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Obama's Latest Miniseries

"It's very hard for me to swallow that one. First of all, I've got one television station entirely devoted to attacking my administration. I mean, you know, that's a pretty big megaphone. And you'd be hard-pressed, if you watched the entire day, to find a positive story about me on that front."

Obama added: "I think that I've been probably as accessible as any president in the first six months -- press conferences, taking questions from reporters, being held accountable, being transparent about what it is that we're trying to do."

Transparency? Actually, not so much. "The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions," MSNBC reports.

Tweeting the Revolution

Twitter has become so important in the Iranian showdown that State Department officials asked the small company to postpone a maintenance shutdown Monday so as not to choke off communication by the opposition.

Like everyone else, I've watched with fascination and amazement as Iranians have turned to the likes of Twitter and YouTube to get out their message in the face of a repressive regime that has banned or restricted foreign reporters.

These online tools have enabled those who believe Ahmadinejad stole the election to organize the massive street demonstrations that have rocked the country. Perhaps more important, they have provided a back channel to transmit a message to the world.

"Forget CNN or any of the major American 'news' networks," says the Nation's Ari Berman. "If you want to get the latest on the opposition protests in Iran, you should be reading blogs, watching YouTube or following Twitter updates from Tehran, minute-by-minute.

"Some absolutely riveting and thrilling reporting has been done over Twitter by a university student in Tehran who goes by the moniker Tehran Bureau. The Iranian authorities shut his website down over the weekend and he was attacked by hard-line militias but he's been able to send short posts around the world over Twitter . . .

"I'm not sure what the Iranian regime expected when they fixed the election, but the outpouring of texts, tweets and video from Tehran has sparked a worldwide solidarity movement."

But a note of caution from Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

"It's true that however things turn out in Iran, this will probably be forever known as the Twitter Revolution. And yet, I want to dissent a bit.

"I followed the events of the weekend via three basic sources. The first was cable news, and as everyone in the world has pointed out, it sucked. Most TV news outlets have no foreign bureaus anymore; they didn't know what was going on; and they were too busy producing their usual weekend inanity to care. Grade: F.


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