Get Ready For One Day Of Talk About Afghanistan, 10 Days Of Talk About Wikileaks And The Future Of Media


Photo: NYT

Today The White House is dealing with the fallout from this weekend’s massive Afghanistan document breach.By now you know that last night, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and The Guardian simultaneously produced reports on a staggering document cache published by the increasingly influential site Wikileaks, which paint an ugly picture of the war in Afghanistan.

Of course, you didn’t need these documents to know that the war in Afghanistan was a total disaster. So far there doesn’t appear to be a smoking gun that will prove to be a game changer, or make Americans even more sick about the war than they already are.

This means that the debate won’t change very much regarding Afghanistan, and instead the discussion will revolve around what Wikileaks means to the future of media. That conversation will go on a long time (and, we predict, it will go on in circles, and go nowhere).

That’s not to say there aren’t interesting issues here. That three major news organisations agreed to stay quiet on this huge story provided to them by this website is interesting. So are the obvious comparisons between this and the famous Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsburg courtesy of a photocopier he had access to.

You can read the NYT’s meta-discussion on deciding what documents to publish here.

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