ITESPRESSO, LE POINT (France)
A column published on the New York Times' website had the web abuzz on Sunday, reports French website ITespresso. It was revealed later in the day, after many people including journalists and college professors had retweeted the column, that the whole thing was a hoax.
On Sunday, Bill Keller, former executive editor of The Times and Op-Ed columnist, wrote an opinion piece (see below) defending Wikileaks and condemning "backroom pressures by the Obama Administration's State Department to expand its financial blockade targeting Wikileaks." He wrote: "You don't have to embrace Assange as a kindred spirit to believe that what he did in publishing those cables falls under the protection of the First Amendment. ... I've said repeatedly, in print and in a variety of public forums, that I would regard an attempt to criminalize WikiLeaks' publication of these documents as an attack on all of us, and I believe the mainstream media should come to his defense."
The column, says ITespresso, garnered a number of reactions on the Internet, including from the London Guardian's columnist Dan Gillmore and Nick Bilton, NYT tech writer, who called it an "important piece" in a tweet that he later deleted.
THERE IS A FAKE OP-ED GOING AROUND UNDER MY NAME, ABOUT WIKILEAKS.EMPHASIS ON "FAKE. "AS IN, NOT MINE.— Bill Keller (@nytkeller) July 29, 2012
What's was even more convincing for Bill Keller readers, is that the column is actually written from his own words: emails he sent to the GigaOM technology blog in response to an article about how attacks on WikiLeaks threaten the rights of all media entities.
Wikileaks admitted to the hoax later on Sunday.
Yes. We admit it. WikiLeaks (Assange & co) and our great supporters where behind the successful NYTimes banking blockade hoax on @nytkeller.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 29, 2012
What is not a hoax, is that WikiLeaks is under illegal economic censorship by US financial insitutions and NYTimes says nothing. The rats.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 29, 2012