Julian Assange and James O'Keefe: one ripped the rug from under the State Department with the release of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables. The other has a penchant for publishing sting videos intended to expose the hypocrisy of the "liberal" media, which currently means NPR. Both have enigmatic organizations, larger-than-life egos and promise/threaten to upend established institutions by revealing their secrets.
Sure, there's plenty of gaping differences between the WikiLeaks founder and the Project Veritas crusader. But we couldn't help but notice that they speak in the same defensive, boastful tone to interviewers. And in their own way, they've both had a hand in making radical transparency that much more of a reality: one by publishing secret material, the other with hidden video cameras.
So here's a quiz. Which words can be attributed to Julian Assange, and which belong to James O'Keefe? Answers are below, so no peeking.
1. "Stay tuned, and you’ll see...I want to see if [insert organization] tells the truth about what is going on. I want to see how they tell the truth, and then we’re going to release more information. So we’ll see what happens."
2. "We say that if there are people in the [insert organization] who say that there is some abuse going on, and there's not a proper mechanism for internal accountability and external accountability, they must have a conduit to get that out to the public. And we are the conduit."
3. "I have become the lightening rod. I get undue attacks on every aspect of my life, but then I also get undue credit as some kind of balancing force."
4. "You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest."
5. "They hate me because I'm effective..."
6. "We are free press activists. It's not about saving the whales. It's about giving people the information they need to support whaling or not support whaling. Why? That is the raw ingredients that is needed to make a just and civil society. And without that you're just sailing in the dark."
7. "This is no joke. We're called to do this and we're gonna devote our lives to doing it."
8. "What it is, is exposing that a triangle has three sides, frankly, that everyone knows that this is true...So I don’t really care what people call me or call my teammates, journalists or sting artists or activists or hoaxsters."
9. "When you see abusive organizations suffer the consequences as a result of their abuse, and you see victims elevated, it's, yes, that's a very pleasurable activity to be involved in. "
10. "All that is completely false. A lot of these reporters just flat out, I think, slandered me. Immediately off the gun. They jumped the gun on the story. And we're still waiting for corrections from dozens of newspaper—mainstream media newspapers."