Thursday, December 31, 2009

Taking issue with Iran coverage

A reader (who wishes to remain anonymous) sent me this: " I'm a - almost - loyal reader of your blog, and share many of your views, so this is not an angry mail or anything, but I think that your coverage of Iran could use more of the same standards that you apply to other fields... Thanks in advance for considering my point of view openly. This post for example:
Seems to be the exact kind of writing (from journalism standards point of view) of syrian, saudi, Israeli papers, NYT, etc.. that you would make fun of ... When I read i couldn't but laugh at it... "part of the plan", "more focused on schools", "they are going to work on (or "islamize") the universities" (that one was 1984-ish in its prediction of future plans and judgement based on them) "TV series are more anti-women than ever" (on which planet ever does the previous statement qualify as anything?)....With all my respect to your source, but you hold the responsibility of publishing here. Just one more comment, your opinion about the courage of Iranian people... As much as i agree about the courage, values, heritage and resolve of the Iranian people, and respect, I think that your comparison of this courage with that of Arab peoples is totally out of place... These people have been running in the streets, protesting, burning (BURNING) the vehicles of the basij and guards, disrupting public life for 6 months now, and almost no effort has been done from the part of the security forces to stop them (100 people dead in 6 months)... I am not saying that what happened is OK, but please have a same-level comparison.. When you said "why aren't there such protests in the streets of damascus, amman, riyadh, and cairo" when you know that any similar thing done by Arab masses would result in a mass-murder (many historical examples)... I even had a friend commenting, in our countries, if there is a protest of 10 people, 11 would be killed by the security forces - not to mention their friends and families going into prisons! Also you didn't post anything about the much-larger number of people who demonstrated in favor of Nijad yesterday, but that can be understood. I hope it isn't because all the people around you (elites, liberal) are anti-government anti-regime, and its normal because the poor people (majority of Iranians, majority of Nijad supporters) can't be expected to have the same coverage as the more photogenic, english-speaking, twitter-using rich kids (please compare with the Lebanese uprise of cauliflower here)
PS. Just to explain one more thing, I am never amused by the supreme leader (big brother) and hope that one good thing coming out of this very healthy movement in Iran is diminishing his strength and vitalizing the political life... Wilayat Al Faqih has always been one of the points that I hated the most about Hizbollah. I am not criticizing here, and wrote sincerely with the hopes of giving a positive advice.."