Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Phet: What The Papers (Almost) Said

In the face of massive public demand (well, two flattering comments on Cafe Pyala and some faint, barely audible praise overheard at a party), I have decided to massage my massive but fragile ego a bit and re-post as a proper post what I had earlier put up as a comment in XYZ's Phet post. However, being innately generous, I have decided to add some new material to my old comments for the pleasure of my two admirers out there in cyberland. So those fortunate enough to have read my original post skip the first part.

To recap, the original post tucked away in the comments section went like this:

How would our leading English papers report cyclone Phet if it hits Pakistan?

Dawn: Cyclone causes devastation in Sindh, Balochistan; many dead, missing in coastal areas; Zardari, Asma Jahangir, Belgian PM condole;

The News: Is Zardari behind cyclone devastation? Justice Iftikhar's warnings repeatedly ignored; NRO-beneficiaries rejoice as people suffer; Geo first to report calamity

Daily Times: Taseer shocked at cyclone horror in Sindh, Balochistan; PPP rises to the challenge as Nawaz flies off to London; Rana Sanaullah denies Taliban hand; New Hamid Mir recording suggests links; Sarah Taseer Shoaib shuts jewellery outlet for a day in mourning; Puchu's birthday party postponed; US think-tank calls on Pakistan to do more

Express Tribune: DHA suffers calamity as cyclone strikes several phases; panic stations as phet of many drivers, maasis, chowkidaars unknown; tweeters, bloggers and facebookers lose contact with rest of world; hundreds die in far-flung Keamari, Neelum and Shireen Jinnah colonies; colourful-but-deprived fishing villages fear further blow to child rights; Grammar School reunion cancelled

The Nation: Storm destabilises Sindh, Balochistan as Indian, Blackwater conspiracy bears fruit; hundreds die but nuclear assets safe from Hindu and Jewish incursions; Kayani, Hamid Gul shocked; Nawaz would cut short London visit if Kulsoom were better; Nazriya-e-Pakistan, Majid Nizami safe

A bit wet after Phet (source: Boston Globe/ AP)

OK. Now how did the same papers cover the event when it became a non-event, for Karachi at least?

Dawn: Cyclone spares Karachi but causes havoc in Sindh, Balochistan; PM happy for Karachi, on the one hand, sad for rest of province, Balochistan, on the other; Asma escapes catastrophe due to New Delhi seminar engagement; Belgian PM too busy to give Shada Islam reaction

The News: Iftikhar's suo moto action saved Karachi, says Qazi Anwar; only NRO-beneficiaries harmed in freak cyclone: Ansar Abbasi; Why did Zardari's frontman go into the cyclone shelter business in Thatta, Gwadar last month?; Was the cyclone hoax hatched to avoid negative budget reaction, asks Akram Shaikh; Geo first channel to cancel cyclone coverage from Karachi

Daily Times: Taseer says PPP government changed course of cyclone to attract foreign investment to Karachi; US says government should do more for Sindh, Balochistan victims by launching operation in North Waziristan; Taseer challenges Shahbaz to wade through filthy water in Badin; Shahbaz leaves for London to see Kulsoom, sends Rana Sanaullah instead; Sara Taseer reopens jewellery shop but donates a day's takings to Puchu's Balochistan victims' charity ball; Sunday, GT, Business Plus win exclusive rights for coverage of Puchu's event

Express Tribune: Phase V bloggers reunite with Phase VI counterparts after traumatic night of separation; massive relief in DHA, Clifton as cyclone avoids Bayview school, Agha's supermarket; tweeters launch campaign to locate missing Sindhi/Baloch maasis through GPS; absence of Espresso waiters causes immense hardship for customers; Phet of Hawke's Bay huts still worries many bankers; Bad road manners, poor civic sense, pathetic displays of social irresponsibility observed as revelling post-cyclone outsiders flood into Seaview; Thousands feared dead somewhere beyond Kala Pul

The Nation: Badin, Thatta drowning in Black Water, RAW sewage; Indo-US cyclone plot foiled due to Pak Navy's heroic action on high seas; Timely publication of photographs of suspicious foreigners may have deterred storm from destroying Pak financial capital; Hindu, Jewish bankers dismayed; Separatists suffer heavy losses in Balochistan, Sindh, FC men safe;  Nukes, Majid Nizami, Nazriya-e-Pakistan, AQ Khan saved yet again; Shireen Mazari safe too. Pakistan Zindabad!


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
truely captures on what side of the divide our papers stand.

I think I'll stick to dawn, for sanity's sake. :)

Ahsan said...

That. Was. Awesome.

Ahsan said...

By the way, there's something wrong with the formatting of this post.

Khalid said...

I lol'd so hard. xD

MSS said...

too good!

Anonymous said...

Must say the original was sharper/funnier. Fabulous piece of writing.

Faiza said...

Glad to see the follow-up piece too! "drowning in Black Water, RAW sewage" was esp. clever :)

XYZ said...

Hilarious! And Faiza's right, that Blackwater / RAW sewage line was something special! Wish you'd 'Do More' khabardrama!

Ahsan, hope the formatting's ok now.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post!

Anonymous said...

If all you cafe pyala guys and gals are working journalists, and I have no reason to doubt that claim, how come we never come across work of such quality and humour in the papers you work for?

aynalif said...

I kindof agree with Anon above - if you guys are working journos why are our newspapers so insipid?

@Khabardrama: good stuff but this time a little stretched. Blackwater and "Thousands feared dead somewhere beyond Kala Pul" are classic. I remember it used to be "beyond the Clifton bridge" at one time but I guess times are a changing.

Sahar said...

This was your best work yet. Brilliant! I can't decide which is my favorite line, but all references to "Puchu" were hilarious!

Anonymous said...

haha! Super...

Ammar - Ed said...

absolutely brilliant. you guys are scaling new heights of political humor with every post. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE DAMN IT????
hats off. seriously. too damn good.