Hard as it is for me to admit, of late news television in India has begun to remind me of nothing more than a lynch mob. One target – or three, on a busy day – is identified by TV news, and then the entire evening is devoted to bashing him or her to a pulp.
There is not even a passing nod to fairness or impartiality, or an attempt to get both sides of the story. Don’t be so silly; that is too old-fashioned for words. These days, the narrative is set in the morning news meeting and the only facts that are of relevance are the ones that fit it.
Other than that, it’s just a gladiatorial contest between several talking heads (fitted into tiny windows on the screen) while the anchor encourages them to be even more outrageous and out-shout the others.
Except, of course, for those who have the temerity to oppose his worldview on that particular evening. They can barely get out a few disjointed words amidst loud interruptions before being told by the anchor that they are speaking nonsense and ought to be ashamed of themselves.
And where one channel leads, the others follow.
So, every evening we are treated to the sorry sight of one or another ‘celebrity’ being pummelled across channels, with many of the same suspects doing duty as guest speakers on the ‘debates’. That is, if a ‘debate’ means shouting at one another but refusing to hear what the other has to say. Not that it matters what anyone says or hears. Even before the ‘debate’ begins, we know which side will win. Yes, it’s the one the anchor is on.
From HT Brunch, January 25, 2015
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