Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Assange and Greenwald Identify The New York Times As Having Bad Character

Down with the Times. My parents being loyal readers of the Times point out that now and then there is an anti-war article in the Times. Nice, but the main force of the Times is pro-war, pro-Pentagon, helped start the wars for the Bush administration with it's propaganda, and has blood on it's hands. I'm not the only one who has noticed.

From Yahoo

...Burns, a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and current London bureau chief, pushed back against Assange's contention that the Times engaged in "tabloid activity" when reporting a profile that Assange calls a error-ridden "hit piece."
Assange said Monday at London's Frontline Club that he wasn't surprised by the Times' recent coverage of him, given what he considers the paper's "absolutely disgusting" August profile of Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old army private suspected of supplying the classified documents to WikiLeaks. The Manning piece, Assange said, "removed all higher-level political motivations from him and psychoanalyzed him down to problems in his childhood and a demand for attention."
The WikiLeaks chief also questioned whether the Times simply employs "journalists with extremely bad character" or whether coverage of him and his whistleblower organization is influenced by the "realpolitik that [Times executive editor] Bill Keller has to go through in order to get out any story that depicts the U.S. military in a negative way."

...Burns said he doesn't "recall ever having been the subject of such absolutely, relentless vituperation" following a story in his 35 years at the Times. He said his email inbox has been full of denunciations from readers and a number of academics at top-tier schools such as Harvard, Yale, and MIT. Some, he said, used "language that I don't think they would use at their own dinner table." Such heated reactions to the profile, Burns said, shows "just how embittered the American discourse on these two wars has become."

In the 2,000-word piece — "WikiLeaks Chief On Run, Trailed By His Notoriety" — Burns and reporter Ravi Somaiya described Assange as the secretive and brilliant driving force behind the global document clearing house. But they also wrote how "some of his own comrades are abandoning him for what they see as erratic and imperious behavior, and nearly delusional grandeur unmatched by an awareness that the digital secrets he reveals can have a price in flesh and blood." They also noted the recent sexual assault allegations that two women in Sweden brought against Assange.

Salon's Glenn Greenwald called the profile a "sleazy hit piece" and wrote Sunday that it was "filled with every tawdry, scurrilous tabloid rumor" about the WikiLeaks founder. Greenwald likened Burns to the "Nixonian henchmen" who plotted against Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and described him as "one of the media's most enthusiastic supporters of the occupation of Iraq." (Burns has also received much praise for his years as the paper's Baghdad bureau chief, and I profiled him upon his leaving that position in 2007).
"The Iraq War is John Burns' war, and for the crime of making that war look bad, Julian Assange must have his character smeared and his psychiatric health maligned," Greenwald wrote. "Burns — along with his co-writer Ravi Somaiya — is happy to viciously perform that function."

See also: Iraq War Logs Out, Pathetic New York Times Tries To Make Pro-War Spin
The New York Times Continues To Use The Dubious "Zabiullah Mujahid" As Convenient Source For Anti-Wikileaks Propaganda

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