Both sides of the WikiLeaks debate seem determined to misrepresent the issues in the Assange drama by hotly arguing over whether Assange is a journalist or not. Of course he isn’t. Assange is a publisher, and he’s entitled to the same protections — no more and no less – as any other publisher.
File this under topics for further research.
Do journalists have better or worse protections under the U.S. Constitution than publishers have? Are they held to different standards? Do people respect journalists more than they respect publishers? Who raised the issue of whether Assange is a journalist in the first place? Does being perceived as a journalist help or hurt Assange?
And what, if anything, do the charges a Swedish prosecutor — a woman who has a long history of prosecuting sex abuse and child abuse — wants to question Assange about have to do with WikiLeaks? For the record, I don’t think the charges have much to with the WikiLeaks drama at all. Sex shouldn’t be a death-defying act. If Assange did what the two women have accused him of doing — if he exposed them to the risk of AIDS by forcing them to have unprotected sex – he committed a crime under Swedish law. That doesn’t mean he’s not entitled to protection as a publisher when he publishes government tapes and documents.