Care for environment
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On 6/23/05 1:28 PM, "Prithwiraj Mukherjee" wrote:
> MAKING NEWS
> By Prithwiraj Mukherjee
> "You can't do this!" she screamed, but her voice could
> barely be heard over the hum of the chainsaw. However,
> her face was coming just perfectŠmy new camera was
> serving its purpose well. "Hi, this is Michael Das
> reporting for TV 42. We are transmitting live from a
> shed somewhere near New York, where the chainsaw
> murderer who calls himself Manson-II is about to
> perform his third gory actŠ" It was a pity I had to
> blur out his face, but the victim was pretty. A
> small-time model in her mid-twenties, she had no
> future, thanks to those broad shoulders. At least now,
> she would be famous. In the background the chainsaw
> made contact with skin, and a few red droplets
> appeared on the lens too. A small price to pay for
> those TRPs, as the world looked on in horror.
> TV 42 used the catch phrase "making news", and had
> recently grabbed a lot of eyeballs by airing a lot of
> shocking live footage over the past year. The three
> massacres of Manson-II, the bombing of Planet
> Hollywood, and the impassioned pleas of Senator
> Johnson as his captor dissected him limb by limb. What
> nobody knew was that the catch phrase was literally
> true. Seems confusing? Let me explain.
> In the summer of 1995, Albert Karinski, the son of
> Czech immigrants and a controversial reporter with Fox
> News, decided to part ways with his employers and
> start his own news channel. He was apparently
> disgusted with Fox's policy of censoring and editing
> its content for prime time viewing. A veteran of the
> Iraq War, Karinski had to face many a humiliation,
> when his footage, often taken at great personal risk
> was consigned to the dustbin on account of
> 'unsuitability'. Images of US soldiers being branded,
> or Iraqi civilians clutching their entrails had no
> place in Fox's reports of heroic America and those
> magnificent aerial bombings which made the average
> Joe's heart swell with pride.
> To cut a long story short, Albert Karinski, along with
> a few like minded persons - Sarah Callaghan of NBC,
> Peter Schmidt and Alfred Benigni of CNN - started TV
> 42; a channel that would broadcast nothing but the
> truth - the whole shocking unedited truth. A year
> later they realised what the truth was, and it was
> even more shocking than they expected. Nobody cared
> about Channel 42. The terrorist groups still preferred
> CNN for their warnings. CBS reporters were kidnapped
> by anarchists looking for attention. TV 42 was just
> another news channel that people turned to for
> baseball scores or stock market figures that appeared
> as a continuous scroll at the bottom. Karinski had
> almost given up hope, till in walked Michael Das, that
> is I.
> My story is even more interesting than that of TV 42.
> I was born in a small village in the beautiful state
> of Kerala, India. My father was a devout Catholic, and
> determined that his youngest son, that is I, become a
> priest. So, at the age of sixteen, after completing my
> elementary school education, I was bundled off to a
> monastery. They could not keep me for long. In a
> couple of months, I had run away to Bangalore. There,
> I waited tables at a fast food joint, and
> simultaneously pursued a degree in mass communication
> via correspondence. I managed to secure a job with
> Asianet, a leading Malayalam Channel, and was soon
> posted in Saudi Arabia, where the channel's largest
> overseas viewer base was situated. It was there that I
> met Albert Karinski. We shared similar views on a lot
> of things, and I totally agreed with his views on
> censorship. We kept in touch. In 1998, I got a call
> from him, asking me whether I would like to work as
> the Middle East correspondent for TV 42. I readily
> agreed. That was seven years ago. Now I am one of the
> top people in the network, and a star.
> It all started a year ago. Our share prices were rock
> bottom. Advertisers gave us the cold shoulder. We were
> reduced to wannabe status. In short, TV 42 was one
> step away from total bankruptcy. One night, after an
> especially frustrating day - three reporters had
> deserted ship - I lay in bed, thinking of my dream;
> the dream of being that sensational guy who broke the
> story that shook the world. Let alone breaking
> stories, we even had to buy BBC and CNN footage these
> days due to lack of money and contacts. "Making news,"
> our catchphrase went. Somehow those bold flashing
> letters refused to go away from my eyesŠand then it
> hit me! Why not make news? If we were the one to make
> news, we could be the ones to break it. Serial
> Killers, terrorists, bombers, extortionists, spy-cams,
> all we had to do was decide the crime we wanted to
> cover! We would soon be number one!
> "You must be joking" Karinski said, his voice almost
> Susan was just laughing hysterically.
> Alfred Benigni was the only guy without any expression
> on his face. He looked me in the eye. "You know,
> Mike," he said "what you have said is not only
> extremely far fetched, but also a sign of total moral
> bankruptcy. But having said that, I must admit that it
> could just work our way. But, we need to be extremely
> careful, not only our reputations are at stake, but we
> could even get convicted if these crimes are traced
> back to us."
> Susan wasn't laughing any more. "What do you plan to
> do?" she asked.
> "I don't knowŠI think we should start small, some sort
> of minor felony," I offered.
> And that¹s how it all began.
> The decapitation of Senator Oswald Johnson was our
> first major coup. Oswald had been a classmate of
> Alfred Benigni during the late Sixties. He had
> reportedly been the school bully. Even in those days,
> Oswald had used muscle tactics to upstage Alfred -
> till then the favorite for the post of school
> president. Alfred had never forgiven him. One more
> thing. Alfred was a racist and made fun of a lot of
> ethnic minorities, especially the Italian community.
> Even in his political career, Oswald had not spared
> the Blacks and Hispanics, winning the White Catholic
> vote bank over with his promises of stricter
> immigration laws and the abolition of Evolution in the
> elementary school curriculum.
> Our idea was to get Senator Johnson kidnapped and
> tortured. Not many would shed tears for him, we
> figured. For this purpose, we hired Pablo Mendez, a
> professional kidnapper and hit-man from the Bronx
> area. Pablo would be one of our most reliable men in
> the coming months. Pablo and three others traveled to
> Washington DC by road. My cameraman, Sidney Lawrence
> and I took the flight. They took him as he stepped out
> at night to buy a few beers before the Superbowl game
> began. All very professionally done - not even a
> scream was heard. By the time his wife came to know,
> Pablo was miles away. Not that she cared too much,
> To keep up the charade, Pablo had Lawrence and me
> blindfolded and gagged when we were brought in front
> of Senator Johnson. This was our first time, in the
> later stories we didn't bother. "One finger at a
> time," was what Bengni and Karinski had ordered. And
> so it was. Had I made a mistake? The bile rose up my
> throat as the blade touched his left thumb, but by the
> time his ring finger was taken, I actually enjoyed it.
> Oswald's screams meant only one thing - our fortunes
> had reversed. E were very lucky - the police found the
> hideout three days later, but TV 42 did not suffer.
> Nobody knew that we were actually "making news". The
> Oswald Johnson videos made history - every channel
> paid through its nose for telecast rights. It became
> one of the most searched items on the Internet. We
> made millions in licensing deals. Why, I even had
> offers from Playboy and Time for a no-holds-barred
> account of my adventures!
> TV 42 soon became the channel to watch. We even formed
> a secret team to script the crimes to perfection. We
> decided what crime was the best for the particular
> time of the year, and areas where it would make
> maximum impact. So it was no surprise, when a secret
> 'informant' told us about the bomb planted in Planet
> Hollywood, Los Angeles. The only thing secret about
> her was the number of boyfriends she had had. Wynona
> was the most creative of them all!
> This one was easy. A pizza delivery truck loaded with
> fertilizer would just be parked outside and detonated
> at eight thirty in the night. Around thirty deaths
> would occur. As part of our 'social responsibility',
> we would call 911 just five minutes before the event,
> with news of the bomb scare. We would break the news
> to the world. It cost us less than fifteen thousand
> dollars to set it up.
> As usual, this event catapulted TV 42 to the top of
> the ratings as usual. Nobody even suspected our
> involvement in the damn thing! Planet Hollywood was
> big. A few of the casualties were even high-society
> Bel-Air residents. The tragedy caused a nationwide
> At this juncture, let me confess that I am completely
> morally bankrupt, even as my taxes have doubled over
> the past year. I am a murderer; so are all the others
> in the 'core group' of TV 42. Surprisingly, not a
> single person has ever voiced a concern over our
> perverse strategy to garner eyeballs. Our website is
> today the most visited news site in the world. Not
> surprisingly, we never poach reporters from competing
> networks. Neither can we hire new reporters for the
> fear of being exposed. TV 42 is a dead channel with no
> future. Its staff shall grow old together. Our
> children will never know the crimes we have committed.
> We cannot sleep in peace any more, haunted by the
> countless souls we have killed, in the name of "making
> news". The third massacre of Manson-II is my last
> assignment. But I know I cannot quit until I die.
> Karinski and friends would never let me live. Hadn't
> he had Susan run over when she had mentioned
> retirement. We could not trust even each other with
> our dark secret any more. Most probably I will be
> found hanging from the fan in my apartment a couple of
> days after I quit. Forging my handwriting on a suicide
> not is no big deal. I was the one who had found master
> forger Edward Russel - there was not a signature he
> couldn't forge. He was the one who had written young
> and beautiful banker Dorothy Greer's suicide note
> after she 'jumped' off the Sears Tower at midnight,
> after she had filed for bankruptcy. Conveniently, she
> had called TV 42 before she had done itŠ
> No, I cannot quit. However, I shall quit being on the
> field, breaking news. Instead, I shall confine my self
> to the boardrooms, planning and handling the finances,
> or editing content. I want to live, that¹s allŠmy
> conscience has died a gruesome death long long ago.