I love heretics, whistleblowers and all-around rabblerousers. They air our dirty laundry so the greater public can weigh in. Many wonderful reforms and laws have addressed terrible situations that we might have never learned about otherwise. Think Norma Rae, Daniel Ellsberg, Jeffrey Wigand, Jennifer Long and Sherron Watkins.
Julian Assange then is my hero.
What Julian Assange has that these other now revered people didn’t is the internet as a vehicle for distribution. Instead of simply being available in an edited version to readers of the Washington Post or the New York Times for example (which made both papers a LOT of money) documents were released for free through a channel that all of us use everyday.
I know. It’s dangerous. All that information in the public domain. Gee whiz we’re just not knowledgeable to understand all the ramifications of discovering that some world leaders think Kim Jong Il is a short chubby whackjob or the Afghan government is corrupt.
Oh. Wait a minute. That’s news?
We are constantly demanding transparency. We tweet and post on FB and blog about people and organizations that don’t meet our high standards. Here’s the rub: Transparency isn’t always pain free.
Ladies and gentlemen, you can’t have it both ways. You either embrace it and simply brace yourself. It’s impossible to go back.