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 »
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."
"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.