Planet Janet Albrechtsen orbited into view again yesterday with a thundering denunciation of the “useful idiots” who had facilitated the soap opera of Julian Assange, whom she described as a narcissistic little boy always craving the centre of attention — his supporters crowding to him only because he was resolutely anti-American. Indeed, indeed.

Planet got a few of her facts tangled in the diatribe — forgetting, for example, that WikiLeaks was responsible for widely circulating the East Anglia “climate-gate” emails, so it is hardly a creature of the Left, and she urges Assange to go to Sweden and face s-x-crime charges (he hasn’t been charged). But no matter.

Who are these fellow-travelling poltroons, who have given Assange the oxygen of publicity? Step forward Nick Cater, Rebecca Weisser and Chris Mitchell, the editors of The Australian who on December 8, 2010 gave the above-the-fold op-ed space to … Julian Assange for a piece entitled “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”. Why? Because it was the height of the cable-gate release, The Oz was desperate to get its hands on some of the cables, as WikiLeaks released them day-by-day.

Assange took the op-ed spot gratefully … and then denied them the cables, which he’d already given to Philip Dorling, publishing through Fairfax. Useful idiots indeed, there’s a lot of ’em about. 

Peter Fray

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