Tagged: Joke Stuff

Balanced Media Reporting and the Fake News Phenomenon


Just 20 months – that’s all it takes to badly damage the fabric of society and the news media. Today in the U.S. we have very polarized and ugly societal wars between the Left and the Right. That has in turn spawned very ugly and damaging wars between news media which continue to report in their long-established, traditional manner, and the media which has gone berserk towards the extreme right end of the political spectrum. The neutral media was always considered to be, ever so slightly, tilting to the left, and we all know that there is nothing that is absolutely neutral in this world. Everyone has an opinion, whether he or she voices it or not. We also know that when the silent majority does not voice its dissent on any matter, the country or the world is “in” for a major battle. When they do express their dissent, we can expect transformative change.

I have consistently followed both the “left” and the “right” media, to derive a real sense of where the world is heading. While many a time the neutral or “left-tilting” media is right, I have also seen instances when the “rightist” media gets it right for a change.

Achieving a balanced reporting stance is a hard thing to accomplish in today’s heavily polarized world. Couple of examples come to my mind: one is “BBC News” and the other is “CNN”. There are other excellent examples which I do follow such as “The NewYork Times” and “The Washington Post”, but sometimes they do take a harsh view of the right. I continue to enjoy their incisive analyses and opinion pieces, however. I also occasionally look at the “HuffPost” and “MSN News” – they are great alternatives, though clearly on the left.

On the right, my favourite is “Fox News” – there are rather interesting pieces of journalism that I read almost everyday, pretty captivating episodes, and well-intentioned, yet clearly manipulated headlines. There are many media channels on the right, of course, but I find more time for Fox News everyday.

I also follow two rather unconventional media diligently every day. These are “Aljazeera English” edition and “Russia Today (RT) News”. While Aljazeera is relatively new for me, RT News has been a staple for at least couple of years. I believe that both these “alternative media” provide a dose of reality as seen from their respective perches. I have seen wonderful and balanced coverage and analyses in both, and I am now of the firm opinion that the day is not complete without reading the headlines of both media.

I recently eliminated “The Hindu” and “The Guardian” apps from my iPhone – “The Hindu” being the oldest, yet running English language newspaper from South India and “The Guardian” from the U.K. I occasionally see their full web versions, and sometimes my research takes me to their archives. Nothing wrong with either one of their apps, however I felt they were a bit slow on news coverage and their analyses, and sometimes unnecessarily critical of the establishment.

From all of the above, you may come to the quick conclusion that I spend most of my morning hours reading these apps, looking for angles to write about in my blog! That is not true, my intent is to keep myself constantly updated on what is going on around the world, while uncovering some learning from the actions or inactions of global leaders.

With all this stuff, it unnerved me when I heard that some of what we read from global news media could be “fake” – what U.S. President Donald Trump has termed as “Fake News”. It has always been a possibility that some of what we hear could be wrong, or incorrect, but then responsible broadcast media make amends and apologize for any inadvertent errors on their part. That is pretty normal, because people do make mistakes.

But “Fake” news? Is that not a deliberate attempt to replace the correct news with deception to suit the political orientation of the media owners or editors? Yes, it is. But then who practices it? If you go by what Mr Trump says, almost all major news media – CNN, MSN, CBS, ABC, AP, and others who report on what he says, and what he does, are reporting “fake news” every day. Not that Americans are running away from these long-established broadcast media – most of them have grown up with these media, and they control the airwaves for the most part. It would be interesting to see the results of a survey which measures Americans’ responses to Trump’s fake news allegations.

Whatever it is, in my opinion the “fake news” phenomenon does not exist in the way it has been described. There is only one news, and most of us get it right every morning. Some of these could be incorrect, but that inaccuracy lasts only for a few hours before it is replaced with the correct content we should have seen.

There is a lot of satire by the U.S. late night shows on Trump, his tweets and his fake news. If the news as reported in the major news media is not as per his expectations, then that becomes fake news, and this “expectation” of Trump has smeared his presidential reputation to no end.

In a nutshell, we have to see both sides of the same coin. Balance is eventually achieved in our head because we are trained to see the right from the wrong. Our brains are hard-wired, and so sometimes we tend to fall on the side of the news that we really like to see. But then brain realizes its mistake and brings itself back to neutrality.

Enjoy your news via newspapers if you still get one. I get most of mine via the news apps, while still subscribing to The Straits Times which I never finish reading.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

2nd December 2017

Advertisements

Church Quirks


Courtesy: A friend

An American decided to write a book about famous churches around the world.

So he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to China.

On his first day, he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read ‘$10,000 per call’.

The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for and by whom.

The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God directly.

The American thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Japan. There, at a very large Cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it.

He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in China and he asked a nun standing nearby what its purpose was.

She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God directly.

‘O.K., thank you’ said the American and then went on his way.

He then travelled to Russia, Germany, the U.K., Sri Lanka, Malaysia, etc., and visited many churches. In every church, he saw the same golden telephone with the same ‘$10,000 per call’ sign under it. The American then decided to travel to India to see if Indians has the same kind of phone in their churches.

He arrived in India, and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read ‘One Rupee call’.

The American was surprised so he asked the priest nearby about the sign. ‘Father. I’ve travelled all over the world and I’ve seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I’m told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in other countries the price was $10,000 per call. How come it is so cheap out here in India ?’

Readers, it is your turn.. …………….Think……………before you scroll down…………….

……………………………
……………………………

……………………………
……………………………

The priest smiled and answered, ‘You’re in India now, Son – it’s a Local Call. This is the only Heaven on this Earth’.

KEEP SMILING !!!

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
17th August 2014

Knowledge is Power


Courtesy: Ravi, my relative

During a recent robbery in Hong Kong, the bank robber shouted to everyone in the bank: “Don’t move. The money belongs to the Government. Your life belongs to you.”

Everyone in the bank laid down quietly.

This is called “Mind Changing Concept” – Changing the conventional way of thinking.

When the bank robbers returned home, the younger robber (MBA trained) told the older robber (who has only completed Year 6 in primary school): “Big brother, let’s count how much we got.”

The older robber rebutted and said: “You are very stupid. There is so much money it will take us a long time to count. Tonight, the TV news will tell us how much we robbed from the bank!”

This is called “Experience” – Nowadays, experience is more important than paper qualifications!

After the robbers had left, the bank manager told the bank supervisor to call the police quickly. But the supervisor said to him: “Wait! Let us take out $10 million from the bank for ourselves and add it to the $70 million that we have previously embezzled from the bank”.

This is called “Swim with the tide” – Converting an unfavorable situation to your advantage!

The supervisor says: “It will be good if there is a robbery every month.”

This is called “Killing Boredom” – Personal Happiness is more important than your job”.

The next day, the TV news reported that $100 million was taken from the bank. The robbers counted and counted and counted, but they could only count $20 million.

The robbers were very angry and complained: “We risked our lives and only took $20 million. The bank manager took $80 million with a snap of his fingers. It looks like it is better to be educated than to be a thief!”

This is called “Knowledge is worth as much as gold!”

The bank manager was smiling and happy because his losses in the share market are now covered by this robbery.

This is called “Seizing the opportunity” – Daring to take risks!

Courtesy: Ravi, my relative

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
18th May 2014

What the Hell………


Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

>> A man dies and goes to hell.
>> There he finds that there is a different hell for each country.

>> He goes to the German hell and asks, “What do they do there?”
>> He was told, “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour.
>> Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour.
>> Then the German devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day.”

>> The man doesn’t like it, so he moves on and checks out the American hell, the Russian hell and hells of other countries.

>> He finds that they’re all more or less the same as the German hell.

>> Then he comes to the Indian hell and finds that there is a long queue of people waiting to get in. Amazed, he asks, “What do they do here?” He told,

>> “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour.
>> Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour.
>> Then the Indian devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day.”

>> “But that is exactly the same as all the other hells; so why are so many people waiting to get in here?” wonders the man. He is told,

>> “Because the maintenance here is so bad that the electric chair does not work, Someone has stolen all the nails from the bed and the Indian devil is a former government servant, So he just comes, signs the attendance register and then goes to the canteen….!

Ha Ha Ha

Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
17th May 2014

Some Old Lady / Blond Questions……


Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Who said that old ladies/blondes don’t have poignant and deeply relevant questions to ask? Believe me, they’ve been around, and they know exactly which infuriating and hilarious questions to ask!

Some examples:
Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety-one?

If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea… does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages?
Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?

If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Do Lipton Tea employees take ‘coffee breaks?’

What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?

Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
12th April 2014

Four Old Retired Guys


Courtesy: Srinivas, my IIM-B Classmate

Four old retired guys are walking down a street in Yuma , Arizona.
They turn a corner and see a sign that says,

“Old Timers Bar – ALL drinks 10 cents.”
They look at each other and then go in, thinking, This is too good to be true.

The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room, “Come on in and let me pour one for you! What’ll it be, gentlemen?”

There’s a fully stocked bar, so each of the men orders a martini. In no time the bartender serves up four iced martinis – shaken, not stirred – and says, “That’ll be 10 cents each, please.”

The four guys stare at the bartender for a moment, then at each other. They can’t believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis, and order another round.

Again, four excellent martinis are produced, with the bartender again saying, “That’s 40 cents, please.” They pay the 40 cents, but their curiosity gets the better of them. They’ve each had two martinis and haven’t even spent a dollar yet.

Finally one of them says, “How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime apiece?”

“I’m a retired tailor from Phoenix ,” the bartender says, “and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery jackpot for $125 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime. Wine, liquor, beer – it’s all the same.”

“Wow! That’s some story!” one of the men says.

As the four of them sip at their martinis, they can’t help noticing seven other people at the end of the bar who don’t have any drinks in front of them and haven’t ordered anything the whole time they’ve been there.

Nodding at the seven at the end of the bar, one of the men asks the bartender, “What’s with them?”

The bartender says, “They’re retired people from India ……………”

They’re waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price.”

Courtesy: Srinivas, my IIM-B Classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
12th April 2014

On Married Life


Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Prize winning message of the year-
A husband went to the police station for filing report for his missing wife:

Husband :
-I lost my wife (misty), she went for shopping & still not reached home yet.

Inspector :
-What is her height ?

Husband:
-I never noticed.

Inspector :
-Slim or healthy ?.

Husband:
-Not slim can be healthy.

Inspector :
-Colour of eyes ?

Husband :
-Never noticed.

Inspector :
-Colour of hair ?

Husband :
-Changes according to season.

Inspector :
-What was she wearing ?

Husband :
-Saree/suit/ I don’t remember exactly.

Inspector :
-Was she going in a car ???

Husband :
-yes.

Inspector :
-tell me the number, name & color of the car ?………….

Husband :
– black Audi A8 with supercharged 3.0 litre V6 engine generating 333 horse power teamed with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission
with manual mode. And it has full LED headlights, which use light emitting diodes for all light functions and has a very thin scratch
on the front left door.
…….and

then the husband started crying………

Inspector:
-Don’t worry sir,………We will find your car… 

Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
6th April 2014