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    WikiRap (ft. Julian Assange)

    Somebody's enjoying their 15minutes! Satirical WikiLeaks rap featuring cameo by Julian Assange becomes internet hit
    24th December 2010

    He doesn't appreciate questions on his personal life and he's caused the biggest diplomatic uproar in decades - but at least Julian Assange can laugh at himself.

    Footage has emerged on the internet of controversial WikiLeaks founder making a cameo appearance on a satirical rap show.

    Australian internet hit 'Rap News' features Mr Assange on an edition entitled 'News World Order - the war on journalism', and also pokes fun at Donald Rumsfeld and and TV host Bill O'Reilly.

    The six-minute skit is the work of university researcher Giordano Nanni, 32, and English teacher Hugo Farrant, 30, whose political satire set to a hip hop beat has already achieved cult stats on YouTube.

    Parody: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears in a cameo in an internet rap video about his website

    Mr Assange contacted the pair after seeing a previous edition about the Pentagon's reaction to WikiLeaks releasing secret diplomatic cables.

    The Melbourne-based pair said: 'He really felt that we'd nailed it, so the possibility of going to London and collaborating on a new episode in the lead-up to the Iraq War Diaries was mooted.

    'We jumped at the chance and were on planes withing a fortnight.'

    After meeting with Mr Assange, the pair said it seemed logical to offer him a role in their parody and despite some initial hesitancy, the WikiLeaks boss was 'totally up for it'.

    It took several takes, but Mr Assange managed to get the rhythm and chimed in with the rap, performed by Mr Farrant.

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    He said: 'He was full of creative ideas for how to act and time the entrance, and he really enjoyed lampooning his own image.

    'It was fantastic - we're still pinching ourselves. He's a preternaturally calm person, but with a great sense of humour.'

    The edition attacks U.S. reasons for invading Iraq, as well as the detention of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons.

    Despite his 'incredibly hectic schedule' - including the leaking of the American diplomatic cables and his arrest over alleged sex assault in Sweden, Mr Farrant and Mr Nanni said Assange kept in touch with an 'occasional message shooting through the ether'.
    They added: 'It means a lot, of course.

    'Our intention with this project was to provide a meaningful contribution to the media discourse around certain issues, so to get access to such an influential figure... was very gratifying indeed.'

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    Claes Borgstrom, lawyer for two women who have made sex assault allegations against Assange in Sweden, said it was 'upsetting' the charges were being viewed as a smear against WikiLeaks

    Several of the 'Rap News' episodes deal with WikiLeaks and parody figures including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Libyan leader Moamer Gadhafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    The episode featuring Mr Assange has already received more than 400,000 hits since it was posted last week and the pair are planning their next edition.

    Mr Nanni said: 'Every time we do a new video, it gets bigger. The next one will be on an Australian issue.

    It comes as the lawyer for two Swedish women who have accused Assange of sex assault said the pair were not pawns of the CIA and were not pursuing charges for money.

    Claes Borgstrom said he found it 'upsetting' that Assange, his lawyers and supporters had suggested the case in Sweden was a smear campaign against WikiLeaks.

    He said: 'He's been spreading false rumours that he knows are untrue. It's reckless against these two women.

    'They, too, are supporters of WikiLeaks. They support its work.'

    Assange denies the allegations, which his lawyers say stem from a dispute over 'consensual but unprotected sex'.

    He is staying at a Norfolk mansion as part of his bail conditions as he fights extradition to Sweden.

    Critics have accused him of putting American lives at risk with the release of the cables, one of which revealed infrastructure deemed critical for U.S. interests.

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