Re: "..mostly borne of the fact that the left..."
Wrong. Here's the quotes:
"...especially with a president who thinks he has the right to decide who is "fake news" and who isn't, based on how their reporting treats him..."
LucreLout: "That seems to me to be mostly borne of the fact that the left have decided, for reasons only knowable to them, to refuse to accept when they lose a vote."
Trump keeps up a constant drumbeat of lies -- "China is paying huge tariffs that go straight into the US treasury", for one incredibly stupid recent (and ongoing) instance. And he promotes those as truth -- "true news" if you will. And then he turns around and calls fact-based, verifiably accurate reporting "fake news".
It has nothing to with losing or winning elections.
It has everything to do with Trump's war on facts.
Look, if we will not distinguish between facts and lies, then we cannot make intelligent decisions. Tariffs are a tax paid by the importer of goods, not by the country the goods are imported from. If you know that fact, then you have one piece of information about how economics works. And you can begin to make informed decisions about tariffs, trade pacts, and international economics.
But when the press reports the facts -- that China doesn't pay Trump's tariffs, American importers do -- and then Trump calls that "fake news", you have a leader who is undercutting his own nation's hold on reality.
From the standpoint of the national interest, what Trump is doing is incredibly damaging. From the standpoint of getting himself re-elected, it's smart: if you can destroy voters' understanding of what is true and what is a lie, then you can get them to vote against their own self-interest, you can get them to vote against what's good for the nation, you can get them to cheer for stupidity. And vote for it.
The constant propaganda drumbeat from the right "Oh, all this criticism is just because the left lost an election, otherwise everything would be peachy" is le merde of the bull. The criticism is about facts and lies. It's about the way Trump attacks the truth and promotes lies.
Once I thought Wikileaks was a good thing. I don't like governments using secrecy in everything as a standard policy. That way lies black-ops torture as a standard operating procedure, gunrunning, political assassination, and a host of other evils.
But if someone is going to shine a light into that secrecy, it turns out that they will wield great power. More than I thought about. If Wikileaks were to publish really scandalous, damaging information about the government of the UK but nothing about, oh, say Germany, then international relations would be affected. Perceptions would be changed, imbalances created.
And it turns out that foreign intelligence agencies can use Wikileaks to do that. The Chinese Ministry of State Security can feed intel to Wikileaks in order to torpedo alliances between other nations, for one hypothetical. The CIA can feed Wikileaks intel discrediting Boris Johnson just before the upcoming election, for another hypothetical. (Why they would do that is beyond me; Johnson seems... um... less than credible to me anyway, but I'm a damned yoink so I know nothing, really.)
So Assange, if he was really guiding Wikileaks, has done a good job of making the organization a lightning rod and a bad job of keeping it from being a tool for snot-balls.
That said, I t hink the US charges are harassment. Somewhere I read an opinion that "The US Department of Justice wouldn't bring these charges if there was no credible chance they could win a conviction." Again, le merde. The hell they would not. Such things are done to throw The Fear into someone, to make their lives harder and their wallets lighter, to discourage others from doing something similar, to show that the US will respond to insults even if it's not really a criminal matter, and so forth.
Popcorn? Hotdog? Licorice rope? Going to be a long show...