Daily Archives: 4 April 2009

The Times of India’s Barack Obama moment

SHOBHA SARADA VISWANATHAN, in New Delhi, forwards a self-explanatory YouTube video of US President Barack Obama taking a question from Simrat Ghuman, a reporter from The Times of India‘s television channel, Times Now, at the G-20 summit in London, on Thursday.

Notwithstanding the “exclusive”, the hilarious exchange opens up all the usual questions over the preparedness of the reporter for such an eventuality, the noticeable exultation in the voice, and the tendency of correspondents covering the defence and diplomacy beats to “represent” their country.

But we are quibbling, of course….

Q: Hi, Mr. President.

Obama: How are you?

Q: Thank you for choosing me. I’m very well. I’m (inaudible) from the Times of India.

Obama: Wonderful.

Q: You met with our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. What did you— what are you—what is America doing to help India battle terrorism emanating from Pakistan?

Obama: Well, first of all, your prime minister is a wonderful man.

Q: Thank you. I agree. (Laughter) I agree.

Obama: You know, did you have something to do with that? (Laughter) You seem to kind of take credit for it a little bit there. (laughter)

Q: We’re really proud of him, so…

Obama: Of course. You should be proud of him. I’m teasing you. I think he’s a very wise and decent man and has done a wonderful job in guiding India, even prior to being prime minister, along a path of extraordinary economic growth that is a marvel, I think, for all the world….

Also read: Did you have something to do with that?


How Cisco helps China in internet censorship

It’s not just authoritarian governments that are preventing citizens and activists from accessing news and views that they would not like them to lay their eyes and ers on. Transnational corporations that supply the technology to make access possible in the first place are playing a hand, according to Al Jazeera‘s media show, The Listening Post.

Simon Ostrovsky reveals that giant companies like the San Francisco-based Cisco (“The Human Network”) which supply the hardware for internet networks often also supply the commercial software, and cooperate more closely with regimes than previously imagined. Cisco, of course, denies the charge.