AP, Atlantic Wire, And Others Miss The Point On Role Of Media

July 13, 2012

Russian warship near Syrian coast, photo: Reuters

When WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, posted the Syria Files on July 5th – 2.4 million emails that reveal the dicey motivation and actions of the Syrian government AND the opposition – the big story became how the AP objected to being called one of WikiLeaks’s collaborators.

Atlantic Wire, fond of piling on Assange, has run a story a day this week. Most posts focus on painting the WikiLeaks founder as an arrogant, demanding, egomaniac baby.

Way to go, guys. Take a story about getting valuable, firsthand documents about a little understood violent conflict and twist it into a gossip column! Why focus on the facts when you can turn WikiLeaks into a cult of personality?

Granted, sifting through millions of emails about Syria requires effort and brain power.

But an interesting thing is happening now that the Syrian emails are public (you can read some yourself from the WikiLeaks website):

Russia, who was amassing war ships nearby to show their support for the Assad government, told the BBC on Wednesday that they want to talk to the opposition and help end this conflict immediately.

So the release of these emails may have had a direct, beneficial effect.

Assange told Rolling Stone back in January, “I believe that if we look at what makes a civilization civilized, it is people understanding what is really going on.”