Breaking Down News: So Long, Thanks for the Laughs

David LettermanThe shock over the crash of the Germanwings jetliner in the Alps has passed, though it must be one of the most elaborate and inclusive suicide plots in history. But of late, the case has drawn media attention to Flightradar24.com, the service which had ruled out the possibility of an accident and left investigators with the theory of a bizarre suicide. The site had confirmed that the plane steadily lost altitude in the mountains, suggesting cold-blooded suicide by the copilot.

You could spend hours gaping at Flightradar24, watching planes in the Indian skies in real time, tagged by their flight numbers, crawling jerkily towards their destinations, and never steadily descending into the Himalayas. But they cut your connection every half-hour unless you give them some euros, the spoilsports. Even so, it beats watching rubbish like the Aaj Tak Manthan, which was headlined by an extraordinary interaction between Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (who has been pulled up for intemperate speech by his party) and Asaduddin Owaisi (there’s no one around to pull him up) over beef. Predictably, Naqvi said beef-eaters and beef traders should be sent to Pakistan. The appropriate rejoinder would be to send Naqvi and his lot to Argentina, where vegetables exist only to ensure that cattle get a
balanced diet.

Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal is all smiles again, having randomly turned adversity to advantage. He has turned the battle for Delhi, which was a turf war between two offices, into a personal and political face-off — cut the crap, it’s Kejriwal versus Narendra Modi. The last round in this ongoing tournament was the electoral struggle in Varanasi, where Kejriwal’s much-photographed holy dip in the Ganga could not prevent him from being swept away by the Modi wave.

This time, Kejriwal has reopened hostilities by suggesting that because his government had finished off the “transfer-posting industry” in Delhi, the brokers and players in that huge matka game had skulked off to Rajnath Singh and the prime minister’s office.

At their bidding, the Centre is now trying to get a foot in the door of Delhi, through which its own people will skulk back in, and restore the fun and games. He has dismissed the Delhi Lieutenant Governor as irrelevant, since his office takes orders “from above”, and asked the prime minister who he is trying to protect with this notification.

While these sporting activities, in which postings are bought and sold, has been the stuff of kerbside legend for decades, this is the first time that a chief minister has spoken at length about it, smiling all the while. It could have been the quote of the day, were Kejriwal not overshadowed by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who spoke publicly of what sounds like black ops against terrorism. Only Digvijaya Singh could have trumped these two worthies in the tournament of bizarre articulations. But then, he is neither a Union minister nor a chief minister. He can say what he wants without fear of censure.

In the US, …continued »

Article source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/breaking-down-news-so-long-thanks-for-the-laughs/

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