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NY Times reporter defends profile of WikiLeaks’ Assange

• The Upshot

Burns, a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and current London bureau chief, pushed back against Assange's contention that the Times engaged in "tabloid activity" when reporting a profile that Assange calls a error-ridden "hit piece."

Assange said Monday at London's Frontline Club that he wasn't surprised by the Times' recent coverage of him, given what he considers the paper's "absolutely disgusting" August profile of Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old army private suspected of supplying the classified documents to WikiLeaks. The Manning piece, Assange said, "removed all higher-level political motivations from him and psychoanalyzed him down to problems in his childhood and a demand for attention."

The WikiLeaks chief also questioned whether the Times simply employs "journalists with extremely bad character" or whether coverage of him and his whistleblower organization is influenced by the "realpolitik that [Times executive editor] Bill Keller has to go through in order to get out any story that depicts the U.S. military in a negative way."


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