I saw an excellent story last night on 60 Minutes II about National Iranian Television, a satellite entertainment/news channel based in Encino, California.
National Iranian Television sounds like the government’s official network, but it is anything but that. Watched by millions of Iranians with satellite dishes, NITV uses humor to attack the ruling Islamic regime.
The station began as a venture targetted at Iranians living in America and Europe, but though an engineering blunder, their signal was broadcast into Iran. The Iranian government has confiscated and destroyed satellite dishes in Iran, and jailed people for watching the channel. But they haven't stopped Iranians from watching. And reacting:
And the mullahs really couldn’t take what NITV did on Sept. 11. Hours after the attacks, Zia took to the air with a message for Iranian youth: “To show your feeling and share your feelings with American people, come to the Mossani square in Tehran and bring your candle.”
They brought their candles and their voices, shouting, ”Death to terrorists.” Six thousand demonstrators were called to the streets of Tehran by Zia Atabay in North Hollywood, the only show of support for America in the Islamic world.
The owner and talent on the station all have prices on their heads, but they keep at it, even though they're almost out of funds. They've asked the US government for grants, but haven't gotten any.
Here we have an example of the power of free speech, Iranians trying to entertain and inform other Iranians, having a liberating, moderating effect that simply couldn't be achieved by the US government. We should be supporting NITV's efforts, but we aren't. Personally, I think it would be an enormous investment in helping to temper the hatred of America in Islamic countries and portray the positive aspects of America to people in the Middle East. Currently, we're losing empathy for America due to virulent propaganda and rumor. Basically, supporting NITV is a win/win situation.
So write your Congressperson and tell them to support Federal grant money for NITV.
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| ||Posted 10/24/2002 3:28 PM - 39 Views - 1 eProp - 1 Comment|
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