Posts Tagged ‘Irving Wallace’

Move over Irving Wallace. Wallace Souza is here.

13 August 2009

In Irving Wallace‘s 1982 thriller The Almighty, the protagonist Edward Armstead inherits from his father a newspaper called the New York Record (and his mistress). But the former comes with a rider: the Record will become his if and only if he can overtake the circulation of the New York Times in a certain timeframe.

To achieve that objective, Armstead sets about manufacturing news and events over which he has proprietory control. He hires a gang to kick off unlikely accidents and assassinations to cover which he has presciently despatched two reporters well in advance.

But even before their stories can reach New York, the paper would have already carried stories under the fictitious byline “Mark Bradshaw“. Thus, The Inheritor overtakes NYT and secures his inheritance. But the scam is uncovered when he seeks to bump off the Pope.

Move over, Irving Wallace.

Wallace Souza is here.

The Brazilian crime show host has been accused of a series of at least five murders to boost the popularity of his show Canal Livre. Police say the orders to execute came directly from Souza and his son Rafael, and that TV crews from the show, now off the air, were alerted so they could get to the scene first.

Wallace Souza says he is the target of his rivals’ smears. He remains free because of immunity he enjoys as a legislator but surely life imitates art?

***

Irving Wallace’s story was successfully adapted into a Malayalam film starring Mammootty called New Delhi, which was later remade inĀ  several Indian languages (starring Jeetendra in Hindi, Ambarish in Kannada, and so on).

Also read: ‘The media shapes, sexes up, manipulates, distorts’

‘Media shapes, sexes up, manipulates, distorts’

10 September 2008

Is the media playing with the tiger’s tail? Or is the tiger cub riding the media? In other words, just how much is the media responsible for the Raj Thackeray bogey?

Is the “demonisation” of Thackeray junior entirely the handiwork of sensation-seeking journalists trying to fill up the airwaves in the era of 24×7 news? Is the Maharashtra Navanirman Samithi (MNS) campaign against migrant workers, taxi drivers, and the Bachchan family, “a demon created by the media”?

Yes, say two people who should know.

Exhibit A: K.L. Prasad.

The joint commissioner of police (law and order), Bombay, blames the issue on profusion of reportage. In fact, he says there was “no issue at all.”

“I have a complaint against the media. You people make heroes out of zeroes. I would say, just neglect him [Raj Thackeray]. He will get asphyxia. Channels are constantly repeating the footage. One incident is shown 74 times. This is clearly [a way of] reinforcing it in the mind.”

Exhibit B: Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Longtime Bombay bureau chief of The Hindu, he writes that the media has on three separate occasions missed the woods for the trees and distorted Raj Thackeray’s statements.

Irving Wallace was bang on target in his 1982 novel The Almighty in which the power-hungry media-owner Edward Armstead‘s obsession was to shape the news and then manipulate and control it with disastrous consequences to the world.

“The Indian media’s obsession to shape—or sex up?—a story to its worst distortion has come to the fore. And without anyone even batting an eyelid in concern.

“What further mischief lies ahead? Can we trust the mass media? The reader believes the printed word and sees television, despite its limited depth—or actually, the absolute lack of it—as real because he sees live images….

“The media has lost its head and plunged the region into trouble, jeopardising lives and property by its irresponsibility.”

Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny/The Indian Express

Read the full story: How the media created the Raj Thackeray bogey

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