Razer's Class Warfare

Feb 20, 2018

Razer: journalism is not a crime! Except, you know, when WikiLeaks does it.

"An apparently unpleasant WikiLeaks journalist detained in a place we quite fancy? He can rot." So goes the thinking of the many who once proclaimed "journalism is not a crime".

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

I know you guys remember the detention of journalist Peter Greste, held with Al Jazeera colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahm in Cairo from December 2013. I remember, but perhaps not as well as you. I didn’t know the guy’s name before he was arrested charges of spreading “false news”. This was my fault, and not that of the Australian who had offered the Anglophone world an understanding of a coup that powers in the West would not call a coup. I was dumped that year, so any affairs more foreign than the one the ex was enjoying in Balwyn North were of limited concern.

I suspect that among my media colleagues I was not then the only diplomatic ditz. The “journalism is not a crime” slogan was adopted quickly and ardently by a part of a sector who couldn’t have known the name el-Sisi, much less of his part in the “transition to democracy” that Obama so graciously described. And, that’s OK. You utter it uncritically and often and even when law declares otherwise: journalism is not a crime.

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21 comments

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21 thoughts on “Razer: journalism is not a crime! Except, you know, when WikiLeaks does it.

  1. MAC TEZ

    As I see it, JA’s only true crime was to agree to appear with Sean Hannity on FauxNews.
    What was that about ???

  2. Don

    Wikileaks is a website that published large chunks of data without any fact-checking or public interest test. They don’t even bother to remove sensitive information like people’s credit card details from the data they dump. If that’s journalism, then so was News Corp’s phone hacking and the ‘Fappening’ theft of nude photographs from female celebrities.

  3. Eureka Stockade

    How about make it all voices are free a open market place of ideas, no twitter facebook bans or restricted media bias , calling to ban Milo Y or Jordan Peterson makes the left worse than fascists

  4. Jimbo

    Thank you, Helen, for highlighting the complete hypocrisy of the free democratic countries of Australia, Brittain and America. This pretence is accentuated by charging Russia for using Facebook and Twitter to get rid of Hillary. Jullian Assange did that 1000% better by showing the world her emails.

  5. zut alors

    The initial reaction to Assange’s woes was for then PM Gillard & Attorney-General Robert McClelland to decry him as a criminal. The word ‘treason’ was also bandied about.
    If there had been a less US-obsessed Australian prime minister (where would we find such a specimen?) general sympathy may have swung behind Assange. If it had suited the Gillard government politically, there may have been a different outcome for Assange & he could even be boasting a tan these days.

    His abandonment is appalling, we should be ashamed.

    Just as it did with David Hicks & Mamdouh Habib once possibly weren’t the world’s ultimate terrorists whereupon The Lying Rodent began to feel the heat of public unrest.

    1. David Thompson

      And, where’s Gillard now, Zed?
      Strutting the world stage on the payroll of “The Clinton Global Initiative”, which is supposedly about education. But, if one takes a closer look at the ‘work’ of the various Clinton Global Initiatives, which are all from the sprog of the Clinton Foundation, one sees a very different picture than the one continually vomited at the body politic by the likes of Gillard.
      You might like to try examining the work of Dr Dady Chery – she’s Haitian, and a very angry Haitian, at that.
      H rightly nailed various local medja types for their craven cowardice. But, she missed Sally Neighbour, who as EP of 4 Corners when Mrs Jones interviewed Killary last year, thought it appropriate to display her solidarity with a fellow Oz journalist by retweeting the considered opinion of another high-brow practitioner – “Assange is Putin’s bitch”.
      Neighbour and her cohort thought it hilarious.
      I lodged an official complaint with the ABC. Not even the courtesy of a reply.
      I wrote to Barry and Media Watch. Not even the courtesy of a reply.
      The only time the likes of the ABC, Fairfax – who are also short on courtesy – etc mention Assange is when the likes of Lady Muckf*** have done their best to deny the existence of anything akin to a Rule of Law.
      The worst part of Lady Muckf***’s show last week was her trashing of the medical evidence put forward that Assange has various health problems that require a level of attention not possible in an embassy. The 3 doctors who examined Assange are all deeply qualified and experienced in dealing with those who have been tortured, rendered, unreasonably incarcerated etc.
      Yet Lady Muckf*** thought it appropriate to ridicule those considered diagnoses. What’s worse and ever so emblematic, is she did so without even suggesting, or mandating, a diagnosis by a court appointed medical practitioner.
      The “Lady” and the likes of Neighbour disgust me to my core.
      They are frauds.

  6. Luckyduck

    Why did Julian Assange help Trump by publishing Hillary Clinton’s emails? He must have thought that Trump would be able to help him. Well, it must be time to call back his favour.

    1. Jimbo

      Luckyduck
      I heard that by publishing the book free on the internet, it deprived the author of sales and success. Yes, it was a favour and Trump should be thankful.

    2. Helen Razer

      Did you read the emails?
      Did anyone?
      Can you genuinely say that much of their content was not in the public interest?
      You could also ask why the organisation helped the Democratic party by releasing so much that was gut wrenching about Iraq. Or, why they helped, say, Sony by publishing Vault 7 information about the capacity of smart TVs to spy.
      If “he helped Trump” is equivalent to “should not be allowed to publish”, well. You know.

      1. Charlie Chaplin

        I did, Helen. I’ve also read some of 80000 documents on Putin and 2000 documents on Trump the Wikileaks database contained prior to the US Presidential election in 2016.

        1. Jimbo

          We need to hear more from you, Charlie.

  7. DanBIllin

    Many of the lefty accounts i follow on the twits get stuck into Assange at every opportunity. They seem to think he’s a dickhead, and apparantly that is reason enough for his indefinite detention.

    1. David Thompson

      As I noted to another commenting on a submission of H’s last week, when he mentioned “lefties”;
      “Lefties?!”
      “Where?”

      1. Helen Razer

        We will be at Marxism 2018, David. See you there?

  8. Humphrey Bower

    With all due respect, and whatever you think of Assange or Wikileaks, the comparison with Greste is preposterous. Assange is not a journalist; he was not charged with anything related to journalism but with skipping bail; and he is not in detention, but sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy, where he remains of his own free will in order to avoid facing those charges.

    1. David Thompson

      What was he on bail for, Humphrey? What exact charges was he bailed on?
      Answer: there were no charges. He was being detained on the premise of the Svedes first investigating then, if valid, charging him. The detention was adjudged “arbitrary” by people very well versed in International Human Rights Law. The Brits loved that panel when it found a Brit had been arbitrarily detained – lauded their performance.
      As for Assange being a journalist, or not, maybe he is better considered a publisher – who the f*** cares about the label?
      He and Wikileaks have received, sorted, curated and published some of the most important public interest information to come to light in the 21st century (e.g. the Iraq War Logs, Vault 7). And, that information travelled the exact same route to public availability as the likes of The Pentagon Papers (i.e. insider Ellsberg as source, WaPo etc as journalists and publishers).
      Your distinction is not valid.

    2. Helen Razer

      Journalism is something that changes over time. Providing the means to acquire documents while protecting the identity of the source so that it is even unknown to you, reviewing these documents and publishing them is journalism.
      Greste was not charged with journalism. He was charged on falsehood.
      Assange was not charged with any crime.

  9. Heartshunter

    It’s a crime what is being done to JA and yes Australia should be ashamed – agree or not with his methods and/or his behaviour, he should not be locked up, and he’s revealed alot of government crimes that require public scrutiny. Most of the time he’s done the public a favor, regardless of his shenanigans with Trump and some other questionable actions/quotes (which may be distasteful but doesn’t appear to be a crime?)

  10. Lawna Green

    Vitamin D for Assange, let the sun shine on his face once more

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