Julian Assange: The Twenty First Century 'Mick Jagger' of Data
much as we whine about the constant media diet of WikiLeaks, Assange is clearly
the ultimate Mick Jagger of the digital age. He’s done it all: blown the whistle
on the truth of Yankee diplomacy; outlined a map of the web woven by the world's
economic and political powers; revealed widespread journalistic apathy; and
sounded the death knell of today's information business."
Besides starring in a top story in a world without a great supply of tales anything like it, and having exposed more than a few of the mysteries
of power, an act that left a blot on many a reputation, Julian Assange has acquired
something even more potent: the power to polarize, shake up, and leave no one indifferent to a look that's not only baleful, but fierce, and just as provocative as the famous tongue of the Rolling Stones. His groupies even demand it! And that says it all.
As much as we whine about the
constant media diet from WikiLeaks, Assange is clearly the ultimate Mick Jagger
of the digital age. He’s done it all: blown the whistle on the truth of Yankee
diplomacy; outlined a map of the web woven by the world's economic and
political powers; revealed widespread journalistic apathy; and sounded the
death knell for today's information business, thereby scaring the hell out of
the old ladies of the news world.
Like a Keith Richards caught
with a stash of cocaine in his suitcase, the guy ends up in the slammer for two
alleged acts involving skirts. Two groupies, which is what his accusers have
turned out to be, since one boasted of bedding him and the other made eyes at
him at a conference - say he forced them to do bad things. As justice
dictates, sex crimes are no joking matter, but let us not confuse the personal with
Assange has a runaway ego, and
the messianic vibe of this business with Wikileaks is a tree that obscures the
forest. It sounds ridiculous enough that El Pais, as arthritic as the
rest of the press (if not more so), has thrust its youthful chest out - which
is an opinion shared by more than a few of my colleagues. That's the blubber of
the story. But there is no escaping that underneath that, the meat is the news which
has been made. Some of it is brutal, but it is news, period. And yes, there are
also some anecdotal jests that have grabbed the right-wing press and its spokespeople.
mission may not sit well with us, but that does nothing to negate his situational
talents; the imbroglio he is mixed up in is so mind-blowing that even the U.S.
doesn’t know with certainty if it can charge him. Those caught in the middle,
whether they're pleased by this mega-exclusive or not, are nothing but blowhards,
as incidental as a hair color change for this new and obviously false idol.
As for the others (including El
Pais), we should stop whining like we have a crazy professor that hates us
or an umpire that penalizes us for the way we fish - or fuck over those we
have to fuck over: those in power are so accustomed to feeding our nursing
If contemporary journalism is
dying of starvation and tedium, the blame obviously lies with those of us who practice
it. Assange has stuck out his Rolling Stones' tongue - and he is so fuckin’ right to do so!