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We all know there is no news like bad news -- it's the best news of all. Odd, if you think about it: why is it that we do not enjoy watching news about good events unless it is a win for an Indian sports team or individual? Why is it that we all sat glued to the tsunami that inundated Japan but would never waste a minute on footage of a sunny Tokyo afternoon? Why is it that we love crime stories, the more gory the better?
It seems to be because we like to watch other people in trouble. There's a sense of relief – thank god it's not me!-- which is then transformed into a sense of superiority – oh the poor dear, what a terrible thing to happen to him (or her)!! And that, in turn, makes us feel good or better about ourselves – well we're better people because we don't do that. Thus, if you watched Times Now last week, and saw the hammering the Prime Minister of India was getting from anchor Arnab Goswami and his panel for not holding his press briefing before a live media audience, you felt sorry for Dr Manmohan Singh and relieved that you were sitting in the comfort of your home watching him get hammered. You may have felt anger, as I did, at the almost sneering tone of the discussion and the way Goswami & Co. were laughing at the PM, but you still enjoyed it in a vicarious almost sadistic way.
Similarly, news that same day of the Sai Baba Trust in trouble and under investigation of the state government, made you feel happy. There was a distinct feeling that the Trust had been doing something wrong and had been caught for it. That's what happens with bad news about others-- you often feel good about it. You are an upright individual who would never be mixed up in anything like that. Yippee.