Saturday, September 15, 2007

Right to be offended, Neocons' learning disability, Newspaper ethics

Salman Rushdie's Defend the Right to be Offended was published in 2005. I don't know why I feel the need to link to it now ;-)

The idea that any kind of free society can be constructed in which people will never be offended or insulted is absurd. So too is the notion that people should have the right to call on the law to defend them against being offended or insulted. A fundamental decision needs to be made: do we want to live in a free society or not? Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other’s positions. (But they don’t shoot.) [Bold emphasis added].

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Francis Fukuyama on the neocon's inability to learn from their failure:

The United States today spends approximately as much as the rest of the world combined on its military establishment. So it is worth pondering why it is that, after nearly four years of effort, the loss of thousands of American lives, and an outlay of perhaps half-a-trillion dollars, the US has not succeeded in pacifying a small country of some 24 million people, much less in leading it to anything that looks remotely like a successful democracy.

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Chenthil catches The Hindu in an ethically challenged state:

The reader's editor and the correspondent obviously think that downloading a photo without acknowledgement is not a mistake. For them the mistake was only in downloading the wrong photograph.

I went back to the archives to see if there is any acknowledgement of the site from where the photo was downloaded. As expected there was none.

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The blogger behind PenPricks stings a Goan newspaper by exposing its willingness to offer editorial and news space for sale (via Desi Pundit):

Penpricks posed as business consultants and booked nearly a dozen editorials for Rs 3 lakh per piece for the tourism-frenzied months of October and November.

Penpricks posed as Manoj Rastogi, business manager of a fictitious Delhi-based vacation-marketing company called ‘Acer Consultants’, which was interested in writing and placing six commercially-driven editorials as part of its Rs 35-lakh advertising campaign in Goa. Penpricks has been in email communication with a senior member of the Herald business development team Mr Harry Mann since August 28. Herald finalised the deal for the sale of editorials (at Rs 3 lakh per editorial, makes it Rs 18 lakh for six editorials) on September 5 with this email from Harry Mann. As part of the deal ‘Acer Consultants’ would write six commercially driven editorials for publication in the Herald, for which Acer Consultants would pay the newspaper Rs 3 lakh each for every editorial published.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Fukuyama gets is right (though he supported the war to start with)

    I would however add that the learning disability/unwillingness of the communists of the world post-Soviet, post-Mao era is equally laudable.

    Of course, he was not required to mention this in that article.

    But lest we forget.

    - Sharath