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The Wall Street Journal reports Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has signed a book deal to publish his memoirs. Assange will get an $800,000 advance from American publisher Alfred A. Knopf and £325,000, or $502,000, from the U.K. publisher Canongate Books. As Assange explained to the U.K. newspaper The Times, the money will go toward paying Assange's legal bills and helping keep the WikiLeaks site afloat, since it can no longer receive donations through Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal. The news of Assange's book deal has occasioned some smirking in the blog world; here are some of the best quips we've come across.

  • Looking Forward to the Feature Film  "The inevitable book is coming down the pipe a little sooner than anyone might have guessed," writes Ernie Smith at ShortFormBlog. "Which means, within a year, we're going to see a movie, with Neil Patrick Harris playing our boy Julian. Probably." More seriously, Smith wonders, "Will Bank of America, PayPal, Mastercard and Visa block payments to Knopf or Canongate Books? Because they're directly helping Wikileaks."

  • Don't Act Like This Is Some Huge Burden  "I don't want to write this book, but I have to," Assange is quoted as saying in The Times. "I have already spent £200,000 for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat." Wonkette's Jack Stuef rolls his eyes: "Oh, he has to write this book. He has to cash in on / bolster his celebrity status. Doesn't he know Real Journalists such as himself are supposed to like writing books? Even Dana Milbank has written a few books, and he works for the Washington Post, so he must be a journalist."

  • The Boy Who Leaked  Gawker's Max Read shouts out to the Hogwarts crowd. "He should call it Julian Assange and the Chamber of Secrets! Or, something funny."

  • He's Got Esteemed Company, At Least  New York Magazine's Mike Vilensky notes that with his book deal, Assange joins the ranks of "reality-stars, scandal survivors, and a couple of writers before him." Vilensky adds that "there are no details about Assange's book yet, but Not the Droid You're Looking For: The Julian Assange Story sounds like a nice title."


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