comScore Drinking Beer in Tehran: Can Today’s Protests Compete With the Beer Summit Coverage?

Drinking Beer in Tehran: Can Today’s Protests Compete With the Beer Summit Coverage?

greenbeerThere are stories in both the New York Times and the WSJ today about how President Obama is losing the health care debate in the media.

And despite his efforts — in speeches, news conferences, town-hall-style meetings and other forums — to address public misgivings, 69 percent of respondents in the poll said they were concerned that the quality of their own care would decline if the government created a program that covers everyone.

But losing to what exactly? Health care is a tough topic to sell on any day — it’s detailed, unwieldy and not at all sexy, all terrible qualities where cable coverage is concerned. However you’d think in a slow news July it might get a bit more traction. Instead what we have been getting is the Birthers, and discussions over what type of beer the President prefers. Is that about to change?

Sort of. At least one of these stories promises to dominate today: At 5pm the President will be meeting Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. Crowley (and probably most of the White House press corp.) for the much-hyped “Beer Summit.” But today also marks the 40 day anniversary of Neda’s death. Neda, you may recall, was the young Iranian woman whose death at the hands of Iranian police during last month’s sweeping election protest was captured on video and watched around the world, sparking outrage and quickly becoming a powerful symbol for the protesters. Rallies are being held in Iran today to mark it — rallies that Neda’s mother has apparently been banned from attending. ABC’s Jim Sciutto appears to be Twittering from the ground there at the moment and reports that: “Crowds chanting ‘death to the dictator’, others saying ‘Neda isn’t dead, the regime is.’ ”

Picture 3

Swampland’s Michael Scherer wrote an excellent post the other day about silly summer news and “the continuing, fascinating, slow, gradual turmoil in Iran.”

The story in Iran, in other words, appears to be far more interesting and uncertain than it was even was a few weeks ago, when all the Twitter caricatures turned green and CNN went wall-to-wall.

One wonders if today’s protests will be enough to knock the Iran storyline back into the headline space it occupied prior to being knocked out by the death of Michael Jackson. It would certainly be a nice break from the Birthers and the Poetry of Palin.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under: