Let's All Argue About Julian Assange's TV Show
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are fake and the writers don't exist. Why are we bothering to run it? Because everyone else is talking about this at the moment, and like everyone else, the last thing we want to do is miss out on some easy hits.
So: It's the moral tussle over the media ambitions of the internet rebel that everyone's talking about – but is it really wise for Julian Assange to turn away from his grubby laptop screen and forge a new career as a "renegade" chat show host on a state-controlled Russian TV channel? Who would his guests be? What would they talk about? Has he even got the charisma to pull it off? I think it's high-time we heard both sides of this argument.
JULIAN ASSANGE IS A RENEGADE MASTER, A DEFAULT DAMAGER, POWER TO THE PEOPLE, WITH THE ILL BEHAVIOUR
by Julian Assange
Julian Assange is a hero. He's a martyr, in fact. A heroic martyr. He likes to talk about himself in the third person. He enjoys hanging out with his friends. He likes movies, books and video games. But the powers that be won't be happy until he has been put away forever. But screw the powers that be. They can't have me. These little men in their stuffy offices will never understand what it is to be truly great. With their limited lives, of pushing their pens around – pens! – in the era of the information superhighway! These dinosaurs have never woken up to the fact that the world has changed. That we are now living in a world of cyber-connected netizens, all bowing before the new Mammon: information.
Julian Assange (me) is a renegade motorcyclist on the information superhighway. I (he) am like Marlon Brando, easy-riding my way to ultimate freedom, taking lots of sexy data in virtual folder sacks from the rich, and giving it to the poor and the needy, free of charge. 'Information yearns to be free' was how Seth Godin put it in that book of his I read once.
This is why I am very grateful to Kremlin-controlled news channel Russia Today for allowing me to pull together a chat show. True renegades, history has shown, spend a lot of time talking to their fellow renegades, and this programme promises to be me talking to some of the great outlaw thinkers of our time. It will be a meeting of equal minds, and believe me, you will see the sparks fly. For my first season, I have lined up some very special guests:
Stephen Fry. RENEGADE of witty chat shows everywhere, Stephen can cause an entire room to explode into what he would no doubt term 'mirth' with one well-timed line about crumpets. He doesn't believe in God, which is a brave stand to take because God is very powerful, much like the CIA.
Michael Parkinson. RENEGADE of talk itself. 'Parko', as he is known to millions, has renegaded his way to the top of chat's greasy pole over 40 years. Perhaps, if it's true you can teach an old dog new tricks, he will be able to pick up a few new lessons from me. At any rate, I am sure he will have lots of great chat about Muhammad Ali and Oliver Reed he can share with us.
Fatima Whitbread. RENEGADE of the javelin, Fatima managed to win Olympic medals, despite the fact that she is probably a man at some level which no one is talking about, sneaking her way to the top in order to throw the people's javelin in the faces of Juan Antonio Samaranch and his Olympic cronies. She has also insidiously ported herself into the world of reality television, populated as it is with flakes and hoodoos and dipshits and nobodies, and used the experience to preach an alternative gospel of information freedom, still managing to come out unscathed. But for how long?
A Comedian With A Book Out. RENEGADE of being a comedian with a book out, this guest is as yet unconfirmed, owing to scheduling issues. My researcher tells me that if Lee Mack is bounced from Daybreak by Russell Howard, he will be able to find a slot for us. But if he falls through we've got Andy Parsons on standby, but if Parsons gets that BBC3 pilot commissioned in the same week and has to go to Salford, then we'll probably have to go with RENEGADE Rhona Cameron. At which point I will probably have to sack my fucking researcher.
Nelson Mandela. As yet unconfirmed, but I'm sure he can ask me a lot of great questions about what it's like to be incarcerated for the crime of changing the world. I gather he also wrote an autobiography, so perhaps he can ask me about mine.
It is a disparate line-up, true. And our schedulers have warned us that advertising revenue will be scarce where the guest lineup doesn't read as 'aspirational'. But what all of these people have in common is that they will be able to ask me some fantastic questions about my life and times. Given that the government networks may be listening in (Sky Channel 435), it seems likely that we will have to talk in code about a lot of our more revolutionary activities. Thus, I will use the phrase 'tell me about your new book' as the signal to begin discussing digital subversion.
Many people have told me that dispersing my underground info-bytes via the goggle-box rather than the Google-box may seem as antiquated as girdles, but sometimes you just need to be humble and go where the eyeballs are if you are going to change the world: a sentiment with which Fatima Whitbread would no doubt agree. Jesus, after all, did not waste his limited time preaching to the converted. No – he went to the unconverted. That was how he could best hit his sales targets.
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