Speed Reads

Fair and Balanced

The Daily Show bittersweetly finds something worse than Fox News: India's news media

Daily Show

Wednesday night's Daily Show started out with an analysis of Tuesday's big day of primary elections. Jon Stewart's analysis is heavy on Tea Party losses and his delightful Mitch McConnell/Cecil Turtle impersonation. But it pretty quickly moved on to India, where Jason Jones has been doing some actual reporting on India's democracy. Jones so far has been purportedly disappointed at how advanced and (apparently) clean India's elections are compared with America's.

India's vibrant democracy "made me sad, downtrodden," Jones said on Wednesday, "until I saw this." What he points to is India's news media, from its amazingly chaotic TV shows filled with screaming heads to its 193,000 registered newspapers. It's fun to watch Jones spar with cable news star Rajdeep Sardesai, editor in chief of CNN-IBN — Sardesai walking back his criticism of parent brand CNN is priceless — but the legitimately disturbing part of the story involves India's print media. You can apparently buy favorable coverage in Indian newspapers, and Jones does, for $2,500. You have to watch to believe. --Peter Weber