Compare and contrast L.A. Times coverage of the Iranian election with the information you can get on a blog like Hot Air. Here’s how the L.A. Times is covering the Iranian election this morning. In an article titled Iran election anger boils; Ahmadinejad defends results, we see a big picture of Dinnerjacket raising his hands in victory, a caption quoting him describing his “relection” (editors?) as “free and real” — and a description of him as “[v]igorous and assertive.”
It takes the paper until the 15th paragraph to let the reader know that the U.S. is skeptical:
In a television appearance today Vice President Joe Biden spoke skeptically about the election results.
“It sure looks like the way they’re suppressing speech, the way they’re suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there’s some real doubt,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if Ahmadinejad had won the vote.
You want better coverage than that? Yes, you do. So go to the Internet. Start at Hot Air, where the headline is: Senior U.S. official: Yes, the Iranian election was rigged. The very first sentence tells us: “The White House is playing it cool lest U.S. support for Mousavi discredit his supporters but U.S. analysts have little doubt. The fix is indeed in.” Further down we are told: “No one but no one is taking the election numbers seriously, which makes this a full-blown legitimacy crisis for a regime that’s never been very legitimate to begin with.”
DRJ also had an excellent post on the crisis last night, noting: “Text messaging, cell phones, universities, websites, and newspapers have been shut down, and the streets of Tehran have erupted in violence.” Sounds like a normal election to me. “Free and fair” indeed.
Mousavi’s Twitter feed is here. By checking Allahpundit’s friends feed one is able to discover a number of other valuable Twitter feeds with insight, including Yashar Khazdouzian, IranRiggedElect, TehranBureau, Jim Sciutto of ABC, Alireza, Iran Election 2009, Raymond Jahan, and Change_for_Iran. (You doubted the power of Twitter? You saw it as an escape from knowledge — a medium where people talk about what they’re having for lunch? Great. Get left behind while the rest of us use it.)
Meanwhile, we have this:
According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.” They were gathering there because their kids are missing and they were trying to find out where they are.
The Iranian people are some of the most pro-U.S. people on the face of the planet. They marched in support of the American people after 9/11, in marked contrast to the celebrations in the Arab world. And now they’re forced to put their hopes in a clown like Obama, who has pledged to meet with Dinnerjacket without preconditions. Will that promise still hold in the face of an election that — despite the L.A. Times‘s lack of clarity on the point — is a clear-cut case of fraud?
Why do I think the answer may be yes?
UPDATE: How could I forget Michael Totten?
Meanwhile, the people in Iran are calling for people to bring down Khamanei’s web site by linking a page that automatically reboots it every second. They claim victory in having brought down Dinnerjacket’s web site. The Iranian authorities themsleves shut down communications infrastructure in Iran to interfere with the elections . . . It’s a valid question to ask: why should they be treated any differently?
UPDATE x2: At the very least, for journalistic reasons, I plan to check in frequently at Ahmadinejad’s and Khamanei’s web sites, to see if this scheme is working.
Very frequently. Because of the journalism. (P.S. I am removing handwringing language from the post about whether DNS attacks are legal. What the Iranian government is doing isn’t legal.)
UPDATE x3: Lots of good stuff at the Huffington Post, here. Yes, it’s the Huffington Post — but it’s very good and being updated constantly.
UPDATE x4: More from Hot Air here. Dinnerjacket is refusing to guarantee Mousavi’s safety. He must feel very confident that Obama lacks the guts to do anything even if he assassinates the opposition.
And a photo from the protests, which looks to me like it has the potential to become iconic:
And the latest: a Twitter report that there are tanks in the streets of Tehran.
UPDATE x5: nk asks in comments: what are the links for Dinnerjacket’s and Khamanei’s sites? They are here: Khamanei and Dinnerjacket. Khamanei’s site still appears to be up, despite the entreaties (linked above) to take them down.
A good place to follow the Twitter updates on the election without having to sign up for a Twitter account: go to Twitterfall and click on #iranelection at the left. You’ll get a scrolling of Twitter updates relating to the election.
UPDATE x6: I just sent $50 to TehranBureau.com. I encourage others to do the same.
UPDATE x7: If you can’t access the Tehran Bureau web site to make a donation, you can PayPal the money to this e-mail address.