WikiLeaks founder heading to talk TV


As he continues to fight extradition from the UK to face sex charges in Sweden, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced plans for a new career. He’s planning to host a new TV talk series, with plans to license it to broadcasters around the globe.

“Julian Assange will be hosting a series of in-depth conversations with key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world. The theme: the world tomorrow,” a news release announced on the WikiLeaks website – better known for distribution of secret documents from various governments and corporations.

“Both a pioneer for a more just world and a victim of political repression, he is uniquely placed to catalyze a global discussion on how to go forward,” read the pitch for the TV show. “In recognition of this, Assange will draw together controversial voices from across the political spectrum – iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders – each to offer a window on the world tomorrow and their ideas on how to secure a brighter future.”

Julian Assange says: “Through this series I will explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it. Are we heading towards utopia, or dystopia and how we can set our paths? This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the vision of my guests in a new style of show that examines their philosophies and struggles in a deeper and clearer way than has been done before.”

The series will begin airing in mid-March, in 10 weekly half-hour episodes. Initial licensing commitments cover over 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast networks, the announcement claimed.

Broadcasters interested in licensing the show were directed to Quick Roll Productions. That appears to be a brand new company that is nearly as secretive as WikiLeaks. There’s no phone number or indication of where the company is located, just a contact email. Presumably the series will be shot in the UK, since Assange isn’t allowed to leave while out on bail.

RBR-TVBR observation: Will any US broadcaster of significance want to touch this? Assange and WikiLeaks remain under investigation by the US Department of Justice for potential criminal charges related to the 2010 release of a quarter million US diplomatic cables. But prosecution would be difficult because of the First Amendment, so US authorities would likely be happiest to see him sent to prison in Sweden.