OPINION

Good news, bad news

«News programs on TV and radio shall contain, in the same proportion, news with positive and negative themes,» according to a law passed by the Romanian Senate on June 25, 2008. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, here is the news. As you will no doubt be delighted to hear, our Senate has just passed a law which obliges television and radio stations to present good news and bad news in equal proportions. If we may be allowed a short comment, or, rather, an interpretation of the law: As of today the saying «no news is good news» no longer applies. From now on, good news is indeed news. And now to our bulletin. The sun rose this morning at 06.09 and the Earth continued to spin at the same speed and in the same orbit as it has for billions of years. No serious academic studies have recently been published predicting an immediate end to this state of affairs. In the absence of any reports to the contrary, we can assume that the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants awoke in a good state of health. The melting of polar ice does not appear to be disturbing the sleep of too many. In international markets, there’s good news for oil-producing countries, oil companies and national tax departments as oil hit another record price today. Almost all aircraft that took off since our last bulletin have safely reached their destinations. It is still too early to say in this bulletin whether we can tell you about one that has gone missing: We still don’t know if its fate will leave you grieving, relieved or indifferent. The vast majority of our politicians are honest and devoted to serving the people. And the businessmen who have close ties with them are probably just good friends who are not prepared to let suspicious minds poison social relationships. The judge who is investigating the Siemens scandal can confirm this: He has found no political responsibility with regard to the bribes paid by the company. Furthermore, the statute of limitations which allows politicians’ alleged crimes to go unpunished also contributes to the quality of our justice system and, by extension, of our society: It prevents people wasting time on fruitless investigations which do nothing but cast an unfair shadow over the country’s politics. If we may venture a prediction, the clearing up of the aforementioned case will also inspire citizens’ confidence. Indicative of this – and most encouraging – is the fact that a massive 25 percent are confident that the judiciary will clear up the Siemens affair, according to a poll conducted by the Public Issue company for Sunday’s Kathimerini. Furthermore, 34 percent of those polled expressed confidence that the government is determined to tackle corruption – a full percentage point more than those who have faith in the main opposition party. In our sports news, most supporters of soccer teams X and Y returned home safely after vigorous clashes between enthusiastic fans outside the stadium. We cannot tell you the result of the game because we don’t know what percentage of the population supports which team so that we might know what percentage will see the result as positive or negative. Such results will be announced only after the percentage of supporters of each team, in relation to the total population, has been verified. The same will apply in politics, where we will take the percentage that each party won in national elections and fashion our news accordingly. Whatever is good for the majority will be good for all. Tomorrow the weather will be good for those who want to go the beach and bad for those hoping to avoid doing the garden. Good night and good luck.