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It’s a media coup for the ages.Julian Assange, of Wikileaks notoriety, is set to launch his own talkshow, to be broadcast on none other than RT, a Russian news network funded by the Kremlin, RT itself has confirmed.
The show, called ‘The World Tomorrow’, will be written and hosted by Assange himself, and will feature 10 “iconoclasts, visionaries, and power insiders”, and the 40 year-old Australian internet activist will discuss current issues with “those he believes will shape ‘the world tomorrow’,” the RT website states.
The show will go on-air in mid-March, and will run for 10 weekly half-hour episodes, Wikileaks said.
The show will be filmed in England at the very location that Assange has been under house arrest for the last year and a half on charges of sexual assault, with the first episode to be shot just a week before Assange’s Supreme Court hearing in the UK in February.
Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden which is where the assault charges were filed.
On his vision for the show, Assange said he wanted to “explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it,” the Wikileaks website states.
Wikileaks is expecting “over 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast networks.”
“We are proud and delighted that our channel will premiere Julian Assange’s project because the RT channel has gained a worldwide audience that’s disappointed by the mainstream and has become open to new angles, making this show fitting for the purpose” RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said, Ria Novosti reports.
The Kremlin launched Russia Today, later renamed to RT, in 2005 with the aim of broadcasting Russia’s point of view to international viewers. The channel has been accused of being the Kremlin’s propaganda tool and of being heavily biased against the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.
Assange’s decision to align himself with the Kremlin-supported RT has prompted some criticism.
“So, how exactly will Assange reconcile his belief in transparency/freedom with selling a show to the Kremlin?” tweeted Miriam Elder, Moscow correspondent for the Guardian. Claudia von Salzen, a journalist with Germany’s Der Tagesspiegel, was even harsher. She tweeted: “Has Julian Assange ever heard the story of the Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky? He died in jail after accusing officials of fraud.”