Tucker Carlson said even Idi Amin did not get the type of coverage WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange receives. Assange was arrested Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Carlson said Assange is not sleazier than any journalist in Washington and has broke stories that others would win Pulitzers for.
"Assange’s real sin was preventing Hillary Clinton from becoming president," Carlson explained. "There was a time, not so long ago, when reporters didn’t applaud the arrest of other journalists for publishing information."
"At NBC, when they tell you 'many believe' something, it means they believe it," Carlson said about the network's coverage of Assange.
"The guardians of speech are now its enemies," the FNC host said. "The people charged with policing power are now colluding with it. There’s a reason you see John Brennan on NBC all the time. They’re all on the same team. We’re not saying any of this to defend Julian Assange. We just want to be absolutely clear about who hurts this country more. It’s not him."
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: If you’ve watched the coverage of this story today on television, you likely came away with the understanding that Julian Assange is some form of Russian spy, who is in trouble because he stole classified documents from the United States government. But that’s factually wrong. It’s not true. Saying so isn’t a defense of Assange. We’re not here to promote him, or excuse any number of things he’s said over the years that we disagree with. But just so it’s clear: Whatever his sins, Assange did not steal documents from the US government. He did not hack the DNC’s servers, or break into John Podesta’s gmail account. There is no proof he is working for the Russian government, or ever has. Assange has never been charged with any of that, and wasn’t today, no matter what they tell you.
If you’re upset about the theft of classified documents from the US government, and there’s reason to be, we already know who did it: A 22-year-old Army Private named Bradley Manning, now called Chelsea. In 2013, Manning pleaded guilty to stealing secret material, and got 35 years in prison. A few years later, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence. This allowed Manning to leave jail decades early, go back on TV as a commentator, and run for political office. So if your real concern is America’s national security, you ought to be angry at Barack Obama. And yet, strangely, nobody is.
Instead they’re furious at Julian Assange for printing the documents that other people stole. Quote: "Julian Assange has long been a wicked tool of Vladimir Putin and the Russian intelligence services,” wrote professional moralizer Ben Sasse, who also serves in the US senate. “He deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Wicked? The rest of his life in prison? Idi Amin ate people, and never faced this kind of scorn in Washington. Not even close. Nor, for the record, was Amin ever extradited. He died at 78 in his own bed, leaving behind 43 loving children. So what’s going on here? A couple of things. First, Julian Assange embarrassed virtually everyone in power. He published documents that undermined the official story on the Iraq War and Afghanistan. He got Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired from the DNC. He humiliated Hillary Clinton, by showing that the Democratic primaries were in fact rigged. Pretty much everyone in Washington has reason to hate Julian Assange. Rather than just admit that — “he made us look like buffoons, so now we’re sending him to prison” — they’re denouncing him as, you guessed it, a Russian agent. Watch Senator Blumenthal explain:
BLUMENTHAL: Justice should come to Julian Assange for his role in Russian meddling in our election and the sooner the better.
Again, no one has ever shown that Assange is a Russian agent. The indictment against him doesn’t say it. It doesn’t mention Russia at all. But that hasn’t stopped virtually every politician in Wasington from repeating Blumenthal’s line, including many Republicans. Robert Mueller nearly killed the Russian collusion hoax. Julian Assange is allowing them to keep it alive.
You’d think journalists would say something about this. Assange is, after all, one of them. What do you call a man who publishes news for a living? Assange is no sleazier than many journalists in Washington. He’s definitely not more anti-American. He’s broken stories the New York Times would have won Pulitzers for. Yet many of his colleagues have disowned him. “Oh please,” wrote Alexia Campbell of Vox. “Assange is no journalist. We know who he works for.” Meaning Russia. “Julian Assange is not a journalist,” explained Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker, without explaining. Ken Dilanian of NBC, who doesn’t so much cover the national security state as write memos on its behalf, noted that, quote: “Many believe that if [Assange] ever was a journalist, those days ended a long time ago.” At NBC, when they tell you “many believe” something, it means they believe it. Why all the hostility? We’ll let former Democratic staffer and current CNN employee Jim Sciutto explain. Assange’s real sin was preventing Hillary Clinton from becoming president:
JIM SCIUTTO: He is central to several cases. He's central to Russian interference in the election, U.S. intelligence views him as a middleman, a cutout, that he was in effect part of this interference. He's central, too, to questions about what the Trump administration, or Trump campaign, I should say, knew prior to the release of those materials, right? What were the communications between Roger Stone, et cetera… It's possible that this is something President Trump himself is not particularly excited about.
There was a time, not so long ago, when reporters didn’t applaud the arrest of other journalists for publishing information. In 1971, the Washington Post and The New York Times published a trove of stolen classified documents about the Vietnam War. It was called the Pentagon Papers. Liberals loved it. Books were written celebrating their bravery. As recently as 2011, the Wasington Post saw the connection. Quote,“A conviction [of Julian Assange] would also cause collateral damage to American media freedoms,” the Post wrote that year. Quote: “It is difficult to distinguish Assange or WikiLeaks from The Washington Post.”
That was before the Trump election and the total war that followed, a war in which the media have definitively chosen a side. Press freedom? “Sure. As long as we agree with your politics.” The first amendment? “That all depends. Who’d you vote for?” The guardians of speech are now its enemies. The people charged with policing power are now colluding with it. There’s a reason you see John Brennan on NBC all the time. They’re all on the same team. We’re not saying any of this to defend Julian Assange. We just want to be absolutely clear about who hurts this country more. It’s not him.