There are many words that can be used to describe Julian Assange's television debut overnight -- which kicked off with an interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah -- but the best of all them would be 'scripted'.
That's the overall impression we believe Russia Today viewers must have taken away from the WikiLeaks founder's first interview as part of his The World Tomorrow series. The program, based on a Skype conversation, was made to look natural -- with a makeshift studio, Assange's creased and casual collared shirt, sporadically placed notes and empty coffee cups -- but it was anything but.
Still under house arrest in England, Assange showed that he's got clout when it comes to engaging with some of the world's most difficult-to-access leaders -- Nasrallah has not given a television interview in six years -- but that he's unwilling to put the boot in when it counts.
He asked questions that were obviously pre-prepared and sounded as if they'd also been pre-approved (or at least pre-provided to Nasrallah). He did not fire back at Nasrallah's responses.
Speaking from a secret location, Nasrallah did reveal that his Syria-backed Hezbollah had sought to work as a mediator in the Syrian conflict, but that the group could not convince the opposition to participate.
And Assange did throw one curveball at the end of the half-hour interview, asking: "Isn't Allah or the notion of a god the ultimate super power, and shouldn't you as a freedom fighter also seek to liberate people from the totalitarian concept of a monotheistic god?"
Following the interview, Assange told the camera he'd chosen to work with the Kremlin-backed channel in a bid to reach a broader American audience.
"Unfortunately, the majority of big networks in the United States are now not capable of effectively criticizing the abuse of U.S. military power," he said.
See the video yourself, even if only for the catchy credits.