The WikiLeaks presser was fizzer. Julian Assange eventually appeared, asked for employees, then left. Some people were best not pleased.
The cross began with a slideshow presentation. Direct from a nondescript room in Germany, we were introduced to proceedings by way of a news mash-up that verbalized the aphorism espoused by noted sociologist Bobby McFerrin. That was the dark days before WikiLeaks, where the news was the assumed truth. In the past decade, that has changed. We were informed of this by the statistics that preceded a listicle, which purported the Top 10 WikiLeaks of the last decade. The vid closed with a call for donations, and while it stopped short of saying “like, share, and subscribe” the vibe was there, evidenced by the small ripple of applause.
The emcee of the event soon gave way to two media partners who espoused the benefits and value of WikiLeaks as a reputable source. Which was fair enough, because, it was their birthday. Next up, Julian Assange’s lawyer, who caught the audience up on the current situation of Assange, where he was under the heel of democracy for telling the truth, before again restating the benefits and the values of WikiLeaks. At this point, I thought, Alright, for something as mammoth as the “October Surprise” I expect a smidge of grandstanding; this increasingly has a telethon vibe to it. “Only you can keep Julian Assange free.” “Call now.” Assange’s lawyer finished with a steadfast guarantee that Assange was gonna Assange, which was a plus indeed.
Suddenly, he appeared; voice first, before his ashen hair cut a stern ribbon through the black background of the room we were peering into. The stage was finally his, the moment was upon us. His familiar voice spouted familiar words. Words heard before. The benefits and value of WikiLeaks. Oh, Julian, not you too, I thought, fingers digging deeper into my thigh, brow misted, until his point was finished. The point that WikiLeaks was important. Time pushed to the end of the 20-minute window that Julian had. He paused. Dotting the sentence. This would surely be it. We’d get an answer to a question that the Alt-Right who ran the feed asked us. Would this be the end of Hillary, what did WikiLeaks have?
Wikileaks, in the words of Assange himself, needed to adapt to survive. What we waited for, for three hours, was little more than a recruitment drive. Assange was securing the future of his publication. But, for that future, he’ll need “an army,” thusly pushing for a global “call to arms.” What we were witnessing was a Seek ad. What WikiLeaks is trying to do, is to expand. Slow. Clap. He repeated the press email address for interested journalists, and gave the details of that process, for anyone so inclined, added to which he gave a round figure of 100 new potential staff. Before he stepped into his long list of congratulations for a decade of superlative work, he plugged the book The WikiLeaks Book which is fortunately 40% off, and available in stores now.
And that was it.
But, I ain’t even mad.
Why? Because, there might be some genius to it. The presser was held at around 4:00 a.m. American time, and some partners who broadcast the feed were the most alt of Alt-Right. There was a series of delays before Assange appeared to offer nothing. So, in essence, the trolls got trolled.
All hail the return of WikiLeaks.
Lots of sad faces among those who thought somehow Julian Assange was a right wing savior. Serves them right for thinking it’d be that easy.
— Mike McIntyre (@mcintyremike) October 4, 2016
Imagine being so dumb and conspiracy minded that you’re counting on a rambling, past-his-prime Julian Assange to swing the election.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) October 4, 2016
— Emily Cahn (@CahnEmily) October 4, 2016
Best troll ever: Assange asking why I’m up at 4am, while I’m wondering why I’m up at 4am, after he told me to be up at 4am. #OctoberSurprise
— Matt Dougan (@Americooligan) October 4, 2016
The whole situation is superbly summed up by the feed of Alt-Right media analyst Mark Dice:
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) October 4, 2016
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) October 4, 2016