Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eugene Robinson is being icky

Eugene Robinson is being icky, and I care because he is supposed to be a relatively liberal or progressive columnist (one of the very few to appear in the Post).

Here's what's bothering me.

1. On Wednesday he wrote about following Haiti news on Twitter (a shorter version of that piece appeared in print Thursday). He writes:
I went looking for information on Twitter because of the role it played last summer during the massive anti-government protests in Iran. While the Iranian government managed to block traditional news sources, it couldn’t stop the steady flow of tweets coming from demonstrators in the streets of Tehran, men and women armed only with mobile phones and uncommon courage.
Oh yes, all those men and women on the streets, tweeting in ENGLISH.

Look, there were some tweeters reporting real actual news in Tehran. But not very many. We're talking possibly a few dozen; possibly way fewer than that. Almost all of the tweeting was by people not actually there. This has been rehashed over and over again. But Robinson still manages to get it wrong.

2. In "A terrorism designation Cuba doesn't deserve" earlier this month, Robinson wrote about how the US government was making a political move to include Cuba in its list of 14 nationalities that would be targeted for further screening for people on incoming flights. Good point. But he wrote it implying he thought it was a good thing that we were dividing up the world into the 'likely terrorists' and not so likely terrorists. His problem was just that Cuba was on it. Which is funny and stuff until the next Timothy McVeigh appears.

And Robinson referred to Cuba as "one of the most tightly locked-down societies in the world" which is, you know, not so true.


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