Keeping WikiLeaks Afloat
Julian Assange finds himself in elevated company, with the likes of Justin Bieber and our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper for example, all three of whom have elevated the discourse, or demeaned it, depending on whose ox is being gored and your personal aesthetics. Discounting the amount of news and noise politicians are capable of mounting, consider those like Mr. Assange and Master Bieber whose bigger-than-life egos place them on a stage of their very own making.
Justin Bieber was relieved of personal responsibility in a dust-up between boys-will-be-boys, with the decision that he was not really the aggressor, simply the unfortunate recipient of a bit of jealousy-riven aggression - er - something of that nature. Julian Assange, on the other hand, has elevated muck-raking to the nth degree, in the honoured tradition of those who insist the truth must be told. And he's the one to do it, ta-dum!
Truth is also that it most certainly appears as though Sweden is distorting the reality of a few sexual encounters Mr. Assange enjoyed with several willing participants who had second thoughts and whom the authorities encouraged to have third thoughts about. Bedding down with a member of the opposite sex for the purpose of having sex can be a complicated matter in Sweden.
Celebrities enjoy their celebrity. They feel they have worked hard to attain that status. They also, notionally, feel they should be able to manage their celebrity. Sometimes that status takes on a life of its own and become unmanageable, but however the news media confounds what public relations dictates, all news is good news, even the perturbing kind.
Except when it reveals details that appear to the celebrity to be inconvenient at the time of their revelation. As, for example, really embarrassing tidbits one would far prefer to keep to oneself? But no mind, the revelatory details of purloined documentation that have titillated the world while revealing very little of real substance that hadn't been in the public realm previously are still viewed as enough of a threat to have Mr. Assange labelled a threat.
And, as a threat to confidentiality and private assurances in a world that has increasingly eschewed the private and the confidential, he may yet pay the price should push come to shove. On the other hand, the United States of America is not yet Russia which can and does with impunity arrange for assassinations of irritating newsmongers, and judiciary-supported jail terms for those who oppose the current political system.
Mr. Assange and his lawyers may be livid with indignation that details have emerged over his legal woes, but they are doubtless more than a trifle satisfied with the rather munificent $1.7-M book deal which Mr. Assange won "under duress", according to the Guardian. "I don't want to write this book, but I have to", moaned Mr. Assange.
In support of his brainchild, WikiLeaks, and of course his own recourse to self-defence in a politically hostile world that has officially held him to account by the outraged governments whose egg he has smeared all over the news media of the international community. Besides, it gives this painfully shy man the opportunity to write his autobiography, at an admittedly tender age, and get paid handsomely for it besides.