UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

Comic gold. The State Department just issues a press release announcing tha the US is going to host World Press Freedom Day in 2011. Really, now? Below is the release as it appeared on the Wikileaks servers this morning:


But seriously, now, this is quite epic. First of all, you assume that the state department already knows who the winner is going to be, since they’re busy spying on the guys at UNESCO headquarters. Secondly, there’s really only one person who meets the criteria of “a person, organization, or institution that has notably contributed to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom, especially where risks have been undertaken.” And thats Julian Assange, who has just been arrested and faces extradition to the United States (if he’s really unlucky) once the Swedes are done with him (really, Sweden — when the hell did you turn to the Dark Side?) — all because he’s managed to piss off the state department and their powerful friends and threatens — gasp! — to do the same with Bank of America next. I wonder if the wiz kids over at State have read their own press release and realized how phony it sounds? Almost as bad as when Hillary Clinton stood up and droned on about how concerned she really was about freedom of press etc. etc. not even a month before she sent her goons after Assange. 

The tricky part for the US is this: the award recipient is supposedly picked by an independent jury of international journalists, so the psychofantic hacks in the US media won’t be able to swipe aside a call for Assange as the recipient by pushing some lame-ass hack like Maureen Dowd. Could get very interesting, but of course Assange may not be around to accept the prize at the rate the powers that be are crashing down on him. Which would make the event even more of a farce.

(h/t Glenn Greenwald)