July 5, 2011 at 6:28 PM ET
WikiLeaks founder and celebrated house arrestee Julian Assange recently released a video parody of MasterCard's famous "Priceless" commercials, with the allegation that "major credit card and online payment companies have withheld over $15 million" in donations to the activist group. Also, that the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt was "a result of (WikiLeaks') work."
Yes, somehow, even taking this fairly high-road approach to reprimanding a company for a real affront, Assange can't help but come off as slimy — he looks, as the Christian Science Monitor puts it, "like the cat who ate the canary." There's of course no mention of the fact that his extradition battle with Sweden stems from allegations of rape, or that the apparent source of much of the meatiest leaks, Bradley Manning, was held for a year by U.S. authorities in conditions described as "degrading and inhumane."
And there's no real attempt to tie WikiLeaks to the upheaval of tyranny in Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations. As the Monitor's Dan Murphy puts it, having looked even further than a 61-second YouTube video for evidence of a real tie, "I found Assange's expansion on WikiLeaks role in the Arab uprisings ... stunningly obtuse."
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