What the new film "The Fifth Estate" makes clear is that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assamge is an egomaniac with loyalty to no one but himself. No, he is no boy scout.
But America, post-Watergate, has grown up. THE WASHINGTON POST's outing of about how leaders really behave shocked us out of simplistic theories about human beings.
Now, we factor in anyone's shadow side, revolutionaries included. Assange, actually, is a familiar type. We Baby Boomers first met him during the CounterCulture. Back then it was a he. That he rose from nowhere, riding an ideology and high-profile action to personal fame and a lot of attention from the ladies.
Assange might have peaked in his pursuit of whatever he was chasing. He is now limited to roaming around Ecuador's embassy in London. The kind of whistle-blowing WikiLeaks did has become embedded in the global culture. His influence will probably not endure. His name will just be a footnote in the history of how the Internet allowed for a whole new kind of activism.