IRAN's Unrest turned out to be bigger than expected But it made nary a wave in American media....Why?
July 10, 2003 / 7:03 PM ET
Yesterdays protests turned out to be bigger than expected, and produced many arrests and considerable violence. But they made nary a wave in American media. Neither the Washington Post nor the New York Times featured them on their web edition front pages today. The BBC had a lead story on Iran but it was about funeral arrangements for the pair of conjoined twins whose separation surgery failed. Stories on the pro-freedom protests were stuffed inside. But the blogosphere was buzzing. This led Jeff Jarvis to write:
The blogospheres news judgment is evident on Blogdex and its not the news judgment youll see on major news sites. On Blogdex right now, the top two stories are about Iran. Elsewhere (on the BBC or on Google News, for example), you wont find Iran on the front page.
Blogdex reflects the news judgment of the audience. It reflects the news the audience cares about. The two should not disagree. But they do.
But if youre interested in knowing more, you can visit Iranian blogger Hossein Derakshan (whose site is being blocked by the Iranian Mullarchy), Pejman Yousefzadeh, and the folks at Winds of Change, as well as the protesters own site, Project Free Iran.
In the meantime, as Jeff Jarvis notes, the blogosphere is mocking the Big Media for its inability, or unwillingness, to cover this issue. Check out this savagely accurate cartoon from Cox and Forkum. And speaking of cartoons, Chris Muirs Day by Day strip which, if life were fair, would be on the editorial pages of most American newspapers has made Iran a topic all week.
You can also see blog coverage of pro-Iranian-freedom protests in America which, like pro-war protests by Iraqi-Americans, have been almost completely ignored by Big Media here and here.
If Iraqis were protesting in these kinds of numbers against American occupation, it would be all over the news. And if American occupation authorities were engaging in the kinds of out-and-out thuggishness that the Iranian mullahs are, the world would be calling us uncivilized savages.
It's bad enough when a crucial story goes virtually unreported by the major media, but the BBC takes the cake in this story: Tehran jammed by protesters. They provide a list of actions taken by the tyrannical regime to suppress the protests, such as jamming outside radio and TV signals, disabling mobile phone systems, and arresting student leaders. The problem is that the BBC lists them under the subhead "Safety measures," which I'm sure is exactly the way mullahs categorize of them.
So why dont they care about what the mullahs are doing to Iranians? Is it because they dont care what happens to Iranians? Or because they dont care about thuggishness that cant be blamed on America? Either way, the media look bad.