AFP Runs With Wikipedia Founder’s ‘Crazy Information’ About WikiLeaks

Agence France Presse (9/28/10) has an interview with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales about WikiLeaks–apparently because of their proximity in alphabetical order. Wales says that he wishes WikiLeaks didn’t have “wiki” in its name–fair enough; he’s free to wish that. But he goes on to say:

In the most recent round of leaks, the New York Times…actually redacted certain information that could put people in harm’s way whereas WikiLeaks is planning to publish absolutely everything…. I think it is really important, when we have sensitive information, that we do rely on responsible journalists to sort through it for us…. It’s much better than dumping all kinds of crazy information online and get people killed…. I don’t think [WikiLeaks editor] Julian Assange wants those people killed, however if he irresponsibly follows the policy of releasing absolutely everything, it’s incredibly dangerous for those people.

There’s no indication in the piece that AFP tried to get a response from the group that its story is accusing of recklessly putting people’s lives in danger. Granted, WikiLeaks might be hard to get hold of these days. But two minutes of googling would turn up plenty of quotes like this one from Assange (Huffington Post, 8/14/10):

He said WikiLeaks was about halfway though a “line-by-line review” of the 15,000 documents and that “innocent parties who are under reasonable threat” would be redacted from the material.

Clearly, WikiLeaks does not have a “policy of releasing absolutely everything”–as a “responsible journalist” would have noted, rather than “dumping all kinds of crazy information online.”

Follow Jim Naureckas on Twitter @JNaureckas.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.