Between interviewing Michael Moore and declaring her love for Shep Smith (really, who doesn’t) Rachel Maddow highlighted one of the most important and least talked-about issues with the WikiLeaks cables. Just because they’re secret doesn’t mean they’re true.
Case in point. Last week one of the cables revealed that according to a U.S. diplomat Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko was banned from Cuban television. Except it wasn’t.
So that cable was wrong. And yet, as Maria Bustillos, who’s penned a great piece on this at the Awl, notes:
“The appearance of this cable was greeted with joy by a number of the many right-wing journalists who detest Michael Moore; the story also appeared in The Guardian (mysteriously, only a cached copy is available (Update: And now gone; the cable itself is here)) and The Nation and on BoingBoing.
Said Michael Moore on his blog:
A fact Moore himself noted on his blog (“Traditional journalists are once again just too lazy to lift a finger, point and click their mouse to log into Nexis or search via Google, and look to see if Cuba really did “ban the film.”)
And here lies the inherent problem with all this secrecy and transparency: Secrecy does not denote import or truth. Said Maddow.
But because the claim was in a secret government document that was leaked that was not supposed to see the light of day, it makes it seen like it must be true. That it’s been revealed!…It makes leaking stuff a really great way to spread disinformation.
Julian Assange…our man in Havana? Video below.
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