Harding describes him as become a “useful idiot,” noting that Twitter feedback on the show ranged widely: One viewer described Assange as “engrossing” but others said he was “like a robot,” “painful to watch,” and seen “nodding sagely while HN drones on.”
The real reason for raising eyebrows about Assange’s new venture is the RT network itself. RT is owned by Russian state and controlled by the Kremlin; its programming makes no reference to “top-level corruption, Vladimir Putin’s alleged secret fortune – referenced in US embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks – or the brutal behaviour of Russian security forces and their local proxies in the north Caucasus.” A December 2010 cable released on Wikileaks describes Russia as a “virtual mafia state,” as Harding points out. Why, he asks, is Assange teaming “up with an opaque regime where investigative journalists are shot dead (16 unsolved murders) and human rights activists kidnapped and executed, especially in Chechnya and other southern Muslim republics”?
Is Assange so hard up for cash that he has signed himself over to the Russian propaganda machine? Are any of Putin’s critics, like the Russians who protested in the thousands and tens of thousands against Putin in the winter, among the guests on the upcoming eleven episodes?
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