Revolution Will Be Tweeted
epitaph for newspapers was delivered last week by, of all
people, Jason Jones on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
The New York Times, incredibly, allowed Jones
to interview several Times bigwigs, apparently not
realizing that these things never come out well for the interviewees.
And it didn’t. Sitting across a desk from assistant managing
editor Rick Berke, Jones pointed to a current copy of the
Times and said, “Show me one thing in there that happened
today.” Berke was left speechless.
The epitaph for the rest of mainstream media may have been
delivered last weekend, when Iran erupted into massive protests
over the stolen election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now, even
from under a rock, one should know that a populist protest
of any magnitude in a prong of W’s “axis of evil” is big news,
and that one in Iran could have major repercussions in global
geopolitics. A direct line can be drawn from Obama’s Egypt
speech, where he asked Muslims to reject demogogues and to
embrace peace, and these protests. And the energy of the youth-driven
movement that spontaneously erupted in Tehran and elsewhere
last Saturday, a combination of optimism and rage, recalled
nothing more than what happened right here a year ago, when
America rejected the politics of fear and embraced hope.
But, last weekend, you’d never have known about what was happening
if you were watching TV or reading the newspaper. Or even
looking at Google News. As for television, CNN was oblivious,
MSNBC was running those hideous inside-prison shows it seems
to think people like to watch on weekends, and the networks
were talking about the Palin-Letterman feud and whatever nonsense
Newt Gingrich just said. The newspapers and wire services
were merely parroting what governmental spokespeople were
saying on both sides, as per the MSM’s maddening and insane
penchant for providing “equivalence,” or uncritically stating
both sides’ positions without regard to the obvious truth.
Into Sunday and Monday, whatever reporting there was in the
MSM severely underplayed what was going on. Most uncritically
declared Ahmadinejad the winner of the election, despite growing,
unassailable proof that the election was a sham. Protest rallies
were described as “large” or “in the thousands,” despite photographs
popping up on the Internet and eye-witness accounts from nonreporters
that showed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people
in the streets.
Reporters were forbidden from the streets of Tehran, and the
government quickly shut down cell-phone service and blocked
Facebook, which is wildly popular in Iran, and hacked and
interfered with communications any way it could. But Twitter,
YouTube, e-mail, and photograph sites like Flickr quickly
emerged as the main portals of information from and for the
protesters. In the absence of any MSM interest in reporting,
it was the blogs that performed journalism, filtering the
spotty information coming in on the Internet, posting tweets,
pictures and video, and showing the world, beyond a doubt,
that Ahmadinejad and his Mullah enablers were wearing no clothes,
and that, as Obama observed on Monday, “there’s something
going on in Iran.” I’ve been watching the blogs from The
Atlantic’s Andy Sullivan and Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney.
I really don’t need (or trust) anyone else.
Apologists for the MSM have tried to brush aside the lack
of coverage with the lame “even reporters have to sleep sometime.”
Really? But networks don’t. CNN’s supposed to give
us the world, and it’s just been giving us excuses. And Nico
Pitney didn’t sleep; his blog was posting 24/7 for three days
straight. And Sullivan? When it was pointed out that the MSM
could have simply done what he was doing, Sully pointed out
that he was monitoring tweets and blogging from the end of
a pier on Cape Cod with his two beagles at his feet. That’s
his Situation Room.
We’ve had an interesting (and inadvertent) progression at
the music-biz-panel part of the monthly CRUMBS Nite Out events.
Two months ago we had the heads of a couple independent labels
and last month we had members of local music collectives.
This month we’re going right down to the roots with three
expert and extremely successful practitioners of home music
recording. We’ve got Dan Berggren, who makes magic out of
his home and taught audio engineering at Fredonia State for
25 years, Sara Ayers, whose DIY recordings have garnered her
an international fanbase and lots of TV play, and Troy Pohl,
who recently transitioned from making beautiful home-based
recordings to making beautiful studio recordings for Collar
City Records. We’ll be talking about things like maximizing
what you’ve got, knowledge vs. equipment, and when it’s time
to leave home. The event is June 25, 8 PM, Linda Norris Auditorium;
music at 7 with Eric Margan and the Red Lions, whose album
Midnight Book has been turning heads and blowing minds
throughout the Northeast (my space/theredlions).