John Oliver on the American Media’s India Blind Spot


The premiere of John Oliver’s new HBO news satire show, “Last Week Tonight,” included a segment on the Indian parliamentary election that seemed to speak for the legions of Indian journalists who actually are covering the story, as well as the political junkies here who are avidly tracking every development.

Mr. Oliver took Americans and the American media to task for ignoring the largest democratic exercise in the world and in history, involving 815 million eligible voters.

“The India election is not even that complicated,” Mr. Oliver pointed out. “Just like an American election, all it really comes down to is two people.”

News and analysis on the world’s largest election.

The first is the Indian National Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, whom Mr. Oliver describes as the “Indian Han Solo,” mostly because he’s handsome and often wears Nehru vests.

Then, Mr. Oliver said, there was Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the chief minister of Gujarat.

“Modi sold tea in a railway station, and now he’s the most popular man in the country — don’t pretend you’re not interested in this, America.  Last time you heard a rags-to-riches story about a tea-selling Indian kid, you threw a [expletive] Oscar at it,” he said, as the poster for “Slumdog Millionaire” appeared….

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