Monday, 4 January 2021

John Simpson & Julian Assange

Charlie mentioned John Simpson's report on BBC One's News at Ten last night, saying that JS is "obviously a fan of Julian Assange".

"His long ‘love letter’ report on tonight’s main news was a one sided affair carefully crafted in its use of words and images to leave the viewer in no doubt that he is more a hero than a villain".

This is where it gets especially interesting, because the BBC's World Affairs Editor has form here. 

This is what he tweeted on May 26, 2019:
Alan Rusbridger, writing in defence of Julian Assange: 'Whenever you read about journalists harming national security, massive alarm bells should start ringing.' Absolutely right. Assange revealed uncomfortable truths about US policy & tactics, & the US wants to punish him for it.
It's a funny thing. Dame Jenni Murray was banned by her BBC bosses from talking about certain subjects - transgender issues and Brexit - after she expressed views on them on non-BBC platforms, yet here is John Simpson being permitted to report on a matter of controversy where he has previously expressed a very strong opinion on a non-BBC platform. 

One rule for one, one rule for another it seems.

UPDATE 14:30: John is now reacting, and not just to the news...:
John Simpson: Big victory for Julian Assange, his partner Stella Moris & his legal team. Most supporters of free journalism are over the moon. BUT Joe Biden is no friend of JA & may bring new charges. Importantly, though, it’s Round One to Assange.
Ratfink Maloney: Julian Assange literally collaborated with Roger Stone to influence the 2016 election. Was that “journalism”? You’re a useful idiot John.
John Simpson: And you don’t seem able to control your rudeness. I don’t want you following me, thanks.

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