John Young on Fri, 31 Dec 2010 16:11:19 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Philippe Riviere: Wikileaks: journalism or espionage? Shoot the messenger

Until recent months Wikileaks has not claimed to be journalism.
Indeed, it regularly published very hostile attacks on the ignoble
evasions of commercial press and publishing. Now Julian displays the
editor-in-chief badge as a defense against terrible threats, thus ipso
facto is a commercial journalist vaunting his constitutional fishwrap.

Perhaps as a private joke, Assange knows that editor-in-chief is the
most loathed role in publishing, the apologist lackey of "the business
side," publishers investors and advertisers who care only for profits
available by cloaking in freedom of the press (no less scurrilously
ignoble than cousin freedom of religion),

Commercial journalism is indistingishable from espionage. Agents move
freely among the capacious exploitation of sources, use the same
language, hide the same secrets, brag overmuch, pretend honorable
public servcie, bribe, lie, cheat, burgle, rat on each other,
plagiarize, kiss up kick down, are vain, mean, vile, corrupt and stink
of betrayal for a higher cause, "the truth." They run the same kind of
university and field training programs where crafty means and methods
are to taugth ti elicit information from the unwary, to promise
fictitious rewards, to award prizes for distinguished service. (While
the same could be said of academic scholarship, that pays much less
except for the stars who mingle with the celebrated).

Not a hell of a lot of durable revelations come by way of commercial
journalism and publishing. A few are celebrated and advertized ad
nauseum. ad Newseumized.

Most of the really good stuff comes by way of non-commercial,
non-filtered, non-editorialized, non-sanitized, non-prepared for
private briefings, non- protected by official privilege to play
simpering opposition.

The best is not published.

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