Julian Assange sounds downright chipper when he's introducing his new talk show, The World Tomorrow, an unlikely but fertile opportunity for the Wikileaks founder to stay in the public eye, even as he's still under house arrest in England.
The first episode included an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah party and general recluse when it comes to on-camera interviews. (He hadn't granted one in six years until he sat down with Asssage. As an interviewer, Assange isn't very charismatic. And with well-document history of burning bridges with Wikileaks partners, we'll be interested to see who he can get to appear on his show. The interviewer was conducted remotely. We'd describe the flow of the interview as a mix between a less classy Charlie Rose and a more produced version of doing a video chat with your grandfather over Skype.
Assange asked Nasrallah a slew pointed questions about everything from U.S.-Palestinian relations to the ceasefire in Syria. Nasrallah, speaking through a translator, said, "[We] don't want to kill anyone. We don't want to treat anybody unjustly." As of for Syria, Nasrallah said,. "I have found [Bashar al-] Assad willing to engage in real reforms." Meanwhile, Assange dug his chin into his palm and looked around the room nervously.
We're willing to give The World Tomorrow another shot. After all, there are 11 more of these programs, all of which feature Assange talking to a TV screen, and he'll surely warm up to the camera. In the meantime, if you were looking for a more politically inspired "Oprah" or an activists "Ellen", Assange's new show is not it. We'd hate to say we were let down by the debut, so we won't. Especially since our hopes weren't that high to begin with.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.