WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Gets Russian TV Show


Lights, camera, action. This Tuesday, WikiLeaks founder and hacker superstar, Julian Assange, will premiere his new show, “The World Tomorrow,” on the Russian government’s satellite channel, Russia Today. It will be broadcasted online and on air in English, Spanish and Arabic – three of the most widely spoken languages in the world – and is sure to piss off the top echelons of governments across the globe.

The promotion above, released internationally Friday, is a snippet of what’s to come the most authority-hated, pursued man in the world. And, boy, does it look interesting.

With clips from Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring and the plight of Assange after his arrest, the video ends on the founder’s epic and title-producing note, “Today, we’re on a quest for revolutionary ideas that can change the world tomorrow.” But how does hacktivism translate into a TV show and why did Assange choose Russia, a country known for its harsh anti-journalist measures?

Moving away from the hard, concrete material found in the leaked cables, Assange sought to bring his message of ultimate transparency to a larger audience. In a more foreign-based video for the show, he is heard saying that he wants “to get the maximum political impact possible” by switching to television.

And, if the aftermath of the largest diplomatic controversy in modern history is any example, the effect that this medium change could have is completely unpredictable – and that is the real entertainment.

It is a bit strange that the underground Assange is partnering with the mainstream Kremlin, the first network to buy the exclusive rights to the show, but the WikiLeaks founder swears on the organization’s website that the Russian government has not “been involved in the production process.”

The editor-in-chief (and, technically, an employee in Putin’s government) of Russia Today, Margarita Simonyan, backed this odd contradiction when she said that Assange was trying to “[rally] a global audience of open-minded people who question what they see in mainstream media.”

Aside from that not making much sense, the names of Assange’s first 12 guests have yet to be released (transparency only goes so far…) but it goes without saying that the show will send shock-waves throughout the protest circuits, both off and online. Now, the next question: will we be able to watch it on Netflix?