When you think about it, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the ideal candidate to host his own talk show: he has a track record in finding out secrets, can dish the dirt as well as anyone and is certainly comfortable being in the spotlight.
But that doesn’t mean anyone’s going to watch the show. The Australian newspaper reported on Tuesday that the 40-year-old is set to interview “key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world.” The WikiLeaks site said that the show will have a focus on the future, with the theme being “the world tomorrow.” In a statement, Assange said that, “through this series I will explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it.”
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Interestingly, even though it’s currently unknown which channels will air the program — and don’t discount the possibility of WikiLeaks broadcasting it online — 10 weekly half-hour episodes are expected to air starting in March. WikiLeaks claims that initial licensing commitments cover more than 600 million viewers. “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,” Assange said.
Assange does have certain attributes which could make this venture a success (to say nothing of him already mastering the art of releasing a press release which manages to say everything and nothing) and the potential of his grilling guests would surely generate headlines. That said, he’s managed to annoy a whole host of people over the past couple of years, so the “iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders” he’s hopes to attract might not be banging down the door.
And legal hurdles may be Assange’s undoing: he’s not only battling extradition from the U.K. to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault but could also face espionage charges in America with prosecutors in the Bradley Manning case alleging that Assange is implicated.
If any of these hurdles trip him up for good, we might be witness to the world’s first TV talk show coming to our screens from a prison cell. But would he have a captive audience?
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