The Guardian's war on Assange
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The Guardian has profited a lot from Julian Assange's work, but over the years has become increasingly hostile towards him. Journalist John Pilger writes


The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor called "the greatest scoop of the last 30 years". The paper creamed off WikiLeaks' revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them.

With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book's authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked US embassy cables.

On 27th November 2018, the Guardian published a story by Luke Harding headlined "Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy". It has since been shared over 162,000 times on Facebook alone. The Guardian has not provided any evidence for it, and has refused to retract it. In an interview with the Observer, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who used to work for the Guardian, said


The Guardian’s happy to be used ...if you publish something like a totally fake story, there are so many benefits to it and almost no consequences. ...If you look at Luke Harding’s traffic metrics, they went through the roof. That’s an incentive scheme to continue to do shitty journalism.

In their excellent alert on the Assange arrest, Media Lens write of the claimed meeting:


No shred of evidence has ever been produced for this claim, which WikiLeaks and Manafort have both vehemently denied, and the story has been widely regarded as fake from virtually the hour of its publication. Luke Harding, the lead journalist on the story, and his editors Paul Johnson and Katharine Viner, have never apologised or retracted the story; nor have they responded to the many challenges about it. As we have previously noted, the Guardian has a disreputable record in publishing nasty, abusive and derogatory pieces about Assange.

More recently Greenwald commented:


...I've come to peace with the fact that this story will never be retracted even though everyone - including at the @Guardian, I am sure - knows it is utter bullshit - a joke - but it's still worth noting because it shows how unmoored the media is to any notions of accountability

Below, we've compiled a list of 44 Guardian articles to show you how the Guardian has treated Julian Assange and Wikileaks. We've also put together suggested actions for you to consider and a list of articles analysing this output.

If you haven't already, it really is time to Dump the Guardian and support independent media instead.

Twitter reactions to the Guardian's campaign


Media Lens, media analysts (@medialens)
It's time we stopped being fooled. The state-corporate interests trying to destroy Assange are the same interests trying to destroy Corbyn. They aren't motivated by concern for women's rights, or anti-semitism, any more than they were by Iraqi or Syrian WMD, or Libyan massacres.


Matt Kennard, journalist (@KennardMatt)
The treatment of Julian Assange by the Guardian has been so disgusting its beyond words. He took all the risk. Will probably never experience freedom again. And they just collected their awards and turned the newspaper into one big attack sheet. No campaign to free him. Nothing.

x David Leigh

30 Jul 2010

WikiLeaks 'has blood on its hands' over Afghan war logs, claim US officials

• Defence secretary describes leak as 'potentially dangerous' • 'Loose' intelligence policy in US army to be reviewed

x Theo Brainin

05 Dec 2010

Just what does Julian Assange want?

WikiLeaks' express enemy is 'authoritarian conspiracies', but if it takes one to know one, the ends do not justify the means

x Ewen MacAskill

19 Dec 2010

Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden

US vice-president makes strongest remarks by any White House official over WikiLeaks founder and dipomatic cables

x Helen Pidd

10 Feb 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was obsessed with power, ex-insider claims

Julian Assange has threatened to sue Daniel Domscheit-Berg over book portraying Assange a power-hungry 'emperor'

x James Ball

02 Sep 2011

Why I felt I had to turn my back on WikiLeaks

Former staffer tells how dismay mounted during his three months with the whistleblowing group

x Nick Cohen

18 Sep 2011

The treachery of Julian Assange

The WikiLeaks founder, far from being a champion of freedom, is an active danger to the real seekers of truth

x Karin Olsson

02 Nov 2011

Julian Assange: from hero to zero

A year ago we Swedes hailed Assange as a James Bond of the net. Now he's seen as a pitiable, paranoid figure

x Luke Harding

17 Apr 2012

The World Tomorrow: Julian Assange proves a useful idiot

Luke Harding reviews the WikiLeaks editor's TV interview with the Hezbollah leader

x Nick Cohen

23 Jun 2012

Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange

The right does not have a monopoly on paranoia, as the conspiratorial fantasies of the backers of Julian Assange show

x Sarah Ditum

28 Sep 2012

What is Slutwalk London doing lining up behind Julian Assange?

The group's statement is a self-contradictory trainwreck that co-opts its followers into a cause they never signed up for

x Esther Addley

06 Feb 2013

Jemima Khan: Julian Assange risks becoming 'Australian L Ron Hubbard'

Former close supporter of WikiLeaks founder accuses him of obfuscation, misinformation and demanding blinkered devotion

xx Josh Halliday, Matthew Weaver

02 Jan 2014

Today programme guest-edited by PJ Harvey slated as 'liberal drivel'

BBC accused of allowing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and journalist John Pilger to air views uncontested on Radio 4 show

x Editorial

04 Feb 2016

The Guardian view on Julian Assange: no victim of arbitrary detention

WikiLeaks made its name by exposing those who ignored the rule of law. Its editor-in-chief should recognise that applies to him as well as the US government

x Joshua Rozenberg

05 Feb 2016

How did the UN get it so wrong on Julian Assange?

The working group overlooked the central fact of the WikiLeaks founder’s situation: he has not been detained, but rather has hidden himself away

x Marina Hyde

05 Feb 2016

So that settles it then – everyone’s to blame except Julian Assange

The fugitive pulled a masterstroke by referring his case to a UN panel gullible enough to embrace it

x David Smith

14 Oct 2016

From liberal beacon to a prop for Trump: what has happened to WikiLeaks?

A series of hacked emails appear designed to aid Donald Trump fight back against Hillary Clinton, while raising questions about Russian involvement

x David Crouch

07 Dec 2016

Julian Assange defies Swedish prosecutors by releasing rape statement

WikiLeaks founder publishes answers he gave during questioning in Ecuador’s London embassy over rape allegation

x Deborah Orr

07 Dec 2016

Julian Assange is not alone in his lack of empathy for women

The WikiLeaks founder portrays himself as a victim of the sexual machinations of others. That attitude is horribly widespread

x Marina Hyde

10 Mar 2017

With Farage, Assange and Trump, who needs political satire?

What synchronicity: a WikiLeaks dump, helpful to Trump, in the same week as a meeting at Ecuador’s embassy in London

x Nick Cohen

11 Mar 2017

Farage meets Assange in a shameless illiberal alliance

The old rules about probity in public life are being shredded at both ends of the political spectrum

x Marina Hyde

19 May 2017

The moral of the Assange story? Wait long enough, and bad stuff goes away

Captain WikiLeaks may be about to get out of pretend-jail. But he probably won’t be driving off into the sunset with his celebrity friends just yet

x Peter Bradshaw

30 Jun 2017

Risk review – serviceable portrait of Julian Assange's vanity

Laura Poitras’s documentary about the WikiLeaks founder captures his creepy conceit and celebrity hauteur but leaves important questions unasked

x Carole Cadwalladr

28 Oct 2017

Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance

The WikiLeaks founder’s astonishing admission should prompt MPs finally to start asking questions

x James Ball

10 Jan 2018

The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride

The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon

x James Ball

29 Mar 2018

Ecuador’s patience with Assange has run out – and he has himself to blame

The WikiLeaks founder is being treated like a grounded teen. He should hold his hands up and leave the embassy

x Marina Hyde

03 May 2018

The ballad of Pammy and Julian Assange - her poor, mournful sea lion

The WikiLeaks emperor has been wrongly accused of so many things, says the former Baywatch star. But can their relationship survive now that the Ecuadorian embassy has cut his internet?

xxx Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns

15 May 2018

How Julian Assange became an unwelcome guest in Ecuador's embassy

He has been in the Knightsbridge building for six years, but his departure looks ever more likely by Luke Harding , Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Dan Collyns

xxx Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns, Luke Harding

21 Sep 2018

Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from UK

Tentative plot to whisk fugitive from London embassy on Christmas Eve was considered too risky

x Juno Dawson

17 Oct 2018

How to get rid of an unwanted housemate

The Ecuadorians are fed up with their longtime lodger, Julian Assange. But many of us have had a nightmare flatmate. Here’s how to get them to leave

xx Luke Harding, Dan Collyns

27 Nov 2018

Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say

Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published Live: follow the latest US politics news

x Dan Collyns

02 Apr 2019

Julian Assange has 'repeatedly violated' asylum terms, Ecuador's president says

Lenín Moreno said ‘photos of my bedroom’ and his family were circulated online but did not directly accuse WikiLeaks founder

x Esther Addley

11 Apr 2019

The seven-year itch: Assange's awkward stay in the embassy

The WikiLeaks founder’s visit became uncomfortable for both him and his hosts

x Simon Murphy

11 Apr 2019

Assange branded a 'narcissist' by judge who found him guilty

WikiLeaks founder’s claim he’d been denied a fair hearing were called ‘laughable’ in court Live updates: Assange arrested following withdrawal of asylum by Ecuadorian government

x Dan Collyns

11 Apr 2019

'Rude, ungrateful and meddling': why Ecuador turned on Assange

Minister lists reasons for Assange’s eviction from London embassy, including threats, skateboarding and health concerns

x Kate Lyons

12 Apr 2019

'Whiffyleaks': what the papers say about Julian Assange's arrest

The dramatic developments at the Ecuadorian embassy in London filled most of the British front pages on Friday

xx Matthew Weaver, Owen Bowcott

12 Apr 2019

Labour row breaks out over Assange sexual assault allegations

Several party MPs distance themselves from leadership backing of Assange, claiming he cannot ‘evade justice’

x Sabrina Siddiqui

12 Apr 2019

Hillary Clinton: Assange must 'answer for what he has done' in wake of arrest

Clinton says at New York event: ‘I think it is clear from the indictment that came out it’s not about punishing journalism’

x Adrian Horton

12 Apr 2019

Trevor Noah on Julian Assange: 'Hackers make terrible houseguests'

Late-night hosts discussed the arrest of the WikiLeaks founder and Trump’s three-year-old tax audit excuse

xxxx Jessica Elgot, Jon Henley, Owen Bowcott, Matthew Weaver

13 Apr 2019

Give priority to Julian Assange rape claim, home secretary urged

Letters to Sajid Javid and Diane Abbott call for attention to focus on any Swedish case

xx Mark Townsend, David Crouch

13 Apr 2019

Failure to extradite Assange to Sweden would endorse ‘rape culture’, say women’s groups

Campaigners fear rape allegations are being overlooked as US case against WikiLeaks co-founder takes centre stage

x Jess Phillips

14 Apr 2019

Julian Assange’s case makes it clear women’s rights are still secondary to political games

It was shocking that neither main party pointed out he’d evaded facing sexual charges


14 Apr 2019

Assange has been collared. His cat knows the feeling

Easter rail travel | Annunziata Rees-Mogg | Julian Assange’s cat | Good news | Kids’ puzzles

x Patrick Wintour

14 Apr 2019

Assange tried to use embassy as 'centre for spying', says Ecuador's Moreno

Exclusive: President says he has it in writing from UK that WikiLeaks cofounder’s rights will be respected

x Nesrine Malik

15 Apr 2019

Why is the left blinkered to claims about Assange and sexual assault?

In the hierarchy of progressive political causes, women seem to be relegated to the bottom of the pile


Media Lens, media analysts (@medialens)
It's time we stopped being fooled. The state-corporate interests trying to destroy Assange are the same interests trying to destroy Corbyn. They aren't motivated by concern for women's rights, or anti-semitism, any more than they were by Iraqi or Syrian WMD, or Libyan massacres.


Matt Kennard, journalist (@KennardMatt)
The treatment of Julian Assange by the Guardian has been so disgusting its beyond words. He took all the risk. Will probably never experience freedom again. And they just collected their awards and turned the newspaper into one big attack sheet. No campaign to free him. Nothing.