14 July 2009

Great article, except for one point

Adam Elkus, who writes for a number of prominent defense and foreign policy blogs (e.g., Red Team Journal), just wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which he examines many misconceptions regarding the latest round of protests in Iran.

One misconception that Elkus tackles is the belief that social networking sites (i.e., Twitter and Facebook) were responsible for organizing the protests. In fact, as Elkus points out, their role may not have been as great as we might have initially thought. Elkus does not go so far as to say that these sites were entirely inconsequential, however. Personally, I think that the effects of social networking sites on the Iranian election certainly merit further study, and I'm inclined to belive that they might have at least had some effect on organizing.

However, I do have a slight disagreement with Elkus' conclusion to his article. Take a look:

The narcissistic way that the pundit class thinks about Iran is eerily similar to the delusions fostered by reading an exclusive diet of celebrity gossip magazines and TMZ.com. Many people form a false intimacy with the celebrities whom they read about and make "Angelina" and "Megan" central characters in their own lives. The media's fixation on placing America at the center of Iran's domestic drama is the political equivalent of convincing yourself that you're on a first-name basis with Megan Fox just because you follow her Twitter feed.

But while trying to talk to Ms. Fox in person may result in you getting roughed up by a steroid-abusing Sunset Strip bouncer, acting on the belief that America can and should influence events on the ground in Iran will get a lot of people killed and gravely harm our regional interests.

Actually, Megan Fox admitted in an interview that she doesn't Twitter. All the Megan Foxes (thus far) on Twitter are fake Megan Foxes.

And with that, I just validated the other 90% of Adam Elkus' conclusion...


alotstuff said...

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El Goyito said...

Have you seen this Clay Shirky talk? He def takes a different perspective than Elkus: