Condi Rice appointee kept Twitter going…

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.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Sissy Willis

    Papa Ratzi’s thing about the church starting again from a small group of true believers comes to mind.

  • alexakim

    But that will puncture the Permissives/Liberals self-image.

  • Foxfier



  • NewEnglandDevil

    “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.”

    Animal Farm anyone?


  • Athanasius

    It’s good to see that the Obama administration hasn’t managed to weed out all the “bigoted, uncaring” holdovers from the Bush administration. If they had, chances are there would be efforts to aid the Iranian theocrats to track down the Tehran twitterers.

  • Regina

    Isn’t it funny that the counter-culture has become far beyond what they perceived as the worst aspects of their parents’ generation? Avaricious, meddlesome, cold and uncaring (and of course I speak in generalities here). What irony!

    Although, as someone who was “born Democrat, baptized Catholic” in the words of Tim Russert, I started my move away from the Democratic party as an undergraduate in 1971. I was upset by the meanness of the liberals I met then. So many seemed to love humanity but really dislike individual people.

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  • tim maguire

    I just like that his name is Cohen, and yet he still seems to be able to do his job.

  • texas


    Did you see this? Mike Pense introduces Res. to stand in solidarity with Iranian people:

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