Being that it is July 4, a day typically reserved for a celebration of freedom, why not also celebrate free information by watching the final episode of Julian Assange’s “The World Tomorrow.”
Assange’s show was very often fascinating, quite informative, and always controversial. Assange interviewed the likes of Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah, philosopher Slavoj Zizek, right wing Zionist David Horowitz (a former left wing radical), and two prominent Arab Spring figures, Egypt’s Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Bahrain’s Nabeel Rajab, among others. Assange not only attracted criticism for interviewing Nasrallah (though Assange was aggressive in the interview), but for chumming it up with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who may now provide Assange with political asylum.
The reality is that if one opened his or her mind enough, Assange’s show proved highly useful in understanding the power dynamics in international politics and opposition movements. To ignore the show represented, as Glen Greenwald said, a certain blindness and hypocrisy on the part of the media.
“The fact that Assange is on RT drives American media additionally crazy. It makes them feel good to be able to point to other media outlets and say ‘Oh, look over there those are tools and instruments for state propaganda!’”, said Greenwald. “Because when they do that, they get to forget about and obscure their own role in disseminating state propaganda. Most notoriously, The New York Times did more than everybody to convince Americans of the need to attack Iraq. But even since then the model of the US media is very much to show faith and loyalty to the US government. So there is really a lot of irony and hypocrisy in this criticism.”
The final episode of “The World Tomorrow” finds Assange interviewing Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and current leader of the opposition party, who was put in prison twice for politically-motivated reasons. Ibrahim is calling for “an independent judiciary, free media and an economic policy” in Malaysia “that can promote growth and the market economy.”
A great moment came when Ibrahim talked Islamophobia, “You want to something good, you must not be corrupt. The moment you see that you’re for democracy, you become a western stooge. The moment you talk about macro-economics you become a Soros agent.”
It should be noted that a man like Ibrahim would not get an interview on American news programs, much less one running some 25 minutes.