- The Washington Times - Friday, December 16, 2016

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called in to Sean Hannity’s radio show this week and unleashed on “the old press” for increasing levels of irrelevance due to hubris and bias.

A phone call from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Thursday to Mr. Hannity’s radio show resulted in a 25-minute interview covering everything from accusations that WikiLeaks was a Russian propaganda tool, to media coverage during the presidential campaign season.

Mr. Assange, who has been avoiding extradition to Sweden for five years over sexual assault charges he says are unfounded, told the host that traditional media outlets — not Russia — are responsible for their tarnished reputation.

“They’re increasingly not very important. I think Trump has even made this statement that they’re a paper tiger in this election, and the new publications on the internet feed directly to the people,” Mr. Assange said.

Mr. Hannity added at one point that if America had an abundance of honest reporters, then the WikiLeaks documents would have created “a case bigger than Watergate.”

“The degree of bias they’ve been showing in the election process — I guess it’s come from both sides but particularly the liberal press — we see that, and they feel it. They don’t be lectured or told what to do, and they rebel against it,” Mr. Assange said. “I guess that is the other reason why Trump won that no one is speaking about. That kind of hectoring from the liberal media in the United States — and the type of advertising that Hillary Clinton was putting out — really turned people off. It seems like those people who already had a lot of social power were telling you what to do, so you wanted to do the opposite.”

The Fox News star then said that it was frustrating that coverage of WikiLeaks documents sometimes results in receiving a “traitor” label from critics.

“I do believe that if it were a Republican, they would have been singing your praises day and night,” Mr. Hannity said.

The WikiLeaks founder then said that a Trump administration will be just as susceptible to WikiLeaks revelations as anyone else.

“If Donald Trump makes a lot of enemies on the inside in his time in office, then he could well face the same thing in four year’s time,” Mr. Assange said.

“That is the best indication that this did not come from the Russians,” Mr. Hannity replied. “I don’t think you meant to say that.”

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