Category Archives: media

Would you buy a car if a girl and a snake selling it ?


Alright, name of the game is “find the relevance”.

Hint: This is snapshot of today’s Times of India. The news is on auction of 2G spectrum.

Now, GO.. your time starts now. What is the relevance between news item and the girl ?

image

Answer: If you read the caption real close, it quotes, telecom companies playing “wait and watch game”. And the girl, is “waiting” !!! Get it ? That’ the relevance. It was total coincidence that she was scantily clad.

Okay, if you really liked this game, I have one more for you. Now guess what she is selling? (I wouldn’t have got it right with a million chances)

Car advert

Answer : A car !!!!!!!!!

Debugging media


You don’t realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown. ~Robert Braul

True that,

The best way to verify any news reported by mainstream media is to running it through social media. Twitter for example. (I know I know I hated twitter before, I take it back).

Don’t refer facebook, in its all possibility it will feed you a hoax instead.

Apart from SM, there are few good news analyzers out there, they are interesting and hilarious. Here, couple of my recommendations:

1. Mediacrooks , a different perspective to consume news. BTW results are out for India’s worst journalists  - 2014. Two ladies I voted did not win,

2. Newslaundry :  I love it for its clothesline series, in which each week’s news washed. For last week:

3. Unreal times : Most hilarious among them. Love them for their “facebook wall” and “in pictures” series.

Unreal times : In pictures: Rahul Gandhi’s much-awaited interview with Arnab Goswami
Unreal times : In pictures: Rahul Gandhi’s much-awaited interview with Arnab Goswami

4. fakingnews : pure satire,

If you know any blogs in league of these people, please recommend.

How to survive Arnab Goswami through logical fallacies


As you already might have guessed, I am a regular viewer of the the Newshour by Arnab Goswami, and a big fan. It is a ‘complete’ show. There are multiple reasons I choose to watch this – It provides good entertainment, alternatives are poorly scripted; also in a weird sense, this is a kind of adventure sport, for panellists.

Surprisingly though, there is not even a single guide available on how to survive his show. I expected at least a book in market, something like “Arnab for dummies”, nope! So I thought I’ll write one, not book, a post. If you happened to be invited to his show please feel free to use any of these.

BTW, if you do not know Arnab Goswami, please go back into your cave and close the rock door properly. I heard spiders are good protein. For others, let’s start.

Arnab Goswami

Arnab Goswami

Right, Thumb rule is, there is no correct way of doing it. However, there are several wrong ways.

  1. You can never win an argument, you can only survive it. So stop trying to convince him, it will never work.
  2. Do not practice! In fact, you don’t even need to know what the discussion is all about. He will set the premise, then he will ask what “nation needs to know”.
  3. Never ever ask for a proof. If it exists, he has seen it. As it was famously described before by media crooks -  every piece of document, including your bus ticket will have to go through his desk. Stamped.
  4. Use the words he uses, he may show mercy on you. ‘National’ television, you’re ‘exclusive’, etc. While there, don’t use the words ‘paid’ and ‘media’, or ‘you’ and ‘PR agent’ in same sentence. Prostate exams seem better than what follows.
  5. Use this as final resort, only if you are cornered. Close your ears and eyes and sing a song, need not be a patriotic song, even Sheela Ki Jawani should work.
  6. If that doesn’t work, use your rugby skills

I will update the list as and when I find more, but as of now above should help you through half an hour of his show.

On a different note, below are some rhetological fallacies I noted. This is in general, rather than Arnab’s show. These are real fallacies, I did not make any of these.

  1. Burden of proof – It’s not my job to find proof, it’s yours. E.g. Give me proof for something I claimed
  2. Special pleading – pleading for exemption without justifying the exemption. E.g. Give them time, they will prove eventually, so don’t scrutinize.
  3. Insufficient sample – broad conclusion on a tiny sample E.g. The latest ‘ground-breaking’ survey had “..about 2000 people – was small and was concentrated on the 18-45 age group”
  4. Relative privation – argument on existence of severe, but unrelated, problems. E.g. How can Madhuri Dikshit and Salman Khan can attend a show while people don’t have blanket in refugee camp.
  5. Appeal to accomplishment – because of his credentials! E.g. have you ever read Arvind Kejriwal’s Resume?
  6. Nazi card – simple branding. e.g. we are liberals, by definition we are open to all ideas except anything remotely right.
  7. Appeal to ridicule – E.g. Idea of abolishing income tax is ridiculous, we don’t even need to talk about it.
  8. Appeal to nature – argument solely dependent on the topic being ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’. E.g. Homosexuality is unnatural.
  9. Appeal to novelty – better because it is modern. E.g. since it is written in books before
  10. Appeal to fear – fear towards the opposing idea e.g. FDI in retail will bring devastating impact in economic fabric
  11. Appeal to the majority – Since majority seems to think so, must be true E.g. majority is gullible
  12. Cherry picking – celebrating on few features of an achievement while ignoring significant information of related cases or data that may contradict that position. For example Delhi water problem solved!
  13. Appeal to ignorance – because it is not proven false; so true. e.g.  You did not give him a chance yet, he can do wonders.
  14. Appeal to common sense – I cannot imagine how this could be true, therefore it must be false. E.g. I can’t imagine how such a big actor can drive over people sleeping on footpath.
  15. Hedging – using words with ambiguous meanings, then changing the meaning of them later. E.g. we said we will live like common man alright, we also agreed to end VIP culture. But that simply means we won’t use beacons, but gas guzzling SUVs stay. Apparently practising austerity is not for common man.
    More will be added here.

Racist or Not ?


Hi there.., we are super-duper sensitive Indians.! Don’t make fun of us – we do not tolerate any racist acts! BTW we will brand any comments on our accent and on the way we look as stereotypical or racist. Please note these down in bold letters, if you forget it even for a minute – we gonna come so hard on you.., that you may have to run with tail between your legs!

While we are here, let us also make clear that above commandment works one way. Above stated can not take away our birth right of ridicule other who don’t look walk talk like us! for e.g. Gora, Kallu and Chinki are not racist names!

To summarise: non-Indian imitating Indian – Racist !. Other way round – comedy!

Having made this clear, lets go to a case study. Popchip’s ad below by Ashton Kutcher – Racist or Not ?

Right to hoist Indian flag in Kashmir


Question: Was the government right in arresting BJP leaders, who marched to hoist Indian flag in Srinagar, Kashmir (India)?

Before you answer this please consider this:

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi organised a march in Dandi to “illegally” produce salt, against applied tax by British Raj in India. It was “within” the political boundaries of India, had a “political aspiration” with a motive of achieving a “political goal”! Now, back to BJP:

Disclaimer: As any liberal need to announce this, to avoid branding. My support here is issue based and this statement is not sarcastic.