I’m usually not one to bash the “mainstream media”. Perhaps it’s because I agree with it’s extreme left wing agenda. But over the past two days, it has been very challenging to get real, credible news of the recent Iranian election. In times like this, one has to resort to blogs, youtube, and other reports. Unfortunately, this means that most of the reports are anecdotal, but perhaps this is because it is impossible to get any official reports out of Iran right now.
There are a couple of big questions and interesting storylines here:
Protests in the streets of Iran don’t necessarily indicate any fraud took place. They indicate a frustrated populace, but what if those people really are only 32% of the population, as the election results imply. In the United States, there are protests all the time, and more often than not, they are from fringe groups or younger citizens rather than a majority. It is possible that there is a silent majority in Iran that approves of their current president. Because of the lack of information coming out of Iran, we don’t really know whether this is a major protest, or whether it’s all in Tehran.
Are American feelings and hopes of ousting Ahmadinejad contributing to our reluctance to accept the results? Is this all just wishful thinking? It’s difficult to tell. In the months leading up to the election, Ahmadenijad had strong leads in polls. For example, InTrade.com (a site that allows people to bet on outcomes of things like elections) has historically been one of the strongest predictors of election results. Through June 1, the odds were that he had a 60% chance of winning the election (not that he would win with more than 60% of the vote though). Since June 1, his odds plummeted, reaching lower than 20% just two days ago. With the gambling line so volatile, it’s hard to know how trustworthy it is. Yet these odds mirror standard polling in Iran, which showed a similar crash for Ahmadinejad. Were the polls that we saw ones that were reported to Western media outlets? Or were they real? Few American journalists seem to know enough to have the answer.