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The Cost of Truth-Telling: Julian Assange is Paying the Cost for being a Muckraker

Going back to childhood, I’ve always had a deep animosity for bullies. It didn’t matter to me if I saw them doing their thing on the playground or fictionally on a TV show. Witnessing someone subjugate another person always enraged me, almost more than if I was the one being subjugated, which was some of the time. I remember I would always fixate on the bully’s face, trying to understand what their emotions were as they were beating up on some kid (usually a kid who was different and had no control over that fact). What I saw, more often than not, was pleasure—and that enraged me even more.

Over time, I was also able to suss out what set the bully off in the first place. It was so simple, but it took me awhile to discern it. Humiliation. I also learned, through careful observation, how even the tiniest whisper of potential humiliation would set a bully off. It really took next to nothing. A stray remark in the hallway. A look in gym class. Laughing. Which many bullies interpreted as laughing at them, their paranoia was so great.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have exposed the dirty laundry of a lot of different countries and a lot of different companies over the last decade. But, more than anything, Assange and his compatriots in transparency repeatedly humiliated the American empire. The Iraq war logs. The diplomatic cables. Helping Edward Snowden escape. The DNC rigging of the 2016 primary. Vault 7. And now that they’ve dragged Assange out of his meager refuge, the empire’s face is twisting in pleasure as it exacts its revenge for that exposure, that humiliation which showed the entire world that the U.S. was not the land of freedom. Really, it was nothing more than a garden-variety bully stomping around the globe (and it’s own home) smashing and cheating.

But bullies can’t successfully cheat all on their own. They need henchmen. In some ways, in fact, henchmen are worse than the bully. They feed off the bully’s rancid power like parasites and then amplify it, helping it radiate out and strangle kids who aren’t even on the playground, don’t even go to the bully’s school. And Assange humiliated the bully’s henchmen, too. Of course, I’m talking about the corporate media. When the Wikileaked DNC/Podesta emails showed that members of the corporate press were running stories by the Clinton campaign during the primary, they were exposed as the little dog trotting at the heels of the slavering empire.

“Hey Spike, look at this great hit piece we’re gonna do on Bernie. This will really get him, won’t it Spike? Didn’t I do good, Spike, didn’t I? You wanna edit it? Why don’t you edit it? Let me get you a raw steak, buddy, can I, can I?”

Members of the corporate media will never forgive Assange for their particular piece of the humiliation pie, so don’t expect them to be out front standing up for the First Amendment. What’s the First Amendment compared to their wounded dignity? Now is their time to crow, as they sit in their little beanbag chair next to Joffrey’s throne.

Back on the playground, my fantasy was always that any time a kid was getting picked on by a bully, the rest of the kids out there would drop what they were doing, come together and surround the bully. Give him the fiercest beat-down he’d ever gotten in his life. I know that’s not kind. But that’s the imagination of an enraged kid addled by superhero comics. To be honest, I tried to rally people a few times, but they were all too scared. My great revelation was that bullies are easily distracted, so I would walk up near the action and start babbling some nonsense that create confusion and the subjugated kid could slip away.

But I want to try again right now with a little thing we could all do together. It’s really simple.

Laugh at the bully’s henchmen every time they speak. CNN. MSNBC. Fox. The New York Times. The Washington Post. Politico. Laugh and walk away from them. Parasite power is illusionary. It only exists if you listen. The time has come for all of us to stop listening to the stories they tell. Corporate media narratives are just the henchmen saying “Yeah!!” every time the bully makes a pronouncement. Shut your ears and walk away. Stop sharing their articles and videos, even if it’s a hate-share. If you want news, there’s a ton of independent media just waiting to embrace you. We’ve got websites. We’ve got video channels. Make the switch.

If we face down the henchmen, maybe it will give us the courage to take down the bully. Because c'mon. Enough is enough. Not one more kid. Not one more kid. #RiseUp4Julian Click To Tweet

“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must–at that moment–become the center of the universe.” ~Elie Wiesel

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Stephen Boni
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Stephen Boni

Stephen Boni is a writer of socio-political missives, children’s books and emails. Lots and lots of emails. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.
Stephen Boni
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