Assange is arrogant, thin skinned and conspiratorial, say NYT reporters

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NEW YORK - New York Times reporters are of the unanimous opinion that whistle blowing website WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may look and appear smart, but is actually “arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous.”

The New York Times swallowed its distaste and mistrust and moved to work closely with Assange for sometime when the furor over the leak of US diplomatic cables was at its peak.

According to Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, his counterpart at the Guardian, a British daily, brought the NYT into the WikiLeaks story last summer.

The NYT quickly dispatched some of their best reporters and investigators to London to study the material and meet Assange.

“He was alert but disheveled, like a bag lady walking in off the street, wearing a dingy, light-colored sport coat and cargo pants, dirty white shirt, beat-up sneakers and filthy white socks that collapsed around his ankles. He smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in days,” a reporter wrote to Keller upon first meeting Assange.

First impressions were not improved upon. After working with Assange to go through the initial material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Times reporters came to believe he was smart and tech-savvy, but “arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous.”

Ultimately, the mistrust between the two sides boiled over after the Times ran an unflattering portrait of Assange on its front page.

Keller said that, combined with the Times’ open disregard for some of Assange’s rules of cooperation, ultimately led to a souring of their relationship. (ANI)

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