Very interesting story out of media bistro.
When BayNewser heard that someone from the State Department had called Twitter to ask them to delay maintenance to allow Iranians to continue tweeting, we pictured some fusty old guy at Foggy Bottom in a rumpled Brooks Brothers suit and wayward spectacles.
Imagine our surprise, then, when we learned that, instead, it was a 27-year-old whiz kid whose job is to advise the State Department on how to use social media to promote U.S. interests the Middle East.
And imagine our further surprise when we learned this young gentleman wasn’t one of Barack Obama’s social media geniuses, but instead was a Condi Rice pick hired specifically to advise the State Department on young people in the Middle East and how to “counter-radicalize” them.
According to the New York Times, it was Jared Cohen, a member of the Policy Planning Staff, who placed the call to Twitter on Monday, inquiring about their plan to perform maintenance in what would be the middle of the day, Iran time. Following that call, Twitter decided to postpone their maintenance so that it would take place in the middle of the night Iran-time, even though that meant it would be the middle of the day U.S. time.
It’s a great story, you’ll want to read the whole thing – Cohen sounds like a very extraordinary, “bull-by-the-horns” type who has spent time making bathtub gin with young Iranians and says here:
“Iranian young people are one of the most pro-American populations in the Middle East,” Cohen told the New Yorker. “They just don’t know who to gravitate around, so young people gravitate around each other.”
CNN covered Cohen in 2007
As I wrote here, The State Department claimed to have asked Twitter (along with thousands of Tweeters) to reschedule their maintanence, but it seemed oddly out-of-step with the new “smart” and “hands off” diplomacy of the United States. The order to make that call did not seem like it could have come from an administration that seemed so detached and disinterested in events in Iran. It made no sense coming from an administration that looks, increasingly, like it wishes Iran would just go away. Now, it makes a little more sense.
Don Surber writes:
The idealists here are the conservatives. The Establishment is all the liberals.
Well that’s been true for a long time, it simply hasn’t been the narrative. The boomers and far left have not yet accepted that they are the farthest thing from the counter-cultural free-thinkers they believe they are. They are and have been “the establishment” for quite a while. When you own all media, when you are rich enough to own most of the coastline, when you control the narrative and you own all three parts of the government, you’re as “establishment” as it gets.