Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


ICP on YouTube

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

After UN Vague on Dictators Tweets, ICP Said to Mock as Ban Takes War Crime Advice

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 9 -- Last week UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon read a speech that said, "Some dictators in our world are more afraid of tweets than they are of opposing armies." Inner City Press ignored the quote, assuming that Ban as on issues from Syria to UN reform had simply read from an over-heated script written elsewhere.

  But this Ban quote was noticed, and quickly gave rise to derision, including from international law professors who for once asked, "What's Ban Ki-moon smoking?"

  And so, along with questions on Syria, Yemen and the Congo, Inner City Press at Monday's UN noon briefing asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to clarify the comment and respond to the mocking. But first, Nesikry tried to hit back by implying that only Inner City Press was mocking Ban:

Spokesperson Nesirky: Let me check on that, Matthew. I think you had one other question, and then I think that will be it, okay?

Inner City Press: I want you to just clarify, there was a quote by the Secretary-General where he said that in our world some dictators fear tweets more than armies, it is a very interesting quote, but some people hav some questions, what exactly does it mean, which dictators is he referring to, is it really the tweets that they are afraid of or the people tweeting? Do you want to clarify it at all, because some have kind of mocked it.

Spokesperson Nesirky: I wonder who that might be who is mocking it, Matthew? But…

Inner City Press: Foreign Policy website, take a look at it.

Spokesperson: Well, let me just say it is very easy to parse speeches, remarks, articles, blogs — it’s very easy to do that. I think it is quite straightforward to note that tweeting has become a phenomenon in the political sphere; in the course of the Arab Spring that has been particularly apparent, but not just there and not just then. I think he is simply referring to that phenomenon, and the fact that, in some parts of the world, in some countries, you have seen tweets, you have seen other forms of social media playing a role in galvanizing public opinion and in providing dynamic movement for change. I think that’s — that’s a lot more than 140 characters — but I think that’s roughly where we are going.

[The Spokesperson later added that the Secretary-General would take part in a Google+ hangout with young people from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America on Tuesday, 10 April, from United Nations Headquarters in New York.]

  We'll see how that goes. But Monday evening Inner City Press observed Ban posing for photos almost entirely with South Koreans at a photo exhibit he was thanked for, and on the sidelines of which Ambassadors from the panoply of continents said he was exercising censorship and weakening the UN.

  At the same time, Ban accepted without comment an alleged war criminal as his adviser, then his minders tried to hinder Press coverage of the issue.

  No canned "Google Plus hang out" can make up for that. Watch this site.

Share |

Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]