Wikileaks Has Sprung A Leak

In Leaked Chats, WikiLeaks Discusses Preference for GOP over Clinton, Russia, Trolling, and Feminists They Don’t Like by Micah Lee, Cora Currier.

From the post:

On a Thursday afternoon in November 2015, a light snow was falling outside the windows of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, despite the relatively warm weather, and Julian Assange was inside, sitting at his computer and pondering the upcoming 2016 presidential election in the United States.

In little more than a year, WikiLeaks would be engulfed in a scandal over how it came to publish internal emails that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and the extent to which it worked with Russian hackers or Donald Trump’s campaign to do so. But in the fall of 2015, Trump was polling at less than 30 percent among Republican voters, neck-and-neck with neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Assange spoke freely about why WikiLeaks wanted Clinton and the Democrats to lose the election.

“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” he typed into a private Twitter direct message group to an assortment of WikiLeaks’ most loyal supporters on Twitter. “Dems+Media+liberals woudl then form a block to reign in their worst qualities,” he wrote. “With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.” He paused for two minutes before adding, “She’s a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath.”

Like Wikileaks, the Intercept treats the public like rude children, publishing only what it considers to be newsworthy content:


The archive spans from May 2015 through November 2017 and includes over 11,000 messages, more than 10 percent of them written from the WikiLeaks account. With this article, The Intercept is publishing newsworthy excerpts from the leaked messages.

My criticism of the Intercept’s selective publication of leaks isn’t unique to its criticism of Wikileaks. I have voiced similar concerns about the ICIJ and Wikileaks itself.

I want to believe the Intercept, ICIJ and Wikileaks when they proclaim others have been lying, unfaithful, dishonest, etc.

But that wanting/desire makes it even more important that I critically assess the evidence they advance for their claims.

Selective release of evidence undermines their credibility to be no more than those they accuse.

BTW, if anyone has a journalism 101 guide to writing headlines, send a copy to the Intercept. They need it.

PS: I don’t have an opinion one way or the other on the substance of the Lee/Currier account. I’ve never been threatened with a government missile so can’t say how I would react. Badly I would assume.

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