I finally had a chance to read this very long article from the NYT about their interactions with Assange and WikiLeaks. I found these two bits fascinating, as reported by Bill Keller:

On the fourth day of the London meeting, Assange slouched into The Guardian office, a day late. Schmitt took his first measure of the man who would be a large presence in our lives. “He’s tall — probably 6-foot-2 or 6-3 — and lanky, with pale skin, gray eyes and a shock of white hair that seizes your attention,” Schmitt wrote to me later. “He was alert but disheveled, like a bag lady walking in off the street, wearing a dingy, light-colored sport coat and cargo pants, dirty white shirt, beat-up sneakers and filthy white socks that collapsed around his ankles. He smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in days.”

Keller later says:

Assange was transformed by his outlaw celebrity. The derelict with the backpack and the sagging socks now wore his hair dyed and styled, and he favored fashionably skinny suits and ties. He became a kind of cult figure for the European young and leftish and was evidently a magnet for women.

Gee I wonder why, oh wait:

The flow of donations to WikiLeaks, which he claimed hit 100,000 euros a day at its peak…

If you think for one-second that Assange is doing this solely to open up the world of corporate deceit a political games then you are a fool. While those are most certainly part of his motivation, the larger part is fame. Otherwise why dye your hair and start changing how you present yourself?

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