Let the assimilation begin

UPDATE: I am the Universal Oppressor (white american male). Riverbend is a Woman. With a book out.

Over at Baghdad Burning, my favorite Iraqi blogger has a post up about the American media content pushing its way onto the airwaves:

Al-Hurra, the purported channel of freedom, is the American gift to the Arab world. What they do is show us translated documentaries about certain historical events (American documentaries) or about movie stars (American stars) or vacation spots. Throughout this, there are Arab anchors giving us the news (which is like watching Fox in Arabic). It’s news about the Arab world with the American twist.

Conveniently enough, I was just looking for something as a counterpoint to my Brand America slide in the presentation I’m working on for my grad class. This is the deal: new technology opens up borders, makes them irrelevant, and this is a two-way cultural exchange. America gets tastes of other cultures and other cultures get tastes of America, right? Except for the small problem that Brand America tends to have a reach of oh, say, a billion viewers or three, while Riverbend at Baghdad Burning has about 2800 people linking to him her (which is a HUGE number for a blog – he’s currently #48 on Technorati’s Top 100).

So much for a two-way exchange. Imagine that for each person linking to Baghdad Burning, there’s a million people being reached by American broadcast media. Ugh.