You know what a really surefire way to get elected to Australia’s Senate is? Apparently, it’s guest-starring in a news-parody rap video and doing your best version of an Australian pop song from 1986.
Welcome to the lighter side of WikiLeaks.
First, let’s get to this “news rap” video from The Juice Media, which is really, absolutely real and not something we’ve just made up.
For those of you who are a couple of years late, the intro music here is an unfortunate facsimile of the Game of Thrones theme (Game of Polls, get it?) And yeah, the folks at Juice Rap News made sure to get “winter is coming to Australia” into the first 45 seconds.
But you don’t really need to pay any mind to the first few minutes here, all of which feature political impersonators. As a summing up, let’s just say there are not-so-fleeting expletives, former PM Julia Gillard maims current PM Kevin Rudd, and opposition leader and election-favorite Tony Abbott throws around a lot of misogyny and then, incongruously, becomes Gollum. OK fine, weird, maybe offensive, but fine.
Then, at 3:40, we’re introduced to “another contender seeking a Senate seat,” from inside of Ecuador’s embassy in London. Who is, of course, WikiLeaks head Julian Assange. And this isn’t completely a joke. Assange is running for a seat on behalf of his WikiLeaks Party, which has had recent problems of its own. As Assange can’t actually campaign for the seat in person, due to his self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy, he’s been largely limited to online videos. Odd as it may seem, videos like this one can be important for Assange, who actually has some traction in polling.
So Assange isn’t afraid to pull out the stops:
The stops in this case being a blond mullet wig and a spoof of “You’re the Voice,” John Farnham’s hit 1986 single. “We have the chance to turn the pages over,” Assange lip-syncs. And if there was any doubt about the WikiLeaks platform, he continues:
We can write what we want to write.
We gotta make things leak, so we can get much bolder.
We’re all wire-tapped now. We’re all being fed lies.
“We were impressed — and quite surprised — that Julian agreed to the Farnham idea,” the video’s producers said in a statement to Australia’s Herald Sun. “We figure that, like us, he could see the humour and power in such a skit.”
Not everyone quite saw that power though. The Sydney Morning Herald‘s national political reporter called the video “bizarre” and “offensive.” But for someone who is typically anything but jokey in his media appearances, the unusual mullet bit here is, at least theoretically, a way for Assange to seem like more than just an isolated robot accused of sexual assault.
Australia’s elections will be held Sept. 7.
What We're Following See More »
Bernie Sanders said he'll begin pivoting his campaign to an organization designed to help candidates at the local level around the country. At a breakfast for the Wisconsin delegation to the DNC this morning, he said the new group will "bring people into the political process around a progressive agenda," as it supports candidates "running for school board, for city council, for state legislature."
Everything's getting contentious in Philadelphia this week ... especially the Senate race that's being contested there. "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty called her Republican opponent 'an asshole' while at a labor union event Monday at the Democratic National Convention. The comments about Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) came at a press conference with labor union leaders calling for raising the minimum wage. It was quickly followed by an apology." She immediately apologized in a statement.
Donald Trump has doubled down on his contentious views on NATO, reiterating his belief that the United States shouldn't unwaveringly support its allies. "We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything," the GOP nominee said. "We have to walk. Within two days they’re calling back! 'Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want.'" Last week, in an interview with The New York Times, Trump made waves when he said that he wouldn't necessarily back the United States' NATO allies if they hadn't paid their share, a comment that was rebuked by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Not since Eagles fans booed Santa Claus have this many people been dismayed at Philadelphia. Traffic gridlock, poor logistics, and the inevitable summer heat and thunderstorms are drawing the ire of convention goers, as "peeved" delegates complained about "Homerian odysseys" to get from place to place. "On Twitter, out-of-town media complained about the logistics of the convention, spread out between the sports complex in South Philadelphia, media tents a hike away, and the daytime events at the Convention Center in Center City."
"Two attackers killed a priest with a blade and seriously wounded another hostage in a church in northern France on Tuesday before being shot dead by French police. The attack took place during morning mass at the Saint-Etienne parish church, south of Rouen in Normandy. Five people were initially taken hostage." The case has been referred to anti-terrorism officials in Paris.