Memo to the Media: Obama Did Not Invent 'Yes We Can'

The corporate news claims Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "co-opting" Obama's election slogan. But it was never his to begin with.

Among the silly stories currently being peddled by the networks is the report that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stolen Barack Obama's "Yes, we can" slogan in advance of his country's June 12th election. Earlier today, MSNBC host David Schuster interviewed Politico reporter Ken Vogel, who called it a "co-opting" of Obama's signature slogan.
This "analysis" draws from reports earlier this week about an election video featuring Ahmadinejad that shows him "pointing to the Farsi phrase Ma Mitavanim (We Can) on a blackboard," according to the Guardian. "The film is aimed at students and capitalizes on his former status as a university lecturer."
But the corporate press might want to do its homework. When it comes to the origins of "Yes, we can," Barack Obama invented the phrase in the same way that Al Gore invented the internet.
"Yes, we can" (or, less succintly, "Yes it can be done"), of course, is the English translation of "Sí, se puede" -- the official motto of the United Farm Workers, made famous by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1970s.

Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.