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Another defamation notice
Posted/Updated Wednesday, May 16 12:13:23, 2012
Rs 100 crore defamation notices are now par for the course. After Justice Sawant's suit against Arnab Goswami, and Times Now's legal notice for the same damages to The Hoot, we now have Shekhar Gupta and other authors of the Indian Express page one story on April 4 asking Vinod Mehta and Open magazine for  Rs  100 crore in damages for defaming them. In an interview to Open magazine Mehta had described the Express story as "a mistake of Himalayan proportions" and asserted repeatedly that it was a planted story.

The difference between the Radia tapes and the Essar emails is that this time around the disclosures are being reported with alacrity. Last time it took a day or more for the mainstream media to start acknowledging the revelations. The PIL affidavit on Essar mentions seven journalists in different contexts, including one from Dainik Bhaskar.  A blog called wrote something on Shireen Bhan and then promptly took it down. The HT staffer's suspension had a kick in the tail: the reporter hit back with details of how her colleagues and her paper had also asked her to use her corporate contacts.

Is the Lok Sabha TV channel now being run by the information and broadcasting ministry? Yesterday LSTV recorded an interview with the railway minister, and the channel staff were bemused to find that the feed went out without the LSTV logo on it, even as Doordarshan telecast it with its own watermark.  The LSTV anchor was taken off the interview panel too while a DD  person did the programme.  Asked by her staff why that had happened,  the channel CEO responded that the direct feed  to DD  was on the  orders of I & B minister Arun Jaitley and his minister of state R Rathore.

There was a brief war of words between CPI (M) politician Brinda Karat and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on NDTV 24x7, which has been telecasting its coverage on Budget 2015 from the premises of CII in Delhi, where the budget has generally got positive reviews. Karat talked about reduction of corporate taxes and abolition of wealth tax and labeled the budget pro-rich, saying it had “nothing for people who voted them in power”. Patra responded saying Karat had “prepared her dissent note even before the budget came out”  and argued that infrastructure growth was eventually going to benefit the poor. 
Times Now had a duet going in praise of the Jaitley budget, featuring M J Akbar and Arnab Goswami. "We are calling it a breakthrough super budget," said the anchor as a hashtag along those lines kept flashing. Even Doordarshan had a more muted "Budget of Hope" tag.  Akbar was so ecstatic that he was running out of adjectives, "an honest budget, a visionary budget...practical, creative..."  At one point though Goswami felt constrained to say, "Can we get back to some cynicism?"
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