After exposing catty gossip and American state secrets, WikiLeaks has been taken down – but not by government action. Amazon refuses to host the site on its servers, and the quest for a new home is proving difficult.
Some proponents of internet regulation are pointing to this as an excellent reason to support net neutrality. Like any media outlet, Wikileaks is entitled to freedom of the press; the problem here is that Amazon owns the press – and Amazon is exercising its freedom to tell Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to take a long walk off a short pier. (Admittedly, with some coaxing from Joe Lieberman, but it’s still Amazon’s call.)
Amazon didn’t want to put up with an organization revealing state secrets for the sole reason of embarrassing America. In short, Assange was a jerk and they no longer wanted to deal with him.
In a parallel move, the House of Representatives chastised tax cheat and self-proclaimed “honest guy” Charles Rangel. Rangel tried to wrangle up support from his email list, sending a blast message calling on supporters to call their members of Congress and urge them to speak out against a censure vote. (Side note: Wouldn’t most of the supporters on Rangel’s email list have Rangel as their Congressman? This email blast couldn’t have been that effective.)
Rangel called it a “political” vote, claiming throughout the process that his 11 ethics violations did not merit the rebuke of his peers. Yet, incredibly, rebuke him they did – overwhelmingly and in the first truly bipartisan vote Congress has seen in some time.
As Washington Times reporter Kerry Pickett found out, Rangel doesn’t view himself as someone who has to answer questions. Maybe that’s why Rangel, like Julian Assange, ran out of friends so fast: