Not quite sure what to make of this Economist piece suggesting that the “mainstream media” care more about their own kind being targeted than they did about Assange. The issue is that all the examples cited on Assange (Fox, Washington Times, Jonah Goldberg) would reject the term “mainstream.”
What we are seeing here is basically class solidarity on the part of the mainstream press. When the offender was just a weird foreign hacker running a blog staffed with encryption-happy radical volunteers, people who thought of themselves as regular journalists were often disdainful of the effort and ambivalent about how the government treated him. Yes, he felt the full force of the US government come down on his strange white-blonde head, had his money flows interdicted, and ended up as an international pariah, but you know, what he did was pretty shady, right? But now that it seems the US government has leveled the same charges, for the same behaviour, against someone working in the classic model of mainstream American journalism, a regular old reporter like us—well, that’s another story.
Give an example of the more “mainstream” media bashing Assange — and those examples may be out there — and this is a stronger argument.