Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt catchup

Apparently at some point this morning (in my time zone, that is), Egypt shut down Al Jazeera's Egyptian bureau and revoked their licenses; their broadcasts in English and Arabic have been taken off the air within the country.

An hour ago my twitter stream lit up with people talking about low-flying fighter jets buzzing the protesters (150,000 according to some reports) gathered in Tahrir Square. No attacks as of yet. And the protesters didn't move an inch.

Should I keep using the word "protester" or should I switch to something more appropriate?

This AJE interview with PJ Crowley is near eight minutes long, but trust me, the time will fly by because it's one of the most entertaining things you'll ever see. The interviewer, Shihab Rattansi, is wonderful, and I want to send him a present. I would pick out a favorite moment ("That's interesting," perhaps), but really it's the momentum of it all, the blow after blow to Crowley's insipid metaphors and non-answers, that is so magical.


Yasmin Hamidi on Twitter (via a retweet from Aaron Bady) says "Think colonialism is dead? Turn on @CNN & watch white men in suits debate wat role US shud play in deciding the fate of Egyptians."

UPDATE: It is of course entirely possible--likely, even--that I'm missing some subtleties here, but AJE is pissing me off with its attempts to organize this. They keep saying that the protesters need a "figurehead" or a "leader" to make their demands, and it's clear they want it to be ElBaradei (who is about to speak, apparently)--but, hello, this is what people making their demands looks like:

And then they keep saying that the protesters "need" the Muslim Brotherhood. At one point one reporter said that the Brotherhood can "organize people on the streets, and no one else can." But, hello, this is what people organizing themselves on the streets looks like:

The Muslim Brotherhood didn't do that. ElBaradei didn't do that. People did that.

UPDATE II: I don't find Fox News any more or less propagandistic than any of the other American networks, nor do I think their propaganda is in favor of anything different. I do, however, admire their methods, particularly their regular habit of "accidentally" mislabeling things:

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