At the end of the hour-and-a-half-long taping, the group had circled around a host of complex questions, teasing out subtleties and tangents that led to more questions than conclusions. Bishara, hoping to come to some kind of consensus, asked the panel, “So we can all agree that the marriage of what’s happened to the social movement for justice, with social networks, has reinvented Egypt as we see it today?”

Bernstein balked, “Why do we need a definitive answer to all of these questions?”

The answer to that question, at least, was easy, and Shirky and Bishara gave it in unison: “It’s television!”

*Update, Thursday: “Information Wars” is now available for viewing online here, and will begin airing on Al Jazeera English channels tonight.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner