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The OSCE And Nut The Squirrel

Why do we wash behind our ears? Who really looks there?
Why do we wash behind our ears? Who really looks there?

Do cows have calf muscles?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

So asks Nut The Squirrel, an apparent fan of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the world’s largest regional security organization.


Let me explain.

We recently started “tweeting” here on the English-language website of RFE/RL. We have Twitter accounts for our newsfeed (@RFE_RLNews), our Watchdog blog (@Rights Watchdog), the Power Vertical blog (@PowerVertical), and of course, the Transmission blog (@TransmissionRFE).

We’re following the OSCE’s Twitter feed, as we do the feeds of many other groups that have an impact on RFE/RL’s vast broadcast area.

In an effort to expand our own Twitter networks here, we were looking through the list of who the OSCE itself is following. Whom does this venerable rights and security body think is worth paying attention to?

Nut The Squirrel, for one. ClickHereDummy and Adoptingapet, too.

The OSCE -- like many other organizations, we're assuming -- must simply follow anybody who follows them. Makes for some strange bedfellows, though.

Is someone at the OSCE really paying attention to the tweets of Psychiclovers (“Genuine Psychic Insights”), such as “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.”

Why, the OSCE is even following my tweets! I’m sure they were spellbound by my “Finished Season 1 of "The Wire." Good stuff. I'm not sure it's the greatest thing that's ever been on TV, but pretty #*@*&$ good. True dat.

A lot of folks question the validity of this whole Twitter phenomenon. Is anyone really listening? Is the whole Twitter house built on a foundation of sand? One of the most popular Twitterers here in Prague is following almost 57,000 people, with 53,000 followers of his own!

"You follow me and I’ll follow you, even if I’m not really listening to you and I suspect you’re not listening to me," says the elephant in the room.

(I do recognize Twitter's fantastic potential as a tool for gathering and disseminating news reports, but that's another blog entry.)

I’m following the tweets of the CNN International Desk, and they’re following 188 people -- mostly, it seems, other CNN correspondents.

Or take Joe Biden. Is he really scrolling the TwitterFon app on his iPhone to catch the latest tweets by weird_girl ("I like zombies, Halloween and all things dark.") and antibullshit, both of whom he’s listed as following? (I must admit, however, that tweets from SenateFloor probably came in handy when he was on the campaign trail.)

Funnily enough, Biden’s not one of the 1,150,359 people following BarackObama.

-- Grant Podelco

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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