You don’t need to be super-sophisticated in the ways of journalism and social media to know that when you email reporters saying, “Here are the 140 things you should never say about me,” it’s going to turn into a story and millions of people will see it.
Monday’s morning’s Exhibit A: Julian Assange.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 6, 2019
It’s not clear what WikiLeaks was thinking when it sent out a memo to journalists saying NOT FOR PUBLICATION at the top laying out “falsehoods” about Assange — currently at home in the Ecuadorean embassy in London — that are both perplexing (“It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood”) and banal (“Contrary to false reports, his cat hasn’t even been at embassy since well before the inunction (sic) was filed”).
Anyway, telling reporters they can’t say something is almost never a good strategy.
Some things you aren't supposed to say about Assange:
– mean to poor cat trapped in embassy with him
– is a front for Russian intelligence
– has helped others act as fronts for Russian intelligence
– believes he is a messianic figure
— Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) January 6, 2019
And the 2019 prize for chutzpah/unconscious irony is… In defending Assange against alleged libel, Wikileaks sent an email to media organizations marked "Confidential legal communication. Not for publication." https://t.co/sH6kq7nUoN
— Lionel Barber (@lionelbarber) January 7, 2019
The Twitterverse is off and running on it, too, with a stream of hilarity and comeuppance under the hashtag #OtherWikiLeaksRules.