Actress and activist Pamela Anderson found herself in not-so-friendly territory as she defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on “The View.”
The show’s co-hosts confronted her on her friendship with the man Meghan McCain angrily referred to as a “cyberterrorist” who jeopardized American security.
(Video: The View)
The former “Baywatch” star said that Assange, with whom she has become quite close, is suffering from “deteriorating” health since he was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and is serving an 11-month sentence with possible extradition to the U.S.
“It’s devastating that people have fallen for this smear campaign, especially in America,” she said.
“I feel like an outsider looking in, looking at how America has embraced all this, this propaganda,” she added, saying Assange “inspired” her and encouraged her activism.
“He’s obviously ruffled the feathers of powerful people, and they want to keep him quiet,” she said.
“He was allegedly kicked to out of the Ecuadorian embassy because he was defecating everywhere,” McCain interjected.
“That’s a smear campaign — that’s not true,” Anderson fired back, asking McCain what she would do if locked in a room for six years.
“Well, I wouldn’t be a cyberterrorist, which he is,” McCain shot back. “He hacked information. His leaks included classified documents that put our national security at risk, our military and the lives of spies and diplomats at risk.”
“How many people have the American government killed innocently, and how many has WikiLeaks?” the actress retorted, getting a smattering of applause from the audience and a shout-out from one man.
“So you think the military is putting government at risk?” McCain asked.
“They have put many innocent lives at risk,” the actress said, continuing to defend Assange of having exposed war crimes that need to be punished.
She also defended him against the co-hosts questions about his role in the 2016 election and whether he was purposely helping Trump win the presidency.
“He wasn’t helping Trump. He was trying to tell the American people about Hillary Clinton so they could make an educated choice, and the FBI put the nail in that coffin,” she said, asserting that if the notorious hacker had any information on Trump he would have exposed it long ago.
“Spies go out and put their lives at risk … it’s classified for a reason,” McCain pressed, asking the actress about national security.
“I think that people like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning are heroes — and Julian Assange is a publisher,” Anderson contended, referring to the leakers during the Obama administration.
“Putin also thinks that,” McCain retorted, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He put people in danger by refusing to redact sensitive information including Social Security numbers and other private material,” liberal co-host Joy Behar chimed in.
“I think The New York Times and everybody else put out the same information, and even before him. I think he redacted more than they did,” Anderson said defensively. “He’s gone where no man has gone before, and he’s the man in the whale’s mouth. He’s the, you know, trying to set up so other people can make sense of it because it’s a new thing. It’s a new thing. We’re used to business as usual.”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg tried to get a sense of what Assange was trying to accomplish.
“What was his point because he really — he actually did hurt quite a few people. He actually did. And I want to know what did he think he was doing? What was the outcome in his mind supposed to be?” she asked.
The 52-year-old actress again defended Assange as someone who “believes in justice, believes in honesty, believes in exposing governments for what they’re really doing,” and insisted his exposure of information was meant as a way to inform people.
“I get that you consider him a whistle blower, but that’s also dangerous,” Behar suggested.
“He’s a publisher and he supports whistle blowers,” Anderson insisted, finally sending McCain over the edge.
“He’s a cyberterrorist. I’ll say it! I’ll say it!” McCain exclaimed. “I’m not going to stand by this. It’s ridiculous.”
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