Julian Assange Is More Popular Than Most Prime Ministers, He Says

A new video interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is available today from Australia's ABC1, in which the troubled transparency advocate, who is in the U.K. awaiting an extradition hearing this summer, speaks on the current status of his anti-secrecy organization. "Even when I was in prison for 10 days we continued publishing," he says, insisting that WikiLeaks was "structured that way quite deliberately to avoid interruption to our publishing, although certainly there has been very aggressive efforts to do so, but also to provide disincentive for decapitation attacks on the organization." As would be expected of the man, Assange totally takes issue with his interviewer if he disagrees with the premise of a question. He thinks he is, in fact, very well liked, thank you very much.

After denying the myth that he slept on the streets of Melbourne as a homeless person and accusing the Guardian of libel, Assange seems to bristle when the questioner says that "not everybody likes you, to put it gently." He states plainly, "I have to disagree with that actually."

"You think everybody does like you?" the journalist asks.

No, not everybody, but these sorts of statements are in fact mischievous. I mean, if we look at Australian opinion polls, actually Wikileaks and myself have far greater popularity amongst the Australian population than sitting prime ministers have had in many years.

So does that mean you?

It's not right to say -- it is not right to say that this organisation is polarising or that somehow the critics are evenly balanced with our supporters because it's simply not true.

But there's one thing that everyone can agree on and that thing is dancing.

7.30 speak to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange [ABC1]

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

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