Whose story is it anyway? Times Now takes credit for Express chopper deal expose


About the Opposition quoting their report, it was actually just Ravi Shankar Prasad. And he duly credited The Indian Express though predictably, he was warmer towards TV. Spokespersons can be so weak. Next question Times Now asks is, why was "your channel" ignored? But every channel, print and TV, was ignored until the Italians moved decisively on the case. And they moved for reasons of domestic politics.

Meanwhile Zee News, which gleefully reported a triple barrel attack on the Congress from Prasad, Arun Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar, found a fresh issue. It reported that Barack Obama had shot down a project to tart up the same helicopter for his use. Should India have countenanced a chopper that the White House had shot down, Zee asked rhetorically. Equally, we may ask: so what if the CIA doesn't like it? Bond loves it. The AW101 stars in Skyfall.

Zee's story was needlessly sensational, since the US and Indian cases have nothing in common. The US project concerned the VH-71 Kestrel, a variant which was to be developed by Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland from the AW-101. Obama had objected to budgetary overruns in this joint project, which has no connection with kickbacks. And anyway, Obama's current imperatives are quite remote from India's need to ferry George Fernandes to Siachen a decade ago.

And all the while, on Arnab Goswami's show, Subramanian Swamy smiled and smiled, like a man who is absolutely certain that some fine Italian food is coming his way. Does it really matter if it's a TV dinner, or if it comes wrapped in newsprint like fish and chips?


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