Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”

Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings.

“I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal, and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”

“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interfere in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”

Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.

The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.

The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.

If the resting smugfaced apex of liberal psychosis is getting this one right, then many more will surely follow. And indeed, many already are. In addition to Hayes’ coverage of the story, MSNBC’s Ari Melber also did a segment harshly criticizing the implications of Trump administration’s new charges. We’re seeing multiple segments from CNN about the grave dangers of the legal precedent that is being set with the superseding indictment, as well as urgent warnings about the new charges from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. The outlets which have been smearing Assange relentlessly are now finding themselves forced to defend him.

A typical comment under Maddow’s YouTube share of this segment reads “This is very strange. Very alarming! There we go again. The GOP is preparing the country for a Dictatorship.” And okay, that’s not exactly what is happening (this has been a bipartisan push and it’s not just preparations, we’re in full swing), but whatever, now this viewer can actually see the monster’s outlines. Finally the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.

And I’m quietly excited about that. I’m eager to see what happens to the #Resistance if it actually starts #Resisting something. It doesn’t matter that this is only happening because mainstream liberal media outlets realized that they might be next on the chopping block; it matters that it’s happening, period. Last month I argued that all journalists everywhere should be defending Assange regardless of how they feel about him, “out of sheer, garden variety self-interest.” And now that’s happening, and that’s a good thing.

For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.

As Bill Murray said at the end of Groundhog Day, something is different. Anything different is good.


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48 responses to “Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs”

  1. “Educate and inform the whole mass of people, they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of Liberty.”
    “Whenever people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”
    ” He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
    “No government ought to be without censors and when the press is free, no one ever will.”
    “The man who reads nothing at all is better than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    “Experience hath shewn that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
    Thomas Jefferson.

  2. Assange is a scapegoat for the federal government’s inability to keep its own monsters gaged. This article discusses what happens when you create a monster that’s beyond your ability to control it. Clearly the bigger problem for U.S. cybersecurity is its own lack of security, not the publications that expose its failings and fascist intrusions around the world. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm#all/FMfcgxwCgpgkzvjdhQTCPlQvSxVdgVjx

  3. all that Maddow is saying is, “we the neo-libs don’t care, and we don’t have to care, about what happens to Assange and whoever is not on our side interest-wise, but we need to defeat Trump and his supporters, the masses against the neo-libs”. nothing new.

  4. justplainbill Avatar

    I only hope these pundits realize that the upcoming shows like Spygate, the collusion show, even the new 911 info, are all sensationalist stories meant to divert attention from one of the biggist abridgements of ALL our constitutional rights since the Patriot Act. Here’s to you Julian, hope you come out on top soon!

  5. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
    Joe Van Steenbergen

    I don’t give Rachel that much credit; she’s simply reading what is put in front of her. That said, it appears that her writers/editors understand the grave threat to “journalism” (such as it has become) from the wrongful prosecution of Julian Assange. His prosecution is a vendetta, pure and simple. I sincerely hope the Empire does not eventually get away with this.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      Assange is a journalist, while Madcow and all the rest of the Western fakestream presstitutes are simply propagandists for their owners, the parasite ruling class. I enjoy a daily visit to Fox, followed by a session at MSNBC, to see the two sides of the same barking mad propaganda coin. Both sides ARE correct-the other side are Evil psychopaths, but the MSNBC lunatics seem to me that little bit more deranged, from the point of view of a disinterested spectator at the Colosseum of Crap. Two thumbs down, definitely.

  6. Another great article! My only little quibble is that I’m skeptical that propagandists like Maddow consider their own livelihood at risk if investigative journalism is criminalized, since they don’t do that. I think maybe they do consider their livelihood at risk if they ignore or get on the wrong side of such a major, obvious issue that every independent media outlet is talking about, and Maddow should be worried about keeping her remaining audience from finding out they can get way better information elsewhere, so she has to say something true once in a while just to keep her audience gaslit. I’m sure her handlers approved this strategy only because there was no way around it.

    1. Jimmy Dore just quipped that it seems like the word has come down from on high that the propagandists are now allowed to defend Assange “now that it’s too late”. I hope he’s wrong about it being too late, but it feels truthy.

  7. Raymond Blessin Avatar
    Raymond Blessin

    She calls him “The Wikileaks Guy”, …….. she can’t even say his name!

  8. “Unimaginable” that journalists would defend Assange! That’s a sad and accurate comment on the msm. I’m afraid the only good takeaway from this is the image of a flock of sheep bleating and running wild eyed in fruitless circles when the circling wolf finally carries off one of their kin. Also as others here have pointed out it’s another club to beat the evil Russian stooge in the WH with. Any movement in that fatally compromised arena-the msm-is welcome, but if you read Craig Murray’s article about the extraordinary contortions of the British judge to “legitimate” the Swedish prosecutor improperly issuing an arrest warrant and the Ecuadorean handover of Assange’s possessions to the US it is(and long since should have been) obvious that the power elite, in a coordinated conspiracy, involving the US, Britain, Sweden and Ecuador, will stop at nothing to crush Assange and cow the rest of whistle blowing truth tellers.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      In Austfailia the presstitutes are still firmly and viciously anti-Assange. Particularly the Murdochite Gadarenes and the feminazis, who love to spit out the ‘rape charges’ lie, despite there being no ‘charges’, and never have been, and the use of the expression ‘rape’ being a deranged defamation that could only be concocted by lunatic Nordic ‘feminists’. The mere use of the term in relation to Assange’s behaviour is a vile insult to all the victims of real sexual assault.

  9. It is sad that these days Americans refuse to stand up to their corrupt government. Our founding fathers not only have turned in their graves, but wish they were not Americans. All journalists need to step it up to fight for Assange. Where are the hackers when we need them?

  10. Ariel M Valyo Avatar
    Ariel M Valyo

    All of the people who think that Trump is going to pardon Julian Assange have a rude awakening coming. This is not some spy movie where the hero comes out alright in the end. This is real life and they are out to kill him.

  11. Very cool post.
    We need to unite against these bipartisan dirtbags. Xx

    Also, the following is quite awesome.
    It will make you smile. In a very sad way.

  12. Very cool post.
    We need to unite against these bipartisan dirtbags.

    Also, the following is quite awesome.
    It will make you smile. In a very sad way.

  13. Here is another high point on the curve. In an extended discussion with Jeremy Scahill and Daniel Ellsberg today on Democracy Now, they acknowledge for the first time, or first in a long while, that Tulsi supports whistle blowers. They do not mention any other, non corporate, candidates and ignore Tulsi’s stance against war in general. They hint around but never admit the 2016 primary was stolen, but, then: “Small steps Amy”. About 28 min in.


    If climate scientists or “Climatics” are correct then it is past time we start preserving evidence to show future alien forensic anthropologists who visit our dead, extinct planet that . . some . . of us possessed evolved minds as well as brains.

    If you are a committed non-voter for good reasons than vote Green because . . it is a good reason. It also says: “Fuck You!” and throws a monkey wrench into the Oligarch’s machinery long stained with our blood.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      Til, it all depends when the aliens arrive. After a few million years Life should be making a bit of a return to pre-Anthropocene diversity and abundance. Life is pretty securely established now, in the crust, the deep oceans, near thermal vents etc. In any case they will have our electromagnetic broadcasts to judge our auto-genocide by.

  14. Funny how the Western media spotlight suddenly goes back to Assange just as the Anglo-Zionist failures in Venezuela and attention of the false flags in Syria were just gaining momentum in public consciousness.

    After closer examination of the actual information Wikileaks and Snowden have provided one would greatly suspect these as limited hangouts.

    Snowden technically gave out information that has already been known, James Bamford has reported about the NSA spying since the 1980s.

    And as Prof Michel Chossudovsky puts it, Wikileaks seems more like a vehicle for ‘manufactured dissent.’
    The broader question is why would Julian Assange receive the support from Britain’s foremost establishment news outfits which have consistently been involved in media disinformation?

    “Are we not dealing with a case of “manufactured dissent”, whereby the process of supporting and rewarding Wikileaks for its endeavors, becomes a means of controlling and manipulating the Wikileaks project, while at the same time embedding it into the mainstream media.

    It is also worth mentioning another important link. Julian Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), a major London elite law firm, happens to be the legal adviser to the Rothschild Waddesdon Trust. While this in itself does prove anything, it should nonetheless be examined in the broader context of Wikileaks’ social and corporate entourage: the NYT, the CFR, The Economist, Time Magazine, Forbes, Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), Vaughan Smith and the Frontline Club, etc.

    Manufacturing Dissent

    Wikileaks has the essential features of a process of “manufactured dissent”. It seeks to expose government lies. It has released important information on US war crimes. But once the project becomes embedded in the mould of mainstream journalism, it is used as an instrument of media disinformation:

    “It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent. To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition… To be effective, however, the process of “manufacturing dissent” must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement ” (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Manufacturing Dissent”: the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, September 2010)

    What this examination of the Wikileaks project also suggests is that the mechanics of New World Order propaganda, particularly with regard to its military agenda, has become increasingly sophisticated.”

  15. I sincerely hope your optimism about this is warranted, Caitlin. Perhaps these pseudo-media talking heads have a modicum of loyalty toward the First Amendment, but given the ease with which they habitually lie, obfuscate, and gaslight the American people for their corporate masters while censuring every voice that speaks truth, it is doubtful.

    They seem at least as interested in highlighting Trump’s nefariousness as a First Amendment-destroyer while keeping up the entire Assange smear as they are in defending free speech itself. Given the tone of their unified spiel, they appear entirely vested in keeping these two individuals firmly fixed in their roles as public villains.

    I don’t trust the Maddows out there. Not in this, not in anything. The irony, so thick you could cut it, is that “the WikiLeaks guy” has more integrity, morality, honor, and nobility in his little toe than Maddow does in every conceivable facet of her entire venal existence here on earth. She has no grounds, no position, no authority from which to trash Julian Assange as he is transferred from imprisonment and torture to further imprisonment, torture, and possibly death.

    1. Bravo, S Black. Perfectly summarised.

    2. I doubt it’s loyalty to the First Amendent as much as it’s self preservation. All those anonymously sources leaks about what’s in Trump’s sock drawer or whatever have to come from somebody giving them “classified” information. Without access to leaks, they don’t have “news” anymore.

  16. President Trump and his team intend to prosecute anyone and everyone that had anything to do with the ” Russiagate fiasco” and in so doing the media, the democrats, and the F.B.I. are going to look terrible!!! By the next presidential election the chaos just might cripple the entire country!!!

      1. I do not recall any United States president ever going criminally after any member of the previous administration as President Trump is now doing!! This has all the markings of a long lasting deadly street gang war!!
        These are President Trumps government targets:

  17. ‘ ‘A broken clock is correct twice a day.’ ‘

    Maddow sold out for the big money
    but she is also a Rhodes Scholar
    so she must have put 2 and 2 together
    and figured out that the Assange case means
    our totalitarian government is in the process of abolishing
    freedom of the press for disclosing government wrongdoing.

    1. This is an idea for helping Julian. I’ve no idea how it would go, so float it here for input.

      How about a mass campaign around the globe to send postcards to Julian. He might never see any of them, but the prison administrators and USUK governments (and the Australian collaborating government) would see strong public support. It just might help.

      1. This appeared under Elkojohn – don’t know why. I intended it to be a stand-alone comment.

      2. Michael P Goldenberg Avatar
        Michael P Goldenberg

        Pretty sure he’s getting his mail (snail variety) and is allowed to answer based on Gordon Dimmack’s video today.

    2. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      Rhodes Scholars are not chosen for their intellect, but for their future usefulness to the ruling elites. I present former Australian PM Tony Abbort as proof positive of that assertion.

      1. it’s like unpaid internship for the bilderberg club.

  18. Marilyn Goodman Avatar
    Marilyn Goodman

    This is great news, a very important developement, put a spring in my step, lifted my tail up. We might save him yet.

  19. Michael P Goldenberg Avatar
    Michael P Goldenberg

    But here is where all of Maddow’s insane Russiagate obsession comes back to bite her and those like her. Because anyone who has recognized how badly she stripped her mental, emotional, and professional gears starting in 2016 has to find her concern for what’s happening with Assange utterly unmoving – unless that person already backed Assange and knew this attack was coming. So that means she can’t reach either the vast majority of those she’s alienated OR most of those she’s led into despising Assange and Wikileaks for being Russian assets who willfully destroyed Hillary Clinton and gave us Trump.

    So I cannot get very excited yet. I don’t expect to see Clintonites backing Assange. Wish that I could. And hope I am very badly wrong.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      A female Murdochite Gadarene was on our local TV recently, approvingly observing that renditioning Assange to US control would enable him to be interrogated (ie water-boarded) until he confessed to his role in the great Russiagate conspiracy. These creatures are truly barking mad, but that’s how Murdoch prefers his minions.

  20. Wow! Rachel Maddow must have begun a new prescription for her severe mental disorders. Could it be she is cured of her debilitating handicaps? Naw! I don’t think so; she will backslide as soon as new revelations of Russiagate are invented.

  21. Its just a new way to attack trump and bury the russia gate embarisment. but its great to see and great to see the empire at war with itself.

    maddow and her type always have “press freedom”. she tells whatever lies her controllers tell her to and she gets well paid for it. The deep state own the media and they own her. Any one who thinks maddow and her type ever had a thought of there own doesn’t understand the world they live in. This switch in the propaganda was decided at a much higher level then maddow and it ain’t motivated by decency.

    1. Maybe it’s just a self preservation hedge of the media or even oligarchs in case we the people rise. At this poor in development it’s a district possibility.

  22. The mass media is NOT the “enemy of the people”.
    As foreign countries are also affected by the warmongering lies of the mass media,
    they ARE the “enemy of humanity”.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      The Western mass media have also either denied or massively downplayed the ecological Holocaust, so they are, in fact, ‘the enemies of Life on Earth’.

  23. Have you noticed how little Agent Orange has had to say about Assange? If he’s smart, he will keep his mouth shut tight until the day Assange steps foot on US soil, letting all the US and international MSM join together and excoriate him in the interim.
    Then, the day Julian arrives, AO greets him at the airport, gives him a great big hug, turns to the assembled media and announces to the world that he is pardoning Assange and ordering the immediate release of Manning. Then he gives a speech about how much he values freedom of the press, etc.
    Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the famous MSM stenographers? Talk about a severe case of cognitive dissonance!

    1. And after election change his mind or order him been charged with something else! ===> When people silenced or afraid oligarchs can do anything and they do’. They who should be afraid, not we are! Dynamics has to change. Period!

    2. That alone could guarantee his reelection. Someone should suggest it to him.

  24. No, Cait, Maddow didn’t see the light you’re talking about. What she saw was the very serious rating slide her show has been hit with as reported this week. But nevertheless, she’s doing the right thing , and it might even save Assange.

  25. Charlotte Ruse Avatar
    Charlotte Ruse

    The chickens have come home to roost.

    1. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      Thems vulture, sweetie.

  26. So now, all of a sudden, they’re waking up and realizing it’s 1984. Surprise – surprise!

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