to look pretty messy for a while.
First, as someone who doesn't know how Facebook, Twitter or My Space work, I must confess to having underestimated their relevance. What started as social networks all about "me" are turning into something "they" fear.
Today, I caught the tail end of Democracy Now, as Amy Goodman remembered I.F. Stone, whom most internet users probably never heard of. He was THE opposition journalist in the fifties and sixties, publishing his own newsletter (on paper). According to Wiki "At its peak in the 1960s, it had a circulation of about 70,000, but was regarded as very influential. In fact, The Weekly was ranked 16th in a poll of his fellow journalists of "The Top 100 Works of Journalism in the United States in the 20th Century".
Amy played part of a speech he gave in 1965 to students resisting the Vietnam War. this is the piece of evidence I have been waiting to have fall into my lap (readers know by now that I'm short on research, though long on insight and opinion). What we know recognize as a crisis of the fourth estate was no less one in 1965. Go to Democracy Now to hear I.F. Stone's speech which could have been written today.
I actually wrote this piece about Twitters yesterday but my new web host didn't save it. Meanwhile, another element popped up: not only is the Iranian middle class (Moussavi's supporters, let's not forget the lower classes back Ahmedinejad) giving the powers that be an internet headache, they are becoming ever more adept at staying one step ahead of efforts to shut down the sites that enable them to communicate. I fully expect that the next piece of news will be that they are being assisted in their efforts not only by the United States government, but also by Chinese dissidents, who have been playing this game for some time.
Here's where the irony comes in: Ahmedinejad has long been developing ties with both the Russians (he's currently in Moscow for a conference) and the Chinese - as well as the Venezuelans. Our analysts have a hard time getting their heads around the fact that such disparate regimes can have quite a bit in common: one of them being a concern for the lower classes in their respective societies - even if they cannot always bring to heel the middle classes who have found a way to implement the rallying cry of Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto.