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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Revolution Will Be Twittered

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran

--Alan Jackson, "Where Where You (When the World Stopped Turning)

Although you truckbuddies know that the Administration's huge, hurtful betray of trust has absorbed my attention the last few days, that doesn't mean I haven't kept an eye on the earthshaking events in Iran, and I hope you have too. Sure seems like CHANGE is about to happen in a big way over there.

When it comes to foreign affairs, I wouldn't say I'm quite as naive as Alan Jackson claims to be in his song; but on the whole, things on the other side of the globe don't interest me nearly as much as things here at home because I do realize I don't know enough about overseas matters to speak confidently about them; and in any case, I feel nothing I say or do can make much of a difference over there.

But Andrew Sullivan has been blogging practically nonstop for the last 3 days about it, as have other sites; and it seems this is Twitter's shining moment. The fascist pigs of the Ahmadinejad regime - he's the guy who came to New York and said in a speech "There are no gays in Iran" - after stealing an election in broad daylight, and sending the religious police out to bludgeon or shoot down demonstrators - including women and children - have tried to shut down internet sites and foreign TV and news services in the country, but demonstraters have organized and gotten words and pictures out to the world via Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking tools. Very cool.

And this might spell a revolution in the way we get our news; because that CNN news Alan sang about is woefully, miserably behind the curve on this. I don't have satellite or cable, but I pulled up the CNN news website last night, and watched a few of their little videos on the situation in Iran - and golly gee, it gave the impression that Oh well, there was some election and a few students got out in the street and yelled about it, big deal.

Something's very fishy about CNN - which twenty years ago was the place to go for world news - remember Tianmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first Gulf War? But I noticed last summer when they were reporting on the Democratic convention, as soon as a major speaker got done, instead of doing a little summary and commentary as most networks would, they immediately switched to some Republican machete-mouth, cutting down everything that was just said. I thought then something was very wrong at CNN - now I'm sure of it. Which means, fellas, you can't just sit back in your La-Z-Boy anymore and flip on CNN and think you are getting all the news, or getting it right. That's sad - and scary.

And think about the MSM coverage of gay issues too, in this regard.

A reader of Sullivan's has this to say, which is a wake-up call for all of us:

Reading your blog over the past 30 something hours makes me realize why the MSM is really finished. I mean, this point has finally hit home.You are blogging real time events, with descriptions, evaluation, analysis, and eye witness accounts. You are gathering information from a myriad of sources and putting it out there for a cohesive message. CNN, NY Times, et al are merely running an article about "thousands" of protesters. Its a canned message from just a few stale sources.The revolution is definitely on in Iran. And its on in American journalism too.
Andrew says: "And I'm doing it on the end of a pier in Cape Cod surrounded by two beagles and a water-pistol (to control Dusty's howling)."

I recommend you go stay up to date with Andrew's coverage, which is not as light-hearted as all that. It's democracy versus fascism, and it's not pretty, guys.

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