Most people aren't terribly sympathetic to Jonathan Tasini's claim that Huffington Post writers were the reason the publication was sold for $315m and they deserve a 1/3 of the take, but as a writer I can see his point. She wouldn't have had a thing without them. Time to pay the piper Arianna.
I was surprised after all of the hype, by how much The Daily, the new News CorpiPad daily newspaper looks like a conventional news magazine. Ultimately, though, it's an old model in a new package and as such will fail.
WikiLeaks technology is not exactly advanced, so it's not surprising that many news organizations are setting up similar anonymous electronic drop boxes (as they should), but will leakers trust big media companies in the same way?
For those who aren't familiar with the story, Ellsberg was a high ranking Pentagon official who helped Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara build a case for the 1960s build up for the Vietnam War. Over time he realized that the government was outright lying to the American people, sometimes even fabricating inflammatory incidents like the Gulf of Tonkin attack to convince President Johnson to escalate the war. It worked.
Eventually, Ellsberg went to visit Vietnam, spent time on patrols with soliders and realized that much of what we were being told about the progress of the war was just a lie. When Ellsberg came across a history of the United States' involvement in Vietnam, which showed a pattern of lies back to President Truman, he began copying and sneaking the document out of his office of at the Rand Institute. Eventually, these papers became known as 'The Pentagon Papers'
Ellsberg was a former marine and one of the shining stars of the Defense Department. He was not some half-baked nut case. He was most importantly a man of conscience. He started by sending the papers to powerful members of Congress, but they did nothing. This lead him to leak the story to a New York Times reporter, who realized right away what he had.
The Times struggled with what to do with these papers, however. Some of their lawyers told the publisher they would be violating the Espionage Act if they published the contents of these documents, but eventually, they decided to publish it, partly because they felt it needed to get out, and partly because they felt they would be judged harshly if it ever came out they had sat on information that showed the war was predicated on a series of lies dished out to the American people by five presidents.
As the story broke, the White House reacted. Henry Kissinger called Ellsberg 'The most dangerous man in America' (hence the title). After four days of publishing the papers, The New York Times was ordered to stop publishing, which according to the documentary, was the first time in American History the courts had acted to cease publication of anything in this manner.
A couple of days later, the Washington Post picked up the ball until it too was ordered to stop, Eventually 17 papers, one after the other picked up the publishing of the Papers defying the government in an expression of true 'Freedom of the Press' the likes of which we haven't likely seen before or since.
Eventually, the New York Times and its fellow newspapers were vindicated by the Supreme Court in the New York Times v. The United States. By a vote of 6-3, the court ruled that the government had overstepped its bounds when it ordered the papers to cease publishing.
Interestingly, it was the Ellsberg case which morphed into Watergate and brought down President Nixon because the president was so incensed he started a series of actions to get Ellsberg (including ordering the break in at the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist's, which lead to Ellsberg's case being thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct). The groups established to go after Ellsberg eventually also broke into the Democratic headquarters at Watergate.
It was for one brief shining moment, the glory days of journalism. I watched the Watergate Hearings in my 7th grade history class--my teacher had the foresight to recognize he was watching history in the making--and it had a profound influence on me professionally and politically.
Today as I watch the WikiLeaks drama play out, and as the New York Times comes under attack for publishing the embassy cables, it's impossible not to recognize the historical parallels. Whatever your thoughts of Daniel Ellsberg, however, what he did took tremendous courage, as did the actions of the New York Times and its fellow newspapers, and we're not likely to see that kind of courage again, WikiLeaks not withstanding.
Ever since WikiLeaks broke the Embassy Cable content last month, we've had to endure corporate hypocrisy of the worst kind. No matter what you think of Julian Assange or his organization, WikiLeaks is being singled out and it's got nothing to do with Terms of Service.
As the news about WikiLeaks broke over the last several weeks, we have seen a number of reactions. People may see this as free speech or free press issue. Some see it as a national security issue. Others see it as non-issue, but whatever your views, Corporate America has been cowed by the government into a singular reaction and that is to block WikiLeaks any way it can.
What gets me is that WikiLeaks didn't steal any documents. It simply printed documents that it was given. I suggest those who think that's a crime read up on the New York Times v the United States in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of the NYT to print the Pentagon Papers.
You will also notice that Apple did not remove the New York Times app from the Apple Store even though, like WikiLeaks, it printed the contents of the leaked cables. MasterCard and Visa are still doing business with the New York Times as well so far as I know.
I've had it up to here with corporate hypocrisy. You want to shut down WikiLeaks? Then be honest about why you're doing it. Don't trump up some terms of service agreement violation and claim that's why you're doing it.
This is a very nice app, and this demo does a great job of showing it off as Mashable's Christina Warren gets a walk-through from the App's designer, Josh Koppel, chief creative officer of Scrollmotion
When AOL bought TechCrunch earlier this week, and its blustery founder/editor Michael Arrington, it brought to mind the old TV show: The Odd Couple. Can these two entities live together without driving each other crazy.