A Green Velvet Revolution
Those of us who remember being glued to our television sets during 1989 as one autocracy after another fell in Eastern Europe are experiencing a bit of deja vu. Iran is in apparent turmoil, as the aftermath of the disputed presidential election sends people into the streets, where they have been assaulted (and worse) by the police and paramilitary forces. And still they resist.
In 1989 it was television that gave people the ability to see the possibilities of freedom. Today, it is blogging, Twitter, and numerous other social networking connections, which are bypassing the mainstream media controls of Iran, and (sad to say) too many outlets in the United States.
One blog doing incredible work is Andrew Sullivan
's over at The Atlantic
. Every day, seemingly every few minutes, he places YouTube videos, Twitter feeds, readers' responses both in Iran and elsewhere, and numerous reports of various kinds that provide up-to-the-minute reporting of what's going on. It's gritty, on the street, thoughtful, and intensely engaged in a way that offers a stunning example of the new face of electronic journalism. With the notable exception of the New York Times
, this blog and others are blowing the U.S. media out of the water—frankly revealing how unable to break out of the routine of segments and advertising breaks they are. I have been glued to Sullivan for days.
Oh, and by the way: the image to the right is a way of expressing solidarity with the protesters. They should have all our best wishes.