Eye on the ball?

For all the soul-searching after November 8, all the angst, and the clearly voiced determination to keep its eye on the ball and not get distracted, the media continues to go chasing every shiny object the Trump team throws in its way, wittingly or otherwise.

The latest example is this:

WASHINGTON — President Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night.

Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.

Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.

That clip from an NYT story has the media in an orgiastic frenzy. The staffers stumbling around in the dark because they don’t know where the light switches are? A metaphor, we are told, for the Trump Administration itself. A lonely Trump wandering around the unfamiliar rooms of the White House, clad in a bathrobe? Again, typical of the chaotically disorganised accidental president.

Meanwhile, the real smoking gun lies buried in paras 19 onwards, when the story talks of how the stream of Executive Orders were signed. Here is para 23:

Continue reading

‘Ban us, you big baby’

“Donald Trump misunderstands — or, more likely, simply opposes — the role a free press plays in a democratic society. Reporters are supposed to hold public figures accountable. Any American political candidate who attacks the press for doing its job is campaigning in the wrong country. In the United States, under our Constitution, a free press is a check on politicians of all parties.”

 This brilliant rant by the editors of The York Dispatch is worth reading for its own sake — and because the central message is equally true of our times, our world.

An open letter to open letter-writers

Dear everybody:

The “open letter” — which is nothing but an opinion piece by another name — is so yesterday.

Please stop writing them. For one thing, I don’t think you quite get it. For another, each time you do you end up embarrassing yourself.

Thank you.

PS: The above is prompted by this latest entry in the open stupidity stakes, from Bhupendra Chaubey. I read it through thrice, and I still can’t figure out what the heck he is trying to say.

All that remains with me is this line:

A few months back, we went into a huddle on how we could reimagine ourselves. Imagine, the onerous task of doing something day in and day out. Then choosing to move forward in another direction.

Yeah, imagine!

Imagine the “onerous task of doing something day in and day out” — otherwise known as going to work.

Imagine , further, that moment of epiphany when you realise what you have been onerously doing day in and day out is all wrong, all out of step with the times.

Imagine the pain of realising that you actually should be doing something else — which is, err, to change your name?


Rage of Angels

The best shot that Virat Kohli played this Sunday came after the match.

As he coped with the aftertaste of adrenalin, and as adoring teammates, past greats and present opponents took to social media to exhaust their stock of superlatives, Kohli’s first thought was this:

Continue reading

True lies

At the ongoing India Today conclave Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research, on why the battle being fought today is not between the ideas of the right versus the left, but between truth and propaganda.


“According to informed sources…”

An infallible resource for understanding the workings of the government — any government, anywhere — is Jonathan Lynn and Anthony Jay’s Yes Minister. Remember this clip?

Continue reading

Zee News redux

This, now, offered without comment (Apologies for the formatting, it’s how it came to me):

Continue reading