The Non-revelations of Cablegate
WikiLeaks cooperated with the New York Times in 2010, providing the newspaper with access to 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. Content analysis of news coverage during the first month of reporting is presented. It is demonstrated that while “Cablegate” potentially opened the door for serious critique of US foreign policy, this possibility was never realized. Rather, established wisdom concerning the necessity of strong US world leadership is reinforced. The case of editorial content and news framing practices concerning Iran’s nuclear capabilities stands out. The latter was commensurate with an ongoing, state-driven propaganda campaign. However, WikiLeaks did establish its reputation as the leading source for authentic leaked information, a reality holding long-term importance for the group.
KeywordsCablegate New York Times News frames Foreign policy Non-revelatory Propaganda
- Beckett, Charlie, and James Ball. 2012. WikiLeaks: News in the Networked Era. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Beeman, William O. 2016. Iran Won the Vienna Accords by Agreeing to Stop What It Never Was Doing. Huffington Post, July 17. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/iran-won-the-vienna-accor_b_7821818.html.
- Brevini, Benedetta, and Graham Murdock. 2013. Following the Money: WikiLeaks and the Political Economy of Disclosure. In Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications of Communications, Journalism and Society, ed. Benedetta Brevini, Arne Hintz, and Patrick McCurdy, 35–55. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Broad, William J., James Glans, and David E. Sanger. 2010. Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal with the Aid of North Korea. The New York Times, November 28. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/middleeast/29missiles.html.
- Brooks, David. 2010. The Fragile Community. The New York Times, December 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/opinion/30brooks.html.
- Brooks, David, and Collins, Gail. 2010. Have We Learned Anything from the Leaked Cables? The New York Times, December 1. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/have-we-learned-anything-from-the-leaked-cables/.
- Chira, Susan. 2010. Answers to Readers’ Questions About State’s Secrets. The New York Times, November 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29askthetimes.html?pagewanted=all.
- Cohen, Roger. 2010. American Diplomacy Revealed—as Good. The New York Times, December 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03iht-edcohen.html.
- Curran, James. 2005. Mediations of Democracy. In Mass Media and Society, ed. James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, 122–149. London: Hodder Arnold.Google Scholar
- de Vreese, Claes H. 2005. News Framing: Theory and Typology. Information Design Journal 13 (1): 51–62. https://msap-unlam.ac.id/download/bahan__bacaan/New%20Framing.pdf.
- Editorial Board. 2010a. WikiLeaks and the Diplomats. The New York Times, November 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/opinion/30tue1.html.
- ———. 2010b. A Note to Readers: The Decision to Publish Diplomatic Documents. The New York Times, November 28. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29editornote.html.
- Entman, Robert N. 1993. Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication 43 (4): 51–58. https://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/teaching/articles/J-Communication-1993-Entman.pdf.
- Friedman, Thomas. 2010. We’ve Only Got America A. The New York Times, December 14. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/opinion/15friedman.html.
- Fuchs, Christian. 2014. WikiLeaks and the Critique of the Political Economy. International Journal of Communication 8: 2718–2732. http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/IJOCWL.pdf.
- Harshaw, Tobin. 2010. The Hunt for Julian Assange. The New York Times, December 3. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/the-hunt-for-julian-assange/.
- Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Hersh, Seymour. 1991. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Hunt, Albert. 2010. Good Gossip, and No Harm Done to U.S. The New York Times, December 5. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/us/06iht-letter.html.
- Keller, Bill. 2010. Answers to Readers’ Questions About State’s Secrets. The New York Times, November 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29askthetimes.html?pagewanted=all.
- Kouri, Rami G. 2010. The Sad Loss of National Dignity. The New York Times, December 1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/opinion/02iht-edkhouri.html.
- Leup, Gary. 2015. Talking Points on the Iran Nuke Deal. Counterpunch, August 5. https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/05/talking-points-on-the-iran-nuke-deal/.
- McChesney, Robert W. 2008. The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
- McCombs, Maxwell E., and Donald L. Shaw. 1972. The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media. The Public Opinion Quarterly 39 (2): 176–187. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/209410047_The_Agenda-Setting_Function_of_Mass_Media.
- Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M. Walt. 2008. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Moeller, Susan. D. 2004. Media Coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction. A Report for the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Maryland. http://www.pipa.org/articles/WMDstudy_full.pdf.
- Moushabeck, Michel. 1991. Iraq: Years of Turbulence. In Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader, ed. Phyllis Bennis and Michel Moushabeck, 25–36. New York: Olive Branch Press.Google Scholar
- New York Times. 2010. A Note to Readers: The Decision to Publish the Diplomatic Documents. The New York Times, November 28. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29editornote.html.
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 2007. Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities. November 2017. https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Reports%20and%20Pubs/20071203_release.pdf.
- Pedro, Joan. 2011. The Propaganda Model in the 21st Century. International Journal Communication 5: 1865–1905. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/785/666.
- Philo, Greg. 2007. Can Discourse Analysis Successfully Explain the Content of Media and Journalistic Practice? Journalism Studies 8 (2): 175–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616700601148804.
- Porter, Gareth. 2010. WikiLeaks Exposes the Complicity of the Press. Counterpunch, December 1.Google Scholar
- ———. 2014. Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Charlottesville: Just World Books.Google Scholar
- ———. 2018. The Latest Act in Israel’s Iran Nuclear Disinformation Campaign. Consortium News, May 3. https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/03/the-latest-act-in-the-israels-iran-nuclear-disinformation-campaign/.
- Prasad, Vijay. 2015. Why the Iran Deal Is Essential. Counterpunch, August 31. https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/31/why-the-iran-deal-is-essential/.
- Ravid, Barak. 2010. Netanyahu: WikiLeaks Cables Prove Israel Is Right on Iran. Haaretz, November 29.Google Scholar
- Stone, Geoffrey R. 2011. A Clear Danger to Free Speech. New York Times, January 3. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/opinion/04stone.html.