NPR’s Morning Edition today had an interview with The New York Times’s David Sanger focusing on the leak’s revelations about Iran’s weapon capabilities, and an interview with Le Monde editor in chief Silvie Kauffmann about the reaction in France. Elsewhere on the show, Cokie Roberts was brought in for analysis of reaction in Washington, and she made this observation:
What is somewhat refreshing is that this doesn’t appear, at least at the moment, to be a partisan argument: you, for once in Washington, have the Democrats and the Republicans both on the same side, of course the side of denouncing WikiLeaks.
The NPR website devotes a text story to the reaction from the White House to the leaks, but farms out a lot of its online coverage of WikiLeaks’s latest. The coverage features two editorial cartoons about the leak, and embeds a banal but informative interactive timeline, created by the AP, providing the history and impact of the WikiLeaks organization since 2006, and putting Julian Assange in historical context with the likes of W. Mark Felt and Daniel Ellsberg.
In partnership with Foreign Policy, NPR.org also published a piece by international politics professor Daniel Drezner asserting that “There are no Big Lies” in this latest Wiki-Dump: nothing to see here, folks. He riffs:
U.S. officials don’t always perfectly advocate for human rights? Not even the most naive human rights activist would believe otherwise. American diplomats are advancing U.S. commercial interests? American officials have been doing that since the beginning of the Republic. American diplomats help out their friends? Yeah, that’s called being human.
Drezner then goes on to quote Don Draper from the television program Mad Men to really drive his point home. He sides with blogger Rob Farley in saying that the only harmful impact of this leak will be on government transparency itself; the U.S. will surely tighten its security systems to prevent further leaks as a result of this one.
The most viewed feature on NPR at the moment, though, is a story about a very different type of “staggering cache”—that of 271 original Picasso pieces discovered in France. - Lauren Kirchner
Politico, as expected, has been covering the leaks early and often. Ben Smith had the first word early on Sunday afternoon, emphasizing in particular that leaks about a widespread determination to end Iran’s nuclear program “will undoubtedly affect policy, even if it’s not entirely clear how.” The overview story—still published hours ahead of the document release—framed the leaks as ”explosive,” “damaging,” and “deeply embarrassing” to the U.S., more so than the previous two sets of war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, which “contained few surprising details.”
Follow-up articles focused on the leaks’ revelations about Iran, Obama’s weakening power, and reactions to the leaks from the Pentagon, Secretary of State Clinton, and basically every other politician and pundit in Washington, D.C. One short blog post collects the various insults that the WikiLeaks “burn book” lobbies against various world leaders:
Kim Jong-Il is a “flabby old chap” (according to a diplomatic source) .
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is “feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader” (according to a U.S. diplomat in Rome).
Robert Mugabe is simply “the crazy old man”.
Politico’s pop-out video player features a fast-moving video mashup of reactions on network and cable TV news, feeding the soundbyte beast with even more candy. - Lauren Kirchner