The Afternoon Beast

A quick Dart and Laurel to Tina Brown’s online mag. Laurel first.

The Daily Beast has just run an exclusive with a lede sure to grab eyeballs: “Julian Assange wants the Pentagon’s help.”

Landing in our e-mail inboxes less than an hour ago, reporter Philip Shenon’s piece forecasts the next chapter in the WikiLeaks story. According to the report, Julian Assange’s site has grown a little more sensitive to the dangers that might be posed to Afghan informants and civilians in his war logs, and has approached the Pentagon to help remove names from the 15,000 documents yet to be released.

“I would certainly say that the invitation to talk to the Obama administration is open,” said Daniel Schmitt, a WikiLeaks spokesman in Germany. “It has been open before.”

In a phone interview Tuesday with The Daily Beast, Schmitt said the site wanted to open a line of communication with the Defense Department to review an additional 15,000 classified reports that have still not been posted to the site in an effort to “make redactions so they can be safely published.” Schmitt said the reports also relate to American military operations in Afghanistan.

Nice reporting, a good exclusive, an interesting twist.

Now, the dart.

The Beast’s “Afternoon Scoop” e-mail roundup leads with the story of nine people’s murder at a beer distributor in Manchester, Connecticut. Its 104-word summary begins with this rather too glib line:

“Not a good way to start the day: At least nine people were shot and killed at a beer distribution center…”


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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.