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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

On Mallya’s friends: Suhel Seth and Harsha Bhogle

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You might know Suhel Seth and Harsha Bhogle. I chose these two people coz first one is a self-proclaimed holier than thou and authority on calling out other people and second one has been playing victim card and has been hailed as a nice poor guy.

It amazes me how ‘scratch the back’ and ‘self-sustaining’ club these people have made within elite and media circles, that nobody is calling them out for what they are. They are aiders and abettors to the crony capitalism. In fact they are product of this very corrupt system that they seem to portray they are not part of.

seth.jpgFirst let’s come to Suhel Seth. He comes on TV debates and fakes authority on social and political issues. He gives gyan and lectures people how they should behave. He is a socialite and metro elite. Recently there was a controversy in London when Mallya attended the same event as Indian High Commissioner. You know what that event was? That was the Suhel Seth’s book launch. People like Seth who are in bed with people like Mallya, then come on TV and lecture others. What is sickening is they are allowed to let away due to the quid pro quo group they have created.

bhogle.jpgNext is the Harsha Bhogle, the nice guy. He played victim for being kicked out of commentary contract. First of all that was a temporary contract. Second he wouldn’t have got the contract renewed for so long had he not been part of the cozy club himself. He reaped the benefits of quid pro quo for so long and when he was at receiving end, he played victim and his friends carried that charade along. Anyways remember that video that went viral which Mallya’s son made in London, wishing RCB all the best for IPL final. There was guy sitting with Mallya in that video, you can hear Mallya junior calling out Bhogle’s name in that video. And then Harsha Bhogle is hailed as the poor victim. Really!

The least we can do is not hail these people and show them their real place. Else they keep exploiting the system and keep preaching us how not to do it.

Written by arpitgarg

July 7, 2016 at 2:49 am

In Reply to Ravish Kumar, NDTV

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This is in reply to Open Letter from Ravish Kumar.

ravish_kumar.jpgRavish Kumar ji, there was a time when I used to watch your show. It was within last 3 years. You see I am also an emotional kind of guy just like you. To watch a news show, I must be able to respect the news person at some level. I had respect for you and hence I watched your show. For the same reason I like to watch Kapil Sharma and not Comedy Nights Bachao.

Just as a proof that I indeed liked you, here is the link to the article I wrote on 10 Sep 2014. And another on Nov 26 2015. The way you grilled opportunistic Kiran Bedi, I admired you. I liked you as you brought with yourself a real thing, which has gone missing on News Channels. A phonyism has engulfed not just news but society in general; amidst that I saw you a glimmer of hope. Then the black screen happened.

I would be honest; I lost more than a bit of respect for you that day. It was more because the reason you chose to do that. The TRP race. It felt as if you were irritated with the fellow channel that got TRP’s and you wanted that TRP for yourself. I would have liked had you berated against the bad Govt. policies or phony politicians. But the reason you chose was as phony as it could have been.

Now you complain about online trolls. You know when people start complaining about online trolls, is what I call the ultimate stage of phonyism. When you refer to ‘change’ in last 3 years, I know you are referring to the current dispensation. I just want to tell that last 3 years have seen infinite increase in online activity, fake accounts, paid accounts and what not. It is the real reason.

There are stages for success. People get successful and then more successful and then they start complaining about online trolls. Karan Johar was also complaining couple of weeks back on NDTV website about twitter trolls. Any public figure can complain about that. You don’t think Modi gets any less abuse online than you do? Take any public personality, you would be better, I bet.

Today’s letter that you wrote to MJ Akbar, I didn’t like that much. I’ll tell you why. I like upright people. If you hated him becoming minister, you should have said so straight. You went about beating around the bush trying to mock him. The holier than thou attitude doesn’t help Sir.

I sympathize with you that your mother was called names on twitter and your channel name was abused, but that is how social media has grown. If you want blame, blame twitter for not controlling such accounts. Blame the IT policy for that. Blame courts for not censuring people online. But don’t play a victim card here Sir. When people with money start playing victim card to online trolling, it doesn’t seem nice.

It’s like a slap on the face of poor people with real problems.

Written by arpitgarg

July 6, 2016 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Media

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Arnab interviewed PM: Others Journalists please accept with humility

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journalist.jpgEver since Arnab’s interview with PM aired, a lot of journalists are running scorned. Why Arnab, why not us, is their question. “Oh he was soft as butter”, one of them said. Others, who are not saying it so openly, are shooting from behind the cloak. “Arnab is PM’s spokesperson” to “Arnab sold himself” are other things I heard. My only request would be, please accept with humility. It’s not PM’s problem if we have 100 news channels today. He picked the English News channel with highest TRP to reach out to maximum people. Simple!

I remember a famous Hindi Channel Journalist ran blank screen to protest against Arnab’s diatribe once. It amazed me then. It amazes me now. If Arnab didn’t have the TRP’s on his side, the same journalist would not have protested then, others like him would not have been scorned now. It’s not the interview or Arnab they are miffed about; it’s about the TRP’s, the advt. revenue they are worried about. They suspect falling TRP’s for their own shows, which in turn amounts to less bonus and eventual cut in pay. I hope they be honest and admit this. If/when they admit this fact; I wouldn’t have anything against them. I have issue with their double speak and their hypocrisy.

Be honest; say that we are only scorned due to surging TRP of Arnab’s show and eyeballs that he gets. I had a lot of respect for ‘blank screen’ journalist, but since that episode, how the mighty has fallen. It’s PM’s prerogative whom to give interview to. Accept this with humility. In fact I would go a step further, had Manmohan given an interview to Arnab say 3-4 years back, there would not have been this hue and cry. Can you guess why? Simple, Manmohan couldn’t have brought so much TRP and eyeballs. Modi brings with him, the TRP’s and advt. revenue and hence the diatribe.

Sore losers are never respected.

Written by arpitgarg

June 30, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Media

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Arnab Goswami is de-facto lead journalist now

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arnabgoswami.jpgI have been open about my views on Arnab Goswami. I hate his over the top approach which is driven by TRP’s rather than ideology. That he has taken yellow journalism to its darkest shade is something which I don’t like. But what I admire about him is he is not biased and caged by his political leanings. For him TRP’s come first, rest all is second. Hence he remains equally harsh on all political parties and leaders, unlike other well known journalists who are shamelessly biased towards Congress or BJP or Left.

I believed he was journalist in an English News Channel, which has limited audience in India and hence does not represent the popular view. For me he represented the view which urban elites liked to hear and hence provide TRP’s. Well let me admit I was right and I was wrong. I was right in saying he has urban elites as his audience, but what I failed to grasp was, these very people are the ones that define policies. His audience comprises of top notch of society. Judges, Doctors, Engineers, Teachers. His audience comprises of influential people, who lead the society.

When I say Arnab has a small audience, I mean in number as compared to 130 cr population. In comparison to other English News channels, his audience is obviously more.

Couple of incidents happened that made me realize the import of what Arnab and his audience represents. A judge recently appointed a lawyer to a case after he saw that lawyer in a Panel discussion on Newshour. How I came to know was, that same lawyer thanked Arnab for inviting him and getting him noticed. He did that on live TV during a subsequent discussion.

The next major thing was Narendra Modi interview. That an astute politician like Modi decided to give his first Indian interview as PM to Arnab speaks volumes of the strength of Arnab’s audience. The audience which is less in number but lists the Who’s who of Indian society. Arnab is right when he says he sets Nations News Agenda on Newshour. Everyone else just plays catch up.

For most elites of Mumbai/Delhi, news is what happens 9-11 PM on TimesNow. Arnab is the pied piper of urban India.

Written by arpitgarg

June 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Media

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How low will Media go and the Khadse Blow to BJP

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khadse_yedurappa.jpgMinister in Maharashtra cabinet, BJP leader Eknath Khadse was forced to resign over graft charges. Maha politics is based on land grab and this is one such clear case. What happens to Khadse after this will define the tone of subsequent election campaigns by BJP. Will he be charge sheeted or will he be let off just like Ashok Chavan, of the Adarsh shame?

Amdist all this, India Today channel had a special guest dialing in to discuss this issue. The guest was none other than Ashok Chavan. And the host was none other than Rajdeep Sardesai, one of the most biased journalists in India, evidently proud of it too. Anyways, Mahamahim Ashok Chavan ji was being asked if the action is enough on Khadse or should there be an enquiry too and he be taken to task. Ashok Chavan agreed that there need to be a high level judicial enquiry etc etc.

Rajdeep who was relishing with the first wicket to fall from Modi’s “Naa Khaoonga, na khaane doonga” chant, didn’t ask Chavan that, “Do you think, Khadse’s resignation is just an eyewash, just like your resignation was?” or “Do you think Khadse is a land grabber just like you?” I mean how low will such journalists go? They call in corrupt and tainted politicians on their shows due to closeness and quid pro quo and legitimize such people. Call all you want but grill them. Not given them open audience to be a hero.

What authority does Adarsh tainted Chavan has to speak on Khadse. I mean why would you even call him? If you call him then don’t cozy up to him. Ask him tough questions.

On the issue of Khadse, it is a serious blow to Modi, but not some boon for Congress. This is a boon for regional parties. Khadse has resigned but won’t go down easily. In Maharashtra land grabbers are big politicians and Khadse is one of them. Unfortunately he has huge backing of people and a known grass root politician. He has all qualities to be a Yedurappa-2 for BJP.

Don’t be surprised if 6 months down the line, Khadse is given clean chit and he is back, either in Maharashtra or Centre. Having been so long out of power, BJP was guarded from graft charges too. With so many states and Centre under its belt, graft charges will surface regularly now. It will be a big headache to BJP as how to deal with it.

As we saw in Yedurappa case, acting against the corrupt has potential to destroy the party in that state. So what will it be five years down the line? Will Modi be able to recite, “Naa khaya, Naa Khaane diya” or will he be left wanting by BJP’s Congressmen.

Written by arpitgarg

June 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Reporters or Talk Show hosts?

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talk_show_reporters.jpg

On Fox News in USA, a long running news show is telecast ‘The Hannity’. It is run by a person Hannity. It’s just like any other prime time shows that come on News channels. People are interviewed and occasional panel discussions. Recently Hannity admitted that he is not a reporter but a Talk Show Host.

It was a very honest admission unlike the hypocrites we see in Indian News Media. Don’t get me wrong, US media is much worse. But let’s concentrate on India for a little bit. Every night on various news channels, we see Talk Show hosts posing as reporters and maligning the name of media.

My assertion is they are mere actors and their shows are not unlike ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. They should not be allowed to call themselves reporters. Booming of News channels is a recent phenomenon in India and has grown during last 10-12 years or so. Initially these TV hosts were chosen from career reporters, who till then were foot soldiers. They got the opportunity to enter the TV studios but they just never left. Slowly they lost touch with the reality, with people. The lure of fat pay and big AC Studios was far too much when compared to heat/dust/sweat/pain that comes with real reporting.

Situation is even grimmer now. People without any experience in reporting are directly hired as Debate show hosts. Only requirement is one should be able to speak good English. Their knowledge of political, social situations doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is the eyeballs they can generate. The TRP’s!

Why I cited example of Hannity was, at least he was true enough to admit what he really is. A Talk Show Host. After a smug political breed, a new smug Media breed has emerged. They want special treatment, passes, perks and what not. My only advice to these people is, be honest and admit you are Talk Show Hosts. Maybe then real reporters will be able to redeem the profession.

Written by arpitgarg

April 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

Posted in Media

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Sad reality behind ‘huge’ Arnab Goswami viewership

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arnab.jpgWhoever has watched Times Now, would be familiar with the Arnab’s rhetoric about Newshour being the most watched News Show. Indeed it is. But there is a sad reality hidden behind.

Newshour is the most watched English News Debate show. However the number the people watching this show is not more than 5-6 lacs in reality. It’s just that out of other such shows this is the most watched. Hindi News shows have more than 10 times viewership. Why is this show hailed then?

For most of the part it is his self advertising, telling about how great the show is. How big the crusader he is. And sad part is the per capita income difference between English speaking and non-English speaking Indian’s is too high. More so with people who have subscribed to such English News Channels.

It’s the per capita of his viewers which is high. Not the number of viewers. The much celebrated status and high advertisement rate of Times Now is much due to the economic divide that India faces today. Less people are More rich. More people are Less rich.

In our society since poor people don’t have much money, they don’t have much purchasing power. Which in turn eliminates them from potential TV viewer list. No TV channel wants people to see their show, if they don’t have money to buy products advertised. It’s the game of money.

Hype of TimesNow and Arnab Goswami is due to the purchasing power of his viewers. Who are less in quantity but more in monetary terms. This should not be much of a surprise given Top 1% owns more than 50% of wealth in India.

Written by arpitgarg

March 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Media

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