Apparently more interested in (allegedly) salacious details of Assange’s almost seven-year exile inside the west-London embassy, members of the UK and US press have been breathlessly repeating flaky Quito-leaked claims about his living habits and personal hygiene.
While Assange awaits the very likely possibility of extradition to the US and prosecution for reporting on the sins of the world’s most powerful, mainstream media “journalists” are doing humanity another great service — by posting irrelevant videos and pictures taken inside the embassy in an effort to assist Quito in its smearing efforts.
Footage of Assange messing around on a skateboard has travelled around the world quicker than a historic WikiLeaks document dump (back when the media was interested in cashing in off the back of Assange’s work).
News outlets around the globe have been excitedly posting the footage and any other juicy tidbits they can get their hands on, but the UK’s Daily Mail has truly been on top of the story, reporting on Assange the “overgrown teenager” and even posting “exclusive” photographs of his “fetid lair” and the “squalid horror” in which he lived.
This Pulitzer-worthy scoop contained one photograph of a perfectly clean bathroom and a sneaky snap of a kitchen with one not-yet-washed dinner dish. Assange, the Mail tells us, also “had the run” of the embassy and “bagged” himself a nice bedroom. The lucky thing; one wonders why he ever complained about his circumstances at all. Who needs unnecessary luxuries like light, air, medical care or internet access?
Other accusations from Ecuador have included that the WikiLeaks founder played loud music, left the cooker on, smeared feces over the walls of his bathroom and left some dirty underwear in the toilet. Notably, those particular claims have not been backed up by evidence — but they are still being reported on without little to no skepticism at all.
The always-curious minds that populate US and UK newsrooms have instantly accepted and promoted the notion that it was not extreme pressure from Washington that prompted Ecuador to finally push the eject button on Assange’s stay, it was obviously this convenient “misbehavior” that got too much for them.
Or perhaps it was the leaked pictures of Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno eating lobster in a fancy hotel room bed that finally did it. WikiLeaks denies having anything to do with the leak, but they are indeed the kind of photographs that might anger a corruption scandal-plagued president who imposed austerity measures on his citizens while apparently living the high life himself; just the kind of man journalists ought to be cherrily assisting in the shameless smearing of a whistleblower who is desperately fighting for his freedom.
There’s little concern either from Assange’s fellow journalists that Ecuador was seemingly spying on him while inside the embassy. Instead, the media has dutifully and unquestioningly reported Quito’s claims that Assange himself used the embassy as a “center for spying.” In one particular attempt to justify its decision to revoke his asylum and invite British police inside its embassy to arrest him, Ecuadorian officials claimed Assange’s cat was possibly spying on them with a secret camera embedded in its collar.
Meanwhile, as journalists and commentators joke about his plight, Assange is languishing in the UK’s notorious maximum Belmarsh Prison where he awaits a US extradition hearing for the crime of committing real journalism.
Danielle Ryan RT