© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

'Julian Assange Personal Internet Service': A Stand Up Comedian Outside An Embassy


It has been four days since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had his Internet curtailed, and that has inspired some creative tech support, you might say.


First a quick back story - Assange has been living in Ecuador's embassy in London for four years since Ecuador granted him political asylum.

SIEGEL: Earlier this week the Ecuadorian government acknowledged they decided to temporarily restrict web access to Assange. WikiLeaks tweeted they had activated the appropriate contingency plans.

MCEVERS: Those plans did not include this.


BOBBY MAIR: Mr. Assange, I'm here to read you today's highlights because I know you're having problems with your connection.

MCEVERS: That's Canadian comedian Bobby Mair standing outside the embassy with a sign that read, Julian Assange's personal internet service.

SIEGEL: To make it clear, Mair did not read the entire Internet to Julian Assange through that bullhorn. Actually he only did it for about a half hour.


MAIR: I have a lot of information to get through. OK, there's no word from Bob Dylan on his Nobel Prize for literature. So they don't know if Bob Dylan is going to collect his prize.

SIEGEL: Mair works for a comedy show on RT. That's the TV network backed by the Russian government, though he told us that the Russians didn't put him up to this. In fact he says while some people took his effort as support for Assange, others thought it was to mock him.

MAIR: We think of Julian Assange as this man who's constantly fighting the government, but like anyone, most of the time people spend on the internet, it must just be pointless things. So I read him the news about, like, pointless news stories and his horoscope and kind of tried to do the normal things that we all use the Internet for.

MCEVERS: Either way, Mair says everyone could have some sympathy for the situation Julian Assange finds himself in.

MAIR: Like, I've been at home alone before and lost the Internet, and if I didn't have a book to read, I just felt crazy.

SIEGEL: Comedian Bobby Mair, the man who yesterday read to the Internet in part to Julian Assange...


SIEGEL: You want to know what's trending on Facebook? I can read that to you. I figure I'd start with your horoscope. For the next few weeks, be mindful about moving your body and pampering it with massages and treatments.


MAIR: Slow down in the face of stress. That's something you're definitely dealing with. Try meditation or even a daily dance break. (Unintelligible) this year, it will be easy to transform anything routine into ritual. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.