HomeArticle‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum

‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum

I wouldn’t have thought that any mass media reporters would have the temerity to continue the public smear campaign against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after it became clear to everyone that he was the subject of a brutal Trump administration prosecution aimed at criminalizing inconvenient journalism. But if there was going to be anyone to take up that flag, it would be the odious James Ball.

Ball, who as activist Suzie Dawson documented in 2016 has been working within the plutocratic media to destroy Assange’s reputation for years, has just published yet another disgusting smear piece titled “Julian Assange is no hero. I should know — I lived with him and his awful gang”, this time with Murdoch’s Sunday Times. Claiming that Assange is “Reckless and immoral in deed and word”, Ball spins the tortured journalist as a monster who must remain marginalized and never be trusted by sources again.

This would be the same James Ball who, as Financial Eyes recently observed, “admits to having taken money from the Integrity Initiative, a government and NATO funded propaganda unit designed to shape opinion in a direction hostile towards Russia and favourable towards increased militarism.”

This would also be the same James Ball who, a year before Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in which he’d taken political asylum fearing US extradition, authored a Guardian article titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride” and subtitled “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon”.

“There is no public criminal case against Assange or WikiLeaks in the US,” Ball argues in his January 2018 article, claiming there is “no real reason to believe anything has changed with Assange’s situation in the US.”

Well something had indeed changed in the US. Assange was being spied on by US intelligence with Trump megadonor Sheldon Adelson acting as a liaison between the CIA and a private intelligence corporation, and in December 2017 the Trump administration had ordered Assange’s arrest and begun orchestrating an international plot to enact it after the CIA Director branded WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

If I had written an article in a major publication claiming there was “no real reason” to believe Assange would face extradition proceedings if he left the Ecuadorian embassy, and then that claim had proved horrifyingly wrong, I personally would have done what any normal person would do and shut the entire fuck up about Julian Assange for the rest of my life.

Not James Ball though. There’s a certain type of personality that guarantees it will always fail upward because it possesses a remarkable combination of power-worshipping obsequiousness, a total lack of shame, and a complete lack of scruples. It’s the same type of personality that still gets lucrative punditry work after pushing for the Iraq invasion. James Ball has no more business opining about Julian Assange than John Bolton has about the merits of interventionist foreign policy, yet both remain visible and vocal. Because they are the same kind of creature.

I’m pretty good with words, but I’ve never succeeded in finding any which adequately articulate the absolute depravity of the mass media smearmeisters who’ve spent years getting paid to churn out deceitful hit pieces about Assange while he’s silenced and unable to defend himself. There’s simply no one lower. There’s shit, there’s the shit that would come out of shit if shit could shit, and then there’s people like James Ball.

I’ve worked a lot to debunk this smear campaign, and it’s sucked because I know for a fact that Assange could have done an infinitely better job of it than I can if he still had internet access. He knows all the facts about his work inside and out, and could have knocked out the smears as they came.

But that was the whole idea. That’s why they silenced him, long before they dragged him out of the embassy. The empire needed the public to consent to his persecution, and he was running interference on their consent manufacturing campaign. And now they kick him while he’s down, continuing to stomp his reputation into the ground even as he’s being unjustly locked in Belmarsh after a judge already blocked his extradition.

The torture and brutalization of Julian Assange has only been made possible by the fact that the public consents to it, and the public only consents to it because of a concerted mass media smear campaign that took place between late 2016 and his arrest in April 2019. People like James Ball are directly responsible for the empire’s ability to make an example of what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, and they must never be forgiven for it.


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  • Melbourne Vigil to Free Julian Assange at Flinders Street Station this Friday at 7:30pm

    @Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding its weekly vigil for Julian Assange this Friday at 7:30pm outside Flinders Street Station. It is vital for every Australian, who values free speech and opposes the unlawful detention and torture of Julian Assange by the U.K. government at the behest of its U.S. master, to demand that our government act now to free Julian Assange.

    Be there: 7:30pm, this Friday, at Flinders Street Station

    Failure to act could well result in Julian’s death, as Greek Australian activist, Yanis Varifoukis, explains in the video embedded below:

    Yanis Varoufakis: “They don’t want to extradite Assange. They want to kill him.”

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  • James Ball is the non-sequitur personified.

  • I can’t really add anything that states the case as distinctly as Caity has done here today. Nothing, that is, but to vehemently repeat, over and over again, Free Julian Assange.

    What we saw Wednesday is directly connected to the actions against Assange.

  • There will always be plenty of scumbags and secret agents doing the dirty work of the corrupt establishment which pays them BIG Money to hide or disguise their crimes against humanity.

  • Come on, Caitlin – let’s take the analogy all the way down the road: “..and then there’s people like James Ball, who step right up to do the shit work that second-generation shit finds too shitty to do for itself. And then there’s a whole shitload of people who eat it up and repeat it with great big shit-eating grins on their faces.” We can’t let this last bunch go unrecognized – we all know (and are probably related to) a few, and they’re the ones who keep the Shit Balls off the unemployment rolls.

    “For naught so vile upon the earth doth live,
    but to the earth some special good doth give.”
    – Friar Lawrence / Act 2, Scene 3, Romeo and Juliet

  • “‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum”
    There are three words in this headline that are not necessary and can be deleted. Guess which three…
    “I’m pretty good with words, but I’ve never succeeded in finding any which adequately articulate the absolute depravity of the mass media smearmeisters who’ve spent years getting paid to churn out deceitful hit pieces about Assange…”
    You only need one word to do this. Take the word “LIVE” and rearrange the letters…
    “The torture and brutalization of Julian Assange has only been made possible by the fact that the public consents to it…”
    That tells you all one needs to know about “The Public”. When does any large gathering of “the public” end with anything (including those individuals) being or becoming better? Government? Religion? Science? Peer Pressure? Your Homeowners Association? When people gather together in large groups, things tend to go only in one direction. Ask yourself why. You’ll be surprised at what you might discover.
    Note for the New Internet Censors: Please be advised. This post is a “pun” only (for further info, consult old Monty Python sketches). No further meanings should be taken from it. And keep up the good work! You are our Heroes!

  • Caitlin Johnstone wrote:
    > I wouldn’t have thought that any mass media reporters would have the temerity to continue the public smear campaign against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after it became clear to everyone that he was the subject of a brutal Trump administration prosecution aimed at criminalizing inconvenient journalism.
    “Julian didn’t do anything, they did.”
    — John Shipton, father of Julian Assange
    Who knows another soul, maybe James is unwittingly misguided, maybe he just follows the lynch mob like many careerist tools… But it’s a long-term war on truth.
    “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”
    — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Jan 3, 2017
    And smear campaigns are just one of them:
    “Can’t we just drone this guy?”
    — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Julian Assange, Nov 23, 2010
    Under Intense Pressure to Silence Wikileaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Proposed Drone Strike on Julian Assange — True Pundit — Oct 2, 2016
    “I’m a white guy. Unless I convert to Islam it’s not that likely that I’ll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that. . . . There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people.”
    — WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange, Aug 2015
    Julian Assange fears he’ll be assassinated if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy — The Independent — Aug 29, 2015
    “We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.”
    — Julian Assange, Jul 2010
    “Julian is a joy of a man, he’s very positive, sweet natured. He’s determined but he always could get his own way by being charming. He didn’t have to bully anyone.”
    — John Shipton, father, Nov 2019
    Julian Assange helps falling old man — Jan 2011

    • “The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.”
      — Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the UK Labour Party, April 11, 2019
      Another major target of a very intense smear campaign has been Jeremy Corbyn. But for a noble cause, to save the power and profit for the elites, and keep screwing the slaves… I mean, the people:
      Someone Interfered in the UK Election & It Wasn’t Russia — Caitlin Johnstone — Consortium News — Dec 13, 2019
      Read this stirring open letter and plea from Jeremy Corbyn’s sons — The London Economic — Dec 14, 2019
      “This deep disparity with the U.S. is about to laid bare when the courts decide whether the Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange will be extradited to the U.S. on charges of espionage for exposing war crimes, the murder of civilians, and large scale corruption.
      “Will the Prime Minister agree with the Parliamentary report that’s going to the Council of Europe that this extradition should be opposed and the rights of journalists and whistleblowers upheld for the good of all of us?”
      — Jeremy Corbyn, February 12, 2020
      Jeremy Corbyn opposes Julian Assange’s extradition at PMQs — RT UK — Feb 12, 2020

  • Caitlin’s readers might enjoy the take of another perception and outspoken Johnstone, with the first name of Diana, on happened at the Capitol, the reactions to it, and the implications for the future.


  • “There’s a certain type of personality that guarantees it will always fail upward because it possesses a remarkable combination of power-worshipping obsequiousness, a total lack of shame, and a complete lack of scruples.” That would be called a psychopath. Which is exactly the personality of practically every one who holds public office. It’s their ideal environment. The pitiful part is they are often very intelligent and charismatic. Even though they do not contain any virtuous human characteristics, like sympathy, charity, empathy, remorse, guilt, compassion, regret, etc. They are unable to consider anything that doesn’t improve or at least maintain their own position. If it appears they are concerned, its because your wellbeing happens to coincide with theirs.

    • No. If it appears they are concerned, it’s because they have calculated that an appearance of concern over your problem will be useful to them later.

  • Every business will by its nature promote a single point of view. If a single business, or group of aligned businesses, gets big enough to control most communication, then that’s essentially totalitarian.

  • This morning, while driving to pick up my granddaughter for virtual kindergarten, I was listening to one of the few remaining liberal talk shows. A couple of “experts” were discussing how big social media companies were coming down hard on rightwing communications, and how the far right will have to go underground or end-around to continue their planning and plotting. It struck me that the far right might be worth watching in this regard by the progressive or radical left. Perhaps the far right will figure out how to do this, how to keep communicating when the customary channels are cut off. And if so, then perhaps the genuine left can learn from them and follow their lead as we also are increasingly banned or censored by the MSM. Just a thought.

    • I’m convinced that security was purposely inadequate on the 6th. The Trumpists played right into the hands of the Deep State. Now we will get new domestic anti-terrorism laws and increased censorship of social media and the internet to further control the population. This gave them the excuse they needed. That said, it will be interesting to see the level of security on the 20th. I suspect ABSOLUTE control by the authorities.

    • Even better yet. Imagine how powerful we could be if we manage to UNITE the left and the right!

    • Imagine how powerful we could be if we managed to UNITE the left and right!

      • That’s the revolutionary/evolutionary dream–isn’t it?–to unite the principled left and right on common ground hospitable to humanity and all living things. We need to work much harder, much more creatively, in staking out this common ground. Only then can we invite others to stand on it with us. Our dream would then become the neoliberals’ nightmare.

      • We really have more to unite us than divide us. The one percent has been successful at making us fight and kill each other, making it easy for them to do their dirty deeds.

  • Well, we all know exactly what kind of scum people it takes to produce a James Ball, but if you said so, you would quickly find yourself smeared. As everyone knows pure clean wind driven snow is black, and for the same reason, ‘scum, is an alternative spelling of the word, ‘shit’, and gays are straight the same way that serial killers are healthy assets to a vibrant growing community. Anyone who has ever observed baboons and bonobos one would think they might ask how their behavior relates to that of humans. Perhaps it is that some have evolved and others not so much.

  • Search domain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ball_(journalist)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ball_(journalist)
    James Ball is a British journalist and author. He has worked for The Grocer, The Guardian, WikiLeaks, BuzzFeed, The New European and The Washington Post and is the author of three books. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism and was a member of The Guardian team which won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism.

    Wow! He sounds like a great guy (did he write this himself?)

  • The internet was designed to be a tool of mass indoctrination & surveillance. When people like Julian Assange or other truth telling journalists use “the net” to expose awkward truths, that spoils it for the masters.
    Experiencing the internet is now akin to a parents dilemma when they realise that the small child they adopted has grown into a malicious psychopath.
    Justice is “just an idea” legal & common opinions differ greatly on its substance.

  • That particular shit is so fucked up, that he needs glasses to find which ‘State’ MSM familias orifice he needs t come out off; there are so many.

    It must rankel him, that ‘Occulus Reparo’ would need to be invoked with the combined efforts of Hogwarts and Voldemort with his followers.

  • Excellent article!!!
    I am so glad there are people like you around Caitlin!
    Please keep going 🙂 x

  • I agree it is difficult to find words to describe Ball, but this was a good attempt 🙂

    • I read the headline and I thought, “Scum–that’s name calling, Caitlin.” even though emotionally I am inclined to agree. Then I read the piece and decided that in fact “scum” is not adequate and in fact Caitlin is in danger of being sued by United Association of Pond Scum Species for defamation. “The shit that would come come out of shit if it could shit” seems way closer to the mark (plus I got a good laugh out of that one.

  • WikiLeaks video: ‘Collateral murder’ in Iraq

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYTxuW2vmzk&w=683&h=384%5D

    What started it all. People make this way to complicated. Julian exposed American War Crimes but the empire can do no wrong. The Blackwater contractors walking free and Julian going down is the same agenda. Julian was set up in Sweden as a ploy to get him to the US.

    The issue issue is simple. What side are you on. Or do you not know there are two sides.

    Transparency is a cornerstone of good government. That is one of the sides

    • I don’t think there are only two sides on many issues, but it holds for Julian. What would be helpful IMHO would be to identify other issues where there are only two sides, like imperial wars and coups, for example, so that we can hammer them home in unison without running afoul of the fact that reasonable minds can disagree about much. Undertaking this task would go a long way to strengthening the left, building lasting solidarity, and saving the left from its historical tendency to eat itself.

  • Ball looks like the kid who tries too hard to be the teacher’s pet.

  • With Wikipedia it is sometimes interesting to read the “Talk” page of articles.

  • Thank u Caitlin 4 your excellent piece re Julian! That whole scene is just sickening, and I do not have the words like u do 2 “bring down” the monsters of this world. Never heard of J.Ball till just now, and thank u 4 the alert about that “person “..an easy name 2 remember and I shall most assidulously avoid anything he writes! Please do not be so critical of yourself…it’ s quite obvious that u do the best that u can, and who could ask 4 anything more? Not this child, no way Jose! Kindly keep keepin on! U no doubt have a gigantic audience, simply due 2 the fact that u have no problem completely expressing yourself, much 2 the delight of your entire audience. I, 4 1, NEVER MISS ANY OF YOUR POSTS!!! Nothing, NOTHING beats honesty! Expat tom, in Manila

  • Shit is useful Caitlin. It’s an excellent fertiliser.
    Nuff said.

    • I love when people object to someone being called an animal, like a weasel, as an insult to weasels, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone defend the honor of shit, as in calling him shit is an insult to shit, lol. That’s good, I’ll have to remember it.

  • He looks like a creep. There’s something wrong inside. Probably more than one thing. There’s a lot of that going around lately.

    • I disagree, or really, quibble. The outer looks are average, and to make a comparison, we do not value Caitlin as a potential runway model (deficient ability to project vacuous smiles etc.). Insides are a mystery: rotten fish? rotten eggs? badly composted manure? Do we really need to know?

  • I watched the whole video of Aaron Maté interviewing Nils Melzer, and it was really good. I’m still perplexed about one legal aspect which I have not heard anyone clarify. Some are saying that in the next step of the UK appeal process, the US could claim they fixed our system of legalized torture and murder we call prison, and an appeals court could reverse the decision not to allow extradition based on that. What about the merits of the case itself the judge already accepted, basically that it would be cool to torture someone to death for journalism if they could get away with it? Julian Assange’s lawyers can still appeal that, right? Some are sounding like he could be whisked away to the US without the ability to appeal, if the US gave assurances they could prevent his suicide, because the other stuff would not be what the US is appealing and what the appeals court will be considering. Surely there would just be another round of appeals initiated by Julian Assange’s lawyers?

    • I am not 100% certain (not being a lawyer), but I have read that there is still the opportunity for Assange’s lawyers to make an appeal to the UK Supreme Court. It is ironic that Baraitser is concerned for Assange’s risk of suicide when they are slowly killing him in Belmarsh.

      • And someone he knew in Belmarsh just killed himself. The court is just irrational over and over.

  • And the I clicked on the link to the Guardian, and then I started reading the comments under the article, and I was immediately reminded why I gave up reading this utter mega-pos. Vomit, vomit, vomit! I gave up when the comments under Assange articles were filled with “rapist” and “narcissist”, and this in a publication that made money from his work. Yesterday or so, Caitlin had a wonderful animated Gif of a Guillotine on her Twitter. The Guillotine is of-course the classic. But then, in such situations I am often reminded of the swift handiwork of South Vietnamese Major General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, who just gets over and done with the task at hand without self-imposed restrictions of undue formality. –
    It could be a half-way decent world. Some make it very difficult.

  • ‘Odious’ is an excellent choice of words to describe an unscrupulous weasel like James Ball, Caitlin. I like the word ‘weasel’ although some might be unhappy that I use an innocent animal’s name to describe a nasty person. The photo above reveals an unpleasant smugness that begs to be wiped off.

    Ball is one of those journalists that doesn’t care how low he/she sinks, is happy to make attacks personal, and happily twists whatever facts might be available or invents them as required. No wonder Murdoch’s media likes him, although I’m surprised the Guardian published him

    Clearly Ball is the rejected intern, the apprentice who failed to make the grade, and is now taking his revenge. 23 days must be a record for an intern to be fired, so he must have been pretty useless or obnoxious, or both.

    What he probably doesn’t know is that people who claim to have been wronged, and then go on to obsessively attack the person who supposedly wronged them over a long period of time, usually accuse the person of the very same things they did wrong. So Ball’s accusations are mostly reflections of his own actions.

    • The Guardian has given up on being a decent publication a long, long tome ago. Maybe, you want to ask John Pilger what he thinks.

  • Right on, baby! I don’t think I can top “There’s shit, there’s the shit that would come out of shit if shit could shit, and then there’s people like James Ball.”

  • Some call them ” sellouts ” because they can never hide their desire to stab other people in the back. I have no idea what makes some people this way; I never want to have anything to do with them at all. Fortunately, most of them can not hide their evilness for any length of time and good people detect their sliminess quickly. There are lots of ” Mr. Balls ” everywhere always looking for human backs to stab!

    • If you are skillful, you get good compensation for no longer being able to look into a mirror without vomiting. Others may claim the need to pay rent and buy food. Most journalists who made it beyond reporting on traffic accidents would have worked as well In Germany 1933 forward or in 1950s USSR.

    • What is the word for “sellouts” who had nothing in themselves to sell in the first place? As Caitlin puts it: “There’s a certain type of personality that guarantees it will always fail upward because it possesses a remarkable combination of power-worshipping obsequiousness, a total lack of shame, and a complete lack of scruples.” Such people, who are now either running things or gaslighting the rest of us about how they are run, do not sell out IMHO but simply do what comes naturally.

  • I’m not naive about what goes on in the world, but I’m regularly and utterly dumbfounded about why people want to be part of war, destruction, disparity of wealth and all the things that make the world so much uglier than it has to be.

  • Journalists are being purged all over the place – China does not have an effective media that can combat the western lies !

    Honest journalism has gone way of the Thylacine – same method – the government put a bounty on their head until there were NONE !!

  • Excellent article by Dmitry Orlov and the impossibility of Biden winning !!

    Dmitry is an excellent analyst !!


    • Neither of the “continue reading” sites will connect for me. Is this a glitch or another example of big brother?

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