Julian Assange's Hilarious Rebuttal To ABC's Stephanopoulus' Grilling

On ABC's "This Week", host George Stephanopoulos engages in classic attack the messenger journamalism with guest Julian Assange.

On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos engages in classic attack the messenger journamalism with guest Julian Assange.

Nicole Belle already discussed frustration with the msm's failure to focus on the revelations that Edward Snowden brought forth. I believe this exchange highlights that failure, and Assange's hilarious 6-word rebuttal to a "gotcha" style attack from George Stephanopoulus makes the ABC host look really quite idiotic for playing games rather than focusing in on the NSA revelations.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring this back to Julian Assange. Back in 2010, an email that was revealed from you by Bart Gellman in “Time” magazine, said that you hoped the revelations from Wikileaks would bring about, quote, “the total annihilation of the current U.S. regime.” Is that still your goal, and what did you mean by that?

ASSANGE: I did not say that and there is no such email. That is simply false.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s quoted in “Time” magazine in December 2010.

ASSANGE: Yes. Well, I mean, “Time” magazine. But this is -- it’s very interesting that you raised such a thing like that. We are in a situation where we have these extraordinary revelations that are causing great embarrassment to a new national security state that is arising in the U.S. It’s not just the U.S. Similar national security states are rising in other countries, but it is trying to evade democratic will. It’s treating Congress like a bunch of fools. And we saw Clapper up there lying, bald-face lying to Congress. We have secret interpretations of the law. What does the law mean if there are secret interpretations in secret courts?

We have Bradley Manning’s trial starting -- continuing tomorrow. A young man, a good man, as far as anyone can tell, motivations are entirely political as far as anyone argues. The same with Snowden. Being put through this meat grinder, where a new precedent is trying to be set, which is communicating with the press is committing espionage. And it’s not just a precedent that is trying to be set on these whistle-blowers. It’s a precedent that’s trying to be set on journalists and politicians as well. We saw that in the case of--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, Mr. Assange, meantime, you’re being--

ASSANGE: -- James Rosen.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- safe harbored (ph) by the Ecuadorian government. That -- the Correa administration has been admonished by human rights organizations for restricting press freedoms, prosecuting journalists. The Inter American Press Association calls its new media law, quote, “the most serious setback for freedom of the press in the recent history of Latin America.” So does it make you uncomfortable to be harbored by a government that goes after journalists, and do you see a double standard there?

ASSANGE: Well, these accusations are largely blown up. There are of course all sorts of problems in any particular country. But why are they even spoken about? What has happened here is a mass revelation of illegal transnational spying by the National Security Agency, the collection of the communications records of every single person in the United States, laying out the entire community structure of the United States. And these sort of attempts are merely a mechanism to try and shift ground. But you know, going to CPJ, the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, they list the number of journalists in Ecuadorian prisons -- zero. And it has been zero for a very long time. It’s 48 in Turkey. So we’ve got to keep things in some kind of perspective. There is no allegation that Ecuador--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally--

ASSANGE: -- no allegation that Ecuador is involved in a mass transnational surveillance or assassination programs and so on.

And Stephanopoulos ends the "interview" here.

These 6 words, "Yes. Well, I mean, “Time” magazine," reduced Time's credibility to grocery store tabloid level and made Stephanopoulos look like an idiot for even going there.

The grilling continued, briefly, but Assange stayed on point while the implicit message 'you've said enough' or 'that wasn't the answer I wanted to hear' became ever more clear with each word Stephanopoulus uttered.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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