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We Are Same Same But Different

What’s with some news anchors and editors decrying Arnab Goswami? Only to try and beat him at his own game.

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Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep sardesai

Night after night when India sits in front of its television sets at 9’ o clock to watch a Digvijay Singh bullied, a Madhu Kishwar panting for breath, a Ravi Shankar Prasad walking out of a television studio –  all on India’s one-stop shop for high decibel infotainment blitzkrieg – other channels are trying “to be different”. So, after a night of TRP-pulling and nerve-wrecking by Arnab Goswami, the following day his affable or should we say beleaguered contemporaries join in for a happy kitty party in the Twitter kingdom to pat each other’s back and make lengthy conversations and philosophical comments on how some “loud” elements in the business are turning news into a hyperbolic, jingoistic, dictatorial monologue.

Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN has now taken it upon himself to battle away the miscreants in the news business. No prizes for guessing who is the “noise” in his world.

rajdeep-twitter

Too bad that Rajdeep’s vision for a better universe with only-news-no-noise, sounds a little meaningless when you turn on his own channel and are greeted by decibel levels and rants which would make even Arnab doff his hat in deference.

4 lakh euros to tyagi

Full Video: http://www.istream.com/news/watch/290656/India-At-9–Feb-14-2013

Not that Rajdeep is the only one taking potshots at He Who Must Not Be Named. His NDTV counterpart, Barkha Dutt has done a better job of avoiding the Clash of the Titans – desi version. Rather than passing on the buck, she simply changed her slot from primetime to late night. So now she’s up against Emotional Atyachaar and Homeland. Ooh, might not be as wise a choice as she thought. But at least she’s “being different”.

Could it be that it’s only Arnab’s ex-colleagues and contemporaries who are concerned and dismayed by his abysmal (but sadly for them, highly popular) panel discussions? And that the younger crop, couldn’t give a damn? Well, you might consider rethinking that, going by the wide-eyed and relatively young Rahul Kanwal’s cock-a-snook tweets about The Voice.

rahul-twitter-1rahul-twitter-2

Advice being imparted for the general good of the news world? Or is there a secret “agenda” and “propaganda” to the tweet? The tweet was posted on February 9, 2013 – the day Afzal Guru was hanged and media got its story of the year and each channel got into the “pro-nation patriots and anti-nation human rights lobby” debate. And let’s not forget the Centrestage promo which shows Rahul Kanwal saying that the programme and Headlines Today is going to “cut through the noise”. If only the message wasn’t delivered at a decibel level which could deafen most.

Agreed Arnab’s primetime debate panel on that day was not balanced given that Majid Memon of NCP, Smriti Irani of BJP, Rahul Narvekar of Shiv Sena and Arnab himself had the same thing to say and poor Shabnam Lone, representing the human rights angle could only express her helplessness. Granted that Arnab treated the day as his opportunity to announce and pronounce the greatness of the Indian legal system. Agreed that Arnab, without beating around the bush, made it clear he was immensely elated to have gotten rid of a terrorist. But was the wide-eyed anti-propaganda on Kanwal’s channel any different?

afzal-guru-executed

For the full Video go to: http://www.istream.com/news/watch/285469/Afzal-Guru-victim-of-political-conspiracy

We think not.

A convenient quote from Omar Abdullah’s statement was pulled up as a slug to give the channel’s judgment on Afzal’s killing. And then, although the Headlines Today panel looked fairly balanced, 80 per cent of the air time went into hearing the views of former Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor Radha Kumar. Kumar was not only uninformed about the situation in J&K after the hanging but also could barely provide any insight into the subject.

selective-hanging

For the full video go to: http://www.istream.com/news/watch/287014/Row-over-Afzal-Gurus-selective-hanging

And the games continue with everyone concerned trying to win in the “How not to be Arnab Goswami” board game. Sadly for us viewers, there’s so much focus on not being Arnab that they seem to emulate him more than less. Suddenly channels have started to treat Arnab Goswami as the benchmark for all that is right and wrong in TV news. Look left, right or centre, all you see and hear are anti-Arnab jibes. Promos, headlines, choice of panel, snide remarks on shows and of course the tweets by primetime news anchors are driven by Arnab’s histrionics on his own channel.

Through it all, the only person not bothering to be on Twitter is Arnab himself. Busy with his eccentricities on national television night after night, untouched by the “competition” and his naysayers and reveling in the results of the deeply flawed TRP results. While the other channels look like Stepford wives – following Arnab’s lead and not managing to do a very good job of it. No wonder everyone’s tuning in to the Oracle and the Judge and Jury all rolled into one, every night. And through it all, Arnab and his travelling circus trundles along oblivious to the high-decibel naysayers who are doing exactly what they denounce.

Somi-Das

 

Image by: Swarnabha Banerjee

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  • nitin

    I am often exasperated by him but he is the best we have! I admire Arnab Goswami!

    • Patnaikt

      but he should at least allow others to speak. Since it is his show, does not allow anyone else to speak!

      • http://www.facebook.com/aadith.kadambi.aiyangaar Aadith Kadambi Aiyangaar

        Which show are you watching? He allows people to speak & gets cut off himself all the time. Then goes off on a bizarre sounding – But but but but but but but but but…… – routine.
        He’s an honest gasbag unlike the others who are just plain & simple, Gasbags.
        I have also not heard of Arnab partying with any politicians or having a link with any politicians. Refreshing, you dn’t think?

    • abhishek singh

      Try Ravish on Primetime some day. He beats all english anchors at the job.

      • http://twitter.com/ankankr Ankan

        Agree, Ravish is the best. He is not loud, has manageable number of guests, and cuts through BS from politicians with satire and a smile.

        • priyanka

          i agree, ravish is d only good thing on news channels.

      • http://www.facebook.com/balpreet.jaswal Balpreet Singh

        i agree he is the best… he allow guest to speak, plus he add some new hindi words to our vocabulary….

    • Bhaskar

      Agreed Arnab is annoying at times, and getting 10 guests in one show where no one makes a point is foolish,,, But I feel he is last on screen anchor who is not a complete sell out. If a Barkha type incident happens with him I wil donate my TV for charity.

  • Ashim choudhury

    good article…timely…But I amm allso of the view that arnab needs to be dispassionate when giving out news…He becomes rabid. Let’s not lower standards….But then, he belongs to the TOI group where journalism has been dragged to the pits…The Times group has lost all sense of proportion…It’s a cause for worry considering they are ‘market’ leaders..

    • Bob M

      The Advertising Times of India!!!!

  • aam aadmi

    “watch Digvijay Singh bullied, a Madhu Kishwar panting for breath, a Ravi Shankar Prasad walking out of a television studio” …… should be ….. “watch Digvijay Singh BULLYING, a RENUKA CHAUDHARY panting for breath, a ABHISEKS MANU SINGHVI walking out of a television studio” …. no?

  • Skay

    like they say politics is constantly a choice between two evils…and sadly media has become so too…..we have to decide which is the lesser evil

  • bulesha

    I stopped these 9PM discussion just bcoz of one man “Sanjay Jha”. ( A lutyen Journo).

  • karthik

    Arnab is the most patriotic,charismatic,trendsetting and a unique journo in an otherwise pro-Cong media..he doesn’t give a rats ass to either Cong or BJP precisely because TN doesn’t get/need doles from Govt unlike the sold out rest.

  • Dr Manoj Mehra

    Was initially hooked to Newshour,but over the time understood that its more noise than content.Also an anchor taking a biased stand even before the show starts,not makes for interesting viewing.Strongly recommend against it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aadith.kadambi.aiyangaar Aadith Kadambi Aiyangaar

      Everyone has biases. None of his competitors are different. The editors take, on IBN, is an example of a predermined view. Atleast Goswami flings papers in your face

  • http://www.facebook.com/aadith.kadambi.aiyangaar Aadith Kadambi Aiyangaar

    Rahul Kanwal is a moron. And I use that word after a lot of thinking. I once saw him interview Shoaib Akhtar. Worst interview I have ever seen on TV by far. He comprehensively misquoted Akhtar & distorted his statements to draw some vague link to homosexuality where there was none, match fixing where there was none etc. Here, he can’t claim that this was done for TRPs. Shoaib can say anything & a group of people will find it entertaining. And that channel is a disgrace to journalism. They only discuss Bollywood. I have no time for Bollywood.
    As for Rajdeep, he sounds like he has a chilly enema before he reads(squeals) the news. Uses the wonderful tactic of “False Comparisons/Equations” to further an agenda.
    Arnab is a gasbag, but the least dishonest gasbag. he might be loud, obnoxious & sometimes puerile, but you can see there is an attempt to be honest and engage with people he doesn’t like. The truth is, he beats everyone else at the TRP game & you may call these ratings deeply falwed, but none of his ‘competitors’ have ever come out & said anything that negates the earlier mentioned TRP claim. His deliberate extension of the ‘Newshour’ is aimed at cutting out all competition & hence they all, you know, hate him. And not conforming to pressure & getting on twiter is something I am proud of myself for. I had no idea Goswami wasn’t on twitter too. Good on hiim for being cool with non conformism

    • abhishek singh

      The reason he is being discussed is because he is the best in the business. But he gets very annoying when he tirelessly tries to advertise ‘ your TV channel’. And though he tries to provoke and polarize every speaker, the decibel levels fall sharply whenever someone confronts him. I, for one, started following debates conducted by Ravish Kumar at Primetime NDTV. Possibly, the best among the lot. He critcises without sounding abusive, questions without polarising and the debates certainly aren’t high decibel. And BTW Arnab was on Twitter, deleted his account recently.

  • http://twitter.com/raghav2k raghav

    I too would like to know who the hell this dubious character Sanjay Jha is? He speaks on behalf of Govt of India, CBI, DRI, IT, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Antony,i Manish Tiwari et all! what is his locus standi and who has authorised him? He is such a bloody irritation that whenever I seem him in any program ( He is omnipresent on all Channels!), I switch off. No Anchor is willing to disclose who is the Godfather & Sponsorer of Sanjay Jha and why do they keep inviting him day after day, even Vinod Sharma appears a Saint in comparison.

  • YP1

    Silly article — why will anyone try to do or not do something on TV with Arnab on mind? Maybe the author is obsessed with Arnab.

  • Jasbeer Kaur

    Arnabs oft quoted line in Newshour now, ” YOU MUST REALIZE THIS IS THE NEWSHOUR NOT ANY OTHER CHANNEL” AS IF ONLY HE HAS INTEGRITY AND OTHER CHANNELS HAVE NONE..MOREOVER
    NOT LETTING OTHERS SPEAK HAS BECOME HIS FORTE. IT SEEMS HE IS ADDRESSING
    THE NATION ON HIS ALL NOISE ‘NEWSHOUR’ SHOW NOT DEBATING. NOW NO MORE A FAVOURITE CHANNEL….

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