Yes, of course they tried this one too, and I still run into people online from time to time who regurgitate it. CNN has had on guests who asserted that Assange is a pedophile, not once but twice. In January 2017 former CIA official Phil Mudd said live on air that Assange is “a pedophile who lives in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London,” and instead of correcting him on the spot CNN did nothing and shared the video on Twitter, leaving the tweet up until WikiLeaks threatened to sue. On what appears to have been right around the same day, Congressman Mike Rogers claimed on CNN that Assange “is wanted for rape of a minor.”
These claims are of course false, designed to paint Assange as literally the worst person in the world with all the very worst qualities you can imagine in a human being.
These claims came months after an alarming narrative control operation working behind the bogus dating website toddandclare.com persuaded a UN body called the Global Compact to grant it status as a participant, then used its platform to publicly accuse Assange, with whom it was communicating, of “pedophile crimes”. McClatchy reports the following:
“Whoever is behind the dating site has marshaled significant resources to target Assange, enough to gain entry into a United Nations body, operate in countries in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, conduct surveillance on Assange’s lawyer in London, obtain the fax number of Canada’s prime minister and seek to prod a police inquiry in the Bahamas.”
So that’s a thing.
This is an excerpt from the mega-article “Debunking All The Assange Smears”.