Julian Assange’s widely awaited (well, not really) debut on RT occurred today. He interviewed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Of course. Hezbollah is a tireless fighter for human freedom, and a beacon of transparency, so of course Assange views him as an honored guest. Well, not really. Assange honors him because Nasrallah is anti-Israeli and anti-American. Period.
The initial reviews of Jules’ show are brutal. Utterly brutal. But the best (and by best I mean the worst) of the lot is from the Guardian (h/t R). Yes, the Guardian! The paper savages Assange. Not just for his uninspiring style, but for the appalling substance. And the Guardian also savages the News Channel Formerly Known as Russia Today. Indeed-and this is so completely weird and other-worldly that extended quotation is required to give the full effect-the Guardian sounds like it is channeling SWP and @LibertyLynx’s Twitter tl. I kid you not. Don’t believe me? Read on:
The most insidious aspect of Assange’s show is not what is in it, but what isn’t. Russia Today – now styled RT – is state-owned and Kremlin-controlled. It is remarkable for how little reporting it devotes to what is going on inside Russia today. There is no mention, for example, of top-level corruption, Vladimir Putin’s alleged secret fortune – referenced in US embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks – or the brutal behaviour of Russian security forces and their local proxies in the north Caucasus.
Instead, the channel offers a shiny updated version of Soviet propaganda. The west, and America in particular, is depicted as crime-ridden, failing, and in thrall to big business and evil elites. RT’s favourite theme is western hypocrisy: “How dare you criticise us when you do the same?” The English-language channel portrays itself as “anti-mainstream”. In reality it reflects Putin’s own conspiratorial, touchy and xenophobic world-view while staying mute about Russia’s own failings.
The mystery is why Assange should agree to become a pawn in the Kremlin’s global information war. Perhaps he needs the money. Assange’s anti-American agenda, of course, fits neatly with the Kremlin’s own. Russia prides itself on having undesirable allies; expect Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez or Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko on future shows. In Tuesday’s interview Nasrallah expressed support for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. By happy coincidence this is Moscow’s position.
One quibble. There is no mystery at all. The hand-in-glove fit (and I’m not talking OJ trial here) between Russia’s agenda and Assange’s is the beginning and the end of the explanation of this collaboration. This isn’t the Hitler-Stalin Pact, an opportunistic agreement between blood enemies. This is a match of anti-American, anti-Western haters. Period.
The Guardian suggests that RT has duped Assange. Hardly. He surely knows all about RT, and about the regime it serves. He doesn’t need to be duped to work for them. He works for them because he shares a common agenda.
These quibbles aside, I am quite pleased to see that the Guardian recognizes the true nature of RT, and the Russian government it flacks for. This is surely a sign of the impending apocalypse.
There is, of course, a backstory to the Guardian’s brutality. The paper was originally a big supporter of Assange and Wikileaks. Until he screwed the paper, just like he screws everybody-ally and enemy alike, in his malignantly narcissistic way. This review is part of the Guardian’s payback, and payback is, as they say, a bitch.
And hopefully, this payback is just a ripple in advance of a tsunami of payback that will soon descend on Assange’s head.