing in their name.....one of the jobs of that press, before printing a controversial story, is to first earn a seal of approval from the very government the press should be informing us about.
That isn't reporting, that isn't journalism, that is not honoring the Constitution.....that is collusion with the government, that is corruption, and.....that is what led the United States government to murder over 100,000 Iraqis and 4500 U.S. soldiers.
Glenn Greenwald is abso-freaking-lutely spot on.....the most disturbing part of the WikiLeaks story is how our mighty media protectors can not be distinguished any longer from our government lackeys.
Or put another way.....an overwhelming percentage of today's main media understands their role vis-a-vis government, as one of reporting on what the government hand-feeds them to report on and challenging any and all who would present evidence contrary to the government's point of view.