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Assange & the 'Jackal Media': Washington Post
People truly have a lot to fear.
If there's been one red thread through the Assange case so far, it's been the realisation by a growing number of netizens that their 'accredited' journalists are less than worthless. They don't bother with due diligence, have a shocking attitude of nonchalance towards fact checking, and end up misleading readers to a serious extent.
Today's look at the lacklustre jackal media concentrates on a sole article published 8 September by no less than the Washington Post, former home of Ben Bradlee and the award-winning 'Woodstein' duo.
Those were the days. So much has changed.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entangled in Swedish criminal inquiries
Here's the link to the WaPo article. You might want to read it first before proceeding here. Have a good time; see you in a bit.
The above article was written by one Edward Cody. Cody is associated with WaPo's foreign service and based in Paris. He could conceivably have commuted up to the Swedish capital to research his article properly. But either way: WaPo readers have a lot to fear.
- Cody gets the number of released Afghan documents wrong. He cites '70,000' when it should be clear even to Usama bin Laden in his cave by now that it's ~77,000 instead.
- Cody cites the remaining number of documents as 13,000 when the figure 15,000 has been cited all along by Assange himself - bringing the total to 92,000. Cody's not even close.
- Cody cites the beginning of WikiLeaks as 2006 when everyone knows the organisation, despite completing its ICANN registration in October 2006, did not appear online until 2007.
- Cody misspells the name of the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny. ('Maryanne' isn't exactly a common name in Sweden.)
- Birgitta Jónsdóttir is again quoted. Either this is a ref to a ref to a ref or the harried parliamentarian who says she has no time for the media right now has suddenly been given the gift of gab (along with indiscretion).
- Cody claims Jónsdóttir reviewed the Stockholm police report, which must have been quite the feat as neither Assange nor his lawyer at the time had seen it. This is verified (contradicted) in the next paragraph: 'But Sibersky has been unable to deal effectively with the charges ... because the prosecution has yet to provide him with official information on what the women told police.'
- 'Assange came to Sweden for protection from his enemies', writes Cody. And Cody doesn't grasp that the Swedish Pirate Party are simply offering additional 'mirroring' as many supporters have volunteered to do.
- Cody claims the agreement with the Pirate Party was designed to give WikiLeaks legal protection under Swedish law.
- Cody claims to have contact with 'supporters' who saw Assange and Ardin together, and further claims the two seemed enamoured of each other. This type of testimony usually precedes the familiar 'objection, your honour!'
- Cody gets the most important sequence of events completely backwards, claiming Ardin spoke with police about an event that took place in her flat on Tjurbergsgatan in Stockholm when it was in fact an event that took place with the other woman in Enköping.
- Cody compounds this by claiming the second woman accused Assange of raping her on 14 August after the seminar when he was in fact eating lunch and going to the cinema with her and later spending the evening with the first woman.
- Cody spells 'Enköping' 'Enhoping'.
- Cody claims the two women went to the police to 'lodge a report' when even Usama in his cave knows better by now. The women went to the police to ask questions. The police were able to turn this into a formal complaint because crimes of this nature are between the individual and the state and do not need a formal plaintiff.
- Finné's name is Finné, not 'Finne'. Perhaps a bagatelle but Cody - working out of Paris, remember - can find an accent acute if he has to. Finné without the accent means 'zit' in Swedish - not particularly complimentary.
- Claes Borgström is mentioned and described as a 'former government official and a fixture in the Social Democratic Party'. The details of his career which make his involvement in the case interesting are either ignored or unknown to Cody.
- Cody claims Assange has been confined to Sweden.
- Cody claims with apparent zest that Assange's 'plans to reveal more documents with another round of fanfare have been crimped'.
To make matters even more embarrassing, an accompanying audio feed of an interview with Assange begins by this time claiming WikiLeaks have already released 'over 90,000 documents'.
When WaPo 'journalists' like Edward Cody can't even come close to getting the facts straight, people interested in the truth have a lot to fear.