WikiLeaks Founder Appears in Political Rap Skit
Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may have another career on his hands: rap star. The Australian journalist, famous for exposing confidential government documents on his website, tried his hand at rapping in a viral video that has been picking up steam on the Internet.
Released December 17, the clip has already received over 400,000 hits in less than two weeks. Assange spit a few bars during an appearance on the satirical show 'Rap News,' in an episode titled 'News World Order - The War on Journalism.' The six-minute skit takes shots at political talk show host Bill O'Reilly and former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, while questioning the reasoning behind the war in Iraq.
Produced by a Melbourne-based duo--University researcher Giordano Nanni and English teacher Hugo Farrant--they were contacted by Assange after viewing a previous episode of the show chronicling the Pentagon's response to WikiLeaks release of classified cables.
The two offered him the role in the clip, and although hesitant at first, he later came around. "He was full of creative ideas for how to act and time the entrance, and he really enjoyed lampooning his own image," Farrant said in an interview. "It was fantastic - we're still pinching ourselves. He's a preternaturally calm person, but with a great sense of humor. Our intention with this project was to provide a meaningful contribution to the media discourse around certain issues, so to get access to such an influential figure... was very gratifying indeed."
Through his website, 39-year-old Assange has become famous for political whistleblowing, including releasing a compilation of more than 76,000 documents about the war in Afghanistan, and nearly 400,000 U.S. Army field reports, which became the biggest military leak in U.S. history. Assange ran into legal trouble, earlier this month, spending nine days in a London prison, for his alleged involvement in sexual misconduct with two Swedish women. He is currently fighting extradition to the country.
Watch Julian Assange in 'Rap News'