Back in 1970 when America was roiling with unrest about the war in Vietnam and racial injustice, poet Gil Scott Heron wrote the revolution will not be televised. Heron was blasting TV for its ability to mollify the masses. Likewise perhaps by allowing Egypt the use of the internet Hosni Mubarak thought it was the next best thing to bread and circuses. What neither Heron nor Mubarak could foresee was a medium so vast and so flat that it was perfect for connecting the like minded. "Give us your outraged, give us your humiliated" was the cry of the social networks. A source of power so formidable it didn't need a charismatic leader. There was no pyramid of power handing down orders. What they had was consensus. And what they did was almost post ideological. The only isms that came into play were idealism, pluralism and nationalism. Cut. Paste. Overthrow.
Just a minute. I'm Harry Smith, CBS News.