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Posts Tagged ‘Sohaib Athar’

LA Times’ Joe Flint on Twitter: Stop the Madness

Hold off on awarding the Pulitzer Prize to Twitter, or to Sohaib Athar, the Pakistani man who unwittingly Tweeted details of the operation that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden, says Joe Flint in his Company Town blog.

What he was hearing, it turns out, was U.S. forces helicoptering in and out of Abbottabad. He had no idea that was what was going on, and he said as much in interviews after the raid and the discovery of his Tweets.

On his Sunday CNN show, Reliable Sources, looking at the media, host Howard Kurtz said of Athar: “I love the fact that this guy scoops the entire world.”

He did not scoop the entire world. He heard noise and posted something on Twitter about it. He didn’t know what the noise was, so how did he scoop the world? Even he acknowledged as much in an interview with NBC.

If Twitter had been around in November 1963 and a Dallas resident Tweeted, “Just heard gunshots,” would we say that person broke the story of the JFK assassination?

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‘Sorry three-lettered-big-tv-news-channels for not replying to your emails’

Last night, when U.S. special forces raided a home that was being used by Osama Bin Laden, a Pakistani IT consultant  named Sohaib Athar live-tweeted the event, even as he did not know exactly what was happening.

Athar, who uses the Twitter handle “@ReallyVirtual” reported hearing the helicopter, as well as explosions about nine hours before president Obama addressed the nation.

Suffice it to say, he has been inundated with interview requests, requests which he does not seem inclined to take at the moment. Shortly before noon ET he tweeted:

“I don’t own a TV set and stopped watching TV many years ago. Sorry three-lettered-big-tv-news-channels for not replying to your emails.

Athar is not completely ignoring the media, however. Al Jazeera English says that he will appear as a guest on its program “The Stream” at 4:30 PM ET.

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