Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Fake News: Confusion reigns in Iran

June 30, 2009

TEHERAN, Iran (June 27) – Confusion continued to distort the news out of Iran this week as the predominance of Internet reporting and the lack of mainstream media coverage contributed to widespread misunderstanding of election results and their aftermath.

On Sunday, a partial recount of the June 12 presidential vote was apparently conducted, with officials verifying that two does indeed follow one and that six comes before seven but after five. The government-run election council had to verify with ruling mullahs that when you get to nine you have to switch over to a two-digit tabulating system, though this took only several hours to substantiate.

Confirmation still could not be had on why tens of thousands of Iranians had taken to the streets of this capital city in recent weeks, and what the government reaction was to that outpouring. Though there were unverified reports that soldiers and riot police were attacking the crowd, other indications were that the military was merely distributing samples of a new scent being marketed by the incumbent president. Much like kiosk workers are known to do at American malls, the soldiers were offering to spray the perfume and cologne – called Ah Maní du Jod – on passers-by. Only if pedestrians refused the fragrance were they beaten.

Meanwhile, defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi was disputing earlier claims that he said he’d be willing to “become a martyr” to the cause of political reform.

“What I said is that I’d like to be a ‘marter,’ or merchant,” Mousavi told the Arabic language Al Jazeera news channel. “I’ve grown weary of this insurgency and would like to once again be a simple man of the bazaar. I definitely don’t want to be a sacrificial victim, that’s for sure.”

Other uncertainty on the volatile situation included the mistaken belief that the “clerics” were simply a group of administrative assistants who had to type up the results; that Ayatollah Khamenei (pronounced “hominy”) is a different bearded turbaned guy than Ayatollah Khomeini (pronounced “hoe-may-nee”), who died 20 years ago; and that the former president is actually Hashemi Rafsanjani, not New Jersey rocker “Rafsan” Johnny.

Western media were still trying to corroborate the assertion that citizens who gathered in public squares to demonstrate over the past two weeks were in fact the vanguard of a so-called “green revolution,” or whether that term simply described improved agricultural techniques in the developing world or perhaps a growing emphasis on renewable, non-polluting energy sources.

The world is a-Twitter

June 19, 2009

There seems to be no middle ground on the subject of Twitter. People either think it’s a huge waste of time, or they believe it’s the greatest thing since Christ died on the cross for our sins, crying out in his final words “OMG, OMG, y hast thou 4saken me?”

I generally fall in the former camp, but that’s probably because I’m an older gentleman who can’t understand why the world would be interested that I just flossed between my maxillary first molar and maxillary second molar, or took yet another breath, number 12,845 today. However, with the current political upheaval going on in Iran, and few opportunities for the Western press to report on the event first-hand, Twitter and other social media have gained new respectability in recent days for giving at least a narrow, self-involved view of what’s going on.

I wrote back in a January website review ( of the ridiculous legitimacy given to such commentators by CNN’s afternoon news coverage, hosted by Rick Sanchez and his army of Tweeters. Rather than do a fresh site evaluation this week, I thought I’d check in with to see how they’re reacting to breaking events half a world away being covered by people even more amateur than their regular staff.

First, however, I need to participate in the “Quick Vote” on their home page: “Would you like to live in the moon?” I’ll vote “no,” because there is no air there and, if you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll know that a 75/25 mix of nitrogen and oxygen like the blend found here on Earth is my “favorite atmosphere.”

Now, let’s see what the social media types are contributing to the international conversation about the Iranian elections and their aftermath (original spellings and punctuation included):

  • We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan who will be next North Korea or Iran
  • Iran needs a Leader not a Dictator, oh wait that’s America.
  • Sour losers send pictures!!! Hahaha, and Rick supports you. CNN has a history of spreading hatred and lies.
  • I need to sell this watch I have
  • We (the US) have toops on Iran’s Eastern and Western borders, and have our Navy on their Southern border. I think that’s enough influence in and on Iran.
  • If President Obama is the next Hitler, I will make sure I join him and gas your ass you dumb cracker!!!
  • David Letterman was just doing his job, he doesn’t right all his jokes, he was doing what he was told to say, and we think we have freedom of speech in America?
  • I have respect for you unlike most of the anchors on CNN. Beside you Jack is my fav and Anderson well he is just easy on the eyes.
  • If you have years and been diagnosed with schizophrenia, then maybe I’d understand a lot better when a person goes from weighing 130 to 190 in three months and still manages not to flip out ever
  • I live in the ATL and never see Ricky Sanchez
  • Is anybody covering what’s going on in Peru? What’s influence and and connection, if any, to the US privately controlled banks in Peru by certain individuals from Texas … Hmmm?
  • Nancy Pelosi and her husband had stock in AIG.
  • Hey Rick, just wanted to drop you a quick note. I think that whoever came up with the idea to interview an 11-year-old a day after his father was shot dead should be terminated immediately, that’s not news.
  • Look forward to you covering the overdue firing of Miss California USA
  • With cars like that we will be the Flinkstones for real.
  • Con-Agra has their own maintenance personnel … he was up on the roof which had not been deemed safe and he was wearing no safety equipment to be dealing with ammonia … did I see a face shield, a gas mask, safety shoes??? NO!!!
  • Al Gore may make heavy metal more popular by saying we need to put two parental notices on all music with explicit lyrics.
  • I wonder if they will get this page fixed or if Rick is just going to let it run itself into the ground, since he like Twitter so much more?
  • Rick Sanchez is an employee of wall street who line his pockets so he will say nothing bad about obama. Obama is also an employee of wall street. They are all puppets.
  • By the by, where is Francis? I miss the Dynamic Duo at work.
  • On the LA Lakers party … I think its ashame that they “have to” throw a party in a ecomnic crisis. Older people that have alztimers are being sent away while the fans celebrate.
  • OK I am on the short bus. You tell me about Africom.
  • I am not an employee that works for Rick. I am a normal everyday joe that gets on Ricks page to tell what I think about what is going on/wrong in our country.
  • Why is your mom trying to call me? She love me long time!
  • The election in Iran is a complete sham! The country might as well abolish election, because it’s merely a finger-painting event.
  • Looks like Ali Badri is one of those Ahamadijejad police opening twitter accounts to try to make it look like anyone actually voted for that thug.
  • Why doesn’t CNN do a story about all the moms that are sentenced each summer to lunatic kids dragging buckets of water between the kitchen sink and the backyard?
  • Democracy is coming baby! We bringing it to all of you guys, don’t worry.
  • You can delete my comments but my messages is eternal and they will follow you until the last day of your lives.
  • Check this out: former Chicago inmates … were handcuffed while giving birth. Can you please look into this story?
  • This man needs no respect from us nergos.