Julian Assange
Julian Assange on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London (Image: AAP/Lloyd Jones)

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.