Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Journalists Tracking Edward Snowden Tricked Into Flying to Cuba (TVNewser)
Since NSA leaker Edward Snowden apparently left Hong Kong, journalists have been trying to track his whereabouts. He supposedly flew to Moscow, Russia (though no reporter saw him there) and Russian state media reported that he would be flying to Cuba, before moving on to Venezuela and likely Ecuador. A slew of reporters, believing the Russian media report, booked tickets on the Aeroflot flight to Havana. When they boarded, it became clear that Snowden was not going to be joining them. The Washington Post / WorldViews More than two dozen reporters and photographers reportedly tried to board that Aeroflot SU-150 from Moscow to Havana on Monday morning. It’s not clear how many of them made it on, but they made clear in a flurry of tweets as the plane pulled away from the gate that the man they were after wasn’t on the plane. Reuters All eyes were on seat 17A as a planeload of journalists strapped themselves in for an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Cuba with former U.S. intelligence contractor Snowden. Their first disappointment was that Snowden didn’t show up. The second was that it was a booze-free flight — all 11 hours and 35 minutes of it. HuffPost / The Backstory For years, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has argued that journalists in Washington often seem too cozy with the political figures they’re supposed to hold accountable and too quick to amplify the government’s perspective on national security. Meet the Press host David Gregory’s suggestion Sunday that Greenwald “aided and abetted” Snowden, his source for a series of bombshell stories, only seemed to validate that viewpoint. NYT Until he re-emerged this week as an ally for Snowden, Julian Assange looked like a forgotten man. WikiLeaks had not had a major release of information in several years, its funds had dwindled and several senior architects of its systems left, citing internal disputes. Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he fled to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual abuse. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’
Learn the basics of the most popular spreadsheet software in our upcoming Microsoft Excel 101 course, taught by a 15-year Excel veteran! In this four-session course, instructor Jenn Shaw will review basic formatting, calculations, and charts, helping you to create useful worksheets, budgets, and more. Enter code MBTHANKU at checkout and save 15%. Hurry – offer expires 12/24! Register Now.
Lady Gaga is important. She is important because she loves to act like she is important, and so she does things like visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange is currently staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while his request for asylum in South Africa is considered. Why would Gaga visit Assange? Your FishbowlNY editors have poured over the details and narrowed it down to three possible reasons:
- To discuss freedom of the press, and what that means for Gaga’s plans to enter the 2013 Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest.
- To show support for Assange and WikiLeaks, which is something Madonna would never do.
- So Assange could add vocals to Gaga’s upcoming single, tentatively titled “I’m a Crazy Rule Breaker Breaking The Rules (So Rude).”
We’ll update when we confirm which is correct.
[Image - Littlemonsters.com]
WikiLeaks is at it again. Today the site announced a partnership with multiple news outlets (the Associated Press in the United States) to present stories based on a trove of over two million emails from Syrian political officials, ministries and more.
The documents — titled the Syria Files — contain a “range of information extends from the intimate correspondence of the most senior Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations,” according to WikiLeaks.
“The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents,” said Julian Assange. “It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”
The data was taken from August 2006 through March 2012.
The Huffington Post reports that the AP has been removed from the list of organizations partnering with WikiLeaks.
In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we give a lesson on human reproduction, talk about the U.S. Open, sit down with Julian Assange, and, oh yeah, cover that Irene thing everyone’s been talking about.
Gawker Media and Magnolia Pictures plan to hold a private screening of “Page One,” the documentary on the New York Times, Adweek reports. The screening will be on the rooftop of Gawker’s Manhattan office, and will be followed by a panel featuring the filmmaker Andrew Rossi, as well as The Atlantic’s Michael Hirschorn, Gizmodo’s Brian Lam, and the two stars of the film: Times media writers David Carr and Brian Stelter.
What’s curious about this crowd is that Gawker, along with The Huffington Post and WikiLeaks, is portrayed in the film as a threat to the Times, particularly with regard to Gawker head Nick Denton‘s page view obsession. And the same goes for The Atlantic‘s Hirshhorn: his essay “End Times: Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?” is also featured in the film.
Glad all of these major media factions could put their differences aside and come together for what is sure to be a fascinating panel on the state of journalism. Too bad Julian Assange and Arianna Huffington aren’t making appearances as well. FishbowlNY editors have likewise not been asked to appear, but we’re sure that’s just a temporary oversight on their part.
Michael Calderone at Huffington Post wrote yesterday about the scramble to publish WikiLeaks Guantanamo Bay documents. The curious aspect to the whole tale is that five months had passed since a source told Reuters that Julian Assange had “personal files of every prisoner in GITMO” and the documents still hadn’t emerged.
The documents were finally published when the New York Times obtained them, and decided to share them with NPR and Guardian. But Times executive editor Bill Keller told The Huffington Post that, “WikiLeaks is not our source. We got the material with no embargo.” This suggests that the source presumably was Wikileaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
So why did Julian Assange hoard the documents and refuse to publish them? John Cook at Gawker writes that though Assange has claimed he held on to his secrets in order to honor his sources’ desires for “maximum impact,” and also wanted time to review the documents to minimize harm, the real reason is that Assange just wanted to protect himself.
Assange has come to view the unpublished bits of [Bradley] Manning‘s cache as, literally, insurance… With each new disclosure, that insurance file affords him less and less leverage, which explains his reluctance to follow Manning’s wishes and actually disclose information…
And without the threat of more earth-shattering disclosures down the road, will anyone really care whether Assange is extradited to Sweden, or gets convicted of rape, or goes to jail? Not really. Which is why he’s publishing the Gitmo files under duress.
Perhaps WikiLeaks is less an agent for truth than an agent for Julian Assange.
So! Bill Keller has a new piece for the New York Times Magazine. He writes, “I don’t intend this occasional essay to become the Editor’s Pulpit,” which got us excited, naturally, because it meant that that was exactly what he was about to do. And when Keller goes in to Editor’s Pulpit mode, it generally means he is going to take on his nemesis du jour, the Huffington Post. Fun all around.
Keller’s actual subjects are the worthy issues of journalistic openness and transparency, and he begins by comparing James O’Keefe and Julian Assange. (As a side note, his comparison reminds us a lot of a post we read a few weeks ago for The Atlantic Wire by Erik Hayden.)
[V]iolated the first rule of blogging, and failed to link to the argument he was engaging. So when he talked about “the reaction” to his column, or “clueless commentary”, the lack of any link was a CYA move, giving him the opportunity to say “oh no, I didn’t mean you“.
In this latest piece, Keller fails to link again. He writes:
Beginning this March, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller will author his own column in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. Keller’s articles will be placed in the front of each issue and were the idea of new editor Hugo Lindgren. Lindgren discussed how he how he decided to ask Keller to write for his magazine:
I was talking with some of my colleagues, and we were like, ‘How do we make this a destination page in the magazine — something people will feel like they have to read?’ And, ‘Who’s a writer that can occupy this space for more than half the time, so it sort of feels like someone is there most of the time?’ And someone said, ‘Bill Keller,’ and I was like, ‘Ha ha ha. He could never do it.
Lindgren and Keller agreed that the new article will open each edition’s “The Way We Live Now” section. Keller’s columns will be around 1,500 words long and will run in two to three issues per month. Keller has yet to determine what he will write about yet, however he shouldn’t be too rusty after publishing his recent piece on the Times’s relationship with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Earlier in his career, Keller served as a senior writer under former NYT Magazine editor Adam Moss.
Keller describes Assange, early on at least, as someone who would be starkly serious one moment, then giddy the next. He says that as time went on, their relationship went from cautious to “hostile.” Assange began to complain about Times pieces, and the one that finally destroyed their relationship, obviously, was the profile about Assange himself. By that time, Keller says “Assange was transformed by his outlaw celebrity.”
Keller also dives into the public’s reaction to the Times for publishing Wikileaks, and confronts the absurd notion that the paper didn’t consider the consequences of doing so:
Although it is our aim to be impartial in our presentation of the news, our attitude toward these issues is far from indifferent. The journalists at The Times have a large and personal stake in the country’s security.
He then goes on to admit that their dealings with Wikileaks has been imperfect, but neccessary:
We make the best judgments we can. When we get things wrong, we try to correct the record. A free press in a democracy can be messy. But the alternative is to give the government a veto over what its citizens are allowed to know. Anyone who has worked in countries where the news diet is controlled by the government can sympathize with Thomas Jefferson’s oft-quoted remark that he would rather have newspapers without government than government without newspapers.
Michael Calderone gets Bill Keller to admit that the Times is looking into something like Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit, which launched earlier this month, and has been publishing previously classfiied information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Keller says:
A small group from computer-assisted reporting and interactive news, with advice from the investigative unit and the legal department, has been discussing options for creating a kind of EZ Pass lane for leakers.
Given that Al Jazeera’s system has already been a success, you can expect these discussions Keller mentions to progress very quickly. Al Jazeera has effectively cut out the middle man with their Transparency Unit, and the Times knows this. The paper also hasn’t had the best relationship with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, so what better way to stick it to Assange than to cut him, and Wikileaks, out of the picture forever?
And you thought Assange was already kind of paranoid. Just wait until he hears this.
NEXT PAGE >>