Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, walks out of CNN interview (Video)
It was the Weekend of the Wikileaks, with the whistle-blower Web site releasing nearly 400,000 classified documents, detailing the history of the Iraq war through the reports of the soldiers.
The face of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been heavily promoting the disclosure, appearing at press conferences and interviews, and speaking in an online chat with The Washington Post.
However, his international moment in the spotlight has been tarnished by reports from former WikiLeaks activists. A Post story says that the activists are painting WikiLeaks as "an organization that is out of control, still too driven by the personality and ego of its mercurial founder, Julian Assange."
He has also been dogged by allegations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden. Assange denies the charges and says it is part of an American-led campaign to ruin his reputation.
"Assange moves like a haunted man," the New York Times says in a profile that ran Sunday. "What emerged was a picture of the founder of WikiLeaks as its prime innovator and charismatic force but as someone whose growing celebrity has been matched by an increasingly dictatorial, eccentric and capricious style."
In an interview with CNN, Assange says he is the "lightening rod" for WikiLeaks -- he takes the bad press to deflect it from the Web site, but he also gets an outsized amount of gratitude.
Assange says his detractors are either conspirators of the government or unsatisfied employees, just like there are unsatisfied employees at any corporations.
However, many news reports note his discomfort on being pressed for any further information about the possible internal turmoil at WikiLeaks. In a CNN interview this weekend, Assange pulled a Joy Behar and walked off the set of the interview.
Jena McGregor writes for the Post's On Leadership, "Even if questions about his personal life weren't germane to the interview (and given his accusations against the U.S. government, they are), Ms. Shubert's questions about whether or not he is eclipsing the Wikileaks revelations were fair. A leader's job is to promote and defend the organization's work, yes. But that is best done behind the scenes rather than by making one themselves."
Watch the video of the interview and then let us know: Did Assange do the right thing? Should he not be expected to answer questions about the rape allegations and the turmoil with WikiLeaks? Or are those valid questions?
| October 25, 2010; 8:35 AM ET
Categories: The Daily Catch
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