And it’s true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality.
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.
– – “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – U2
I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. In 1993 I watched him perform on stage in Tel-Aviv. I am not indifferent to the loss of this pop icon. Still, I cannot help think what I hastily wrote two weeks ago has been proven to be true: if the events in Iran are a test case then the mainstream media is not doing its job. Virtually all the major news programs have transformed into Entertainment Tonight, dedicating valuable time to insignificant events: there is no will, no there is a will, she doesn’t want the kids, no she does want the kids, open casket, closed casket. COME ON ALREADY! The guy died – that was news. When the autopsy report will be published – that will be news too. Everything in between is just noise, and lots of it.
As honest newsmen turn into gossip guys in front of our eyes, people who are interested in getting the news, the real news, must turn to new media, and I am pretty sure they won’t be back soon. Like other industries before them, the television industry is dying a slow ungraceful death in front of our eyes. Reading from TMZ.com on the air is the beginning of the end.
One invaluable source of real news from Iran has been Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney who’s been live blogging since the uproar began. Whatever name future historians will give to the events we are witnessing in Iran, there is no doubt that this is a complex process that cannot be reduced to dichotomies of good and bad, free and oppressed, conservative and reformist. As far as I can tell, the only way to gain any knowledge and hopefully some understanding of how events unfold in this foreign country, is to spend a couple of minutes every day scanning through Pitney’s updates.
HuffPo’s Iran live blogging is also where I found out about this latest act of solidarity: it is U2 performing last night at Barcelona, flooding the stage with green light in support of the protesters, singing ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday‘ as the lyrics in Farsi run across the video screens.