Archive for December 7th, 2010

Cablegate: An Abject Failure

I’ve been kind of busy the last couple days with annoying familial obligations, but I have managed to find time to read most if not all of the first couple hundred cables that Wikileaks has released as part of “Cablegate”, and on the whole I’m really, really underwhelmed. For all the promotion and anticipation and propaganda and whatnot, the sad reality is that Julian Assange’s promises so far have proven empty.

What’s been released to date has been, like most Wikileaks dumps, pretty damned underwhelming. Assange wanted to maximize their impact by doling them out a few at a time over months, but this – as far as I can tell – is not working. Nobody anywhere cares about 99% of the cables leaked (and censored, ironically, by Wikileaks) to date. Nobody. They’re outdated administrative cruft with absolutely zero public interest. A tiny fraction of the Angry Young Men of the internet find one-half of one percent of the cables either shocking, scandalous, or unassailable confirmation of things they already believed in; the majority of the remaining half percent could be interesting, were the media interested.

The media are not interested, however. And neither is anybody else.

Wikileaks’ ongoing drama, and that of Julian Assange, are all that the media care about. They’re all that the media are ever likely to care about.

Right now, Julian Assange and his personal legal problems are probably better known, globally, than the Vice-President of the United States, or the Prime Minister of Great Britain. More people probably know his name, age, face, and place of birth than know that of Dmitry Medvedev. As a talentless do-nothing celebrutante, Assange is bigger than Snooki.

Was that his plan, all along? Achieve global infamy by pretending to be a demagogue? If so, he’s succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Cablegate, alas, is likely to go down as little more than a not-very-interesting, here-today, gone-tomorrow footnote in history, much like Bill Clinton’s blowjob coverup, or the questionable accounting practices of British MPs.

Ah, well. Perhaps someone will come along to replace Wikileaks with a technically-competent system that’s more than a shell for a cult of personality. Or perhaps the fad of “leaking” things nobody cares about will go the way of the zoot suit and the pet rock.

Published in: General | on December 7th, 2010 | No Comments »