Julian Assange, the elusive founder of WikiLeaks, was on “Larry King Live” last night to discuss the 400,000 classified documents about the Iraq War that his website released over the weekend in conjunction with reports in various major news publications.
But there was one aspect of his newfound celebrity-slash-infamy that assange was loathe to comment on — the rape and molestation charges that have been lodged against him by two Swedish women.
Assange had earlier walked out of an interview with CNN International’s Atika Shubert when she brought up the allegations. King appeared confused for a second, thinking that Assange had once again cut the interview short when footage of the Shubert incident flashed across the screen. But Assange quickly came to his own defence.
Here’s the exchange from the CNN transcript (video below), emphasis our own:
ASSANGE: Well, I didn’t walk off, Larry, just then. But perhaps, I should. We released 400,000 classified documents, the most extraordinary history of a war to have ever been released in our civilisation. Those documents cover 109,000 deaths. That’s a serious matter and it’s extraordinarily disrespectful to those people to start inflating the first revelation of that material with any sort of tabloid journalism. And CNN should know better, and I believe does knows better than to do that.
KING: You don’t think that was fair?
ASSANGE: It certainly —
KING: She was asking about the deliverer of the information, a question about the deliverer of the information. You don’t think that’s fair to ask about the person who then repeats the information? Or as we said, the Pentagon spokesman was doing just what his bosses told him to do.
How do we know that? We don’t know that. We assume that. So we’re asking the question just about you to further confirm your reliability. What was wrong with that?
ASSANGE: Well, I mean, it should be obvious that these things are not in balance and they are not proportionate. It is not right to bring in sensational and, in fact, false claims, a relatively trivial matter compared to the deaths of 109,000 people. And it is — I mean, CNN should be ashamed of doing that. And you, Larry, you actually should be ashamed, as well.
Here’s the video, via Mediaite:
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