New York Times wanted to be scooped on Wikileaks data

Last night’s SBS Dateline featured a fascinating piece about the background to the recent Wikileaks release. Check out the whole thing but this bit interested me particularly:

As the new material starts to circulate between the three publications the full scope of the data becomes clearer, and one of the partners seems to be getting a little nervous.

JULIAN ASSANGE: The latest squabble is not over the date, they are all happy with that, the precise time. So, anyway, The Times came back and said they don’t want to go first. They want us to scoop them.

GAVIN MACFADYEN: So they can claim they were reprinting someone else’s news. Exactly.

JULIAN ASSANGE: That’s right, so they can claim that we didn’t – we weren’t involved, we are just reporting what someone else did.

GAVIN MACFADYEN: It’s good. So who is going first.

JULIAN ASSANGE: ‘The New York Times’, wants,… wants a web-start-up press – they want a web start up press to scoop them.