ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘media

Censor chops Indu Sarkar: Why no outrage?

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silenceThere is a certain section of people which is called intelligentsia, who we trust to depict our collective reactions. When movies like Lipstick under the Burka are blocked, we expect known faces to come out in outcry. When government acts towards appeasing majority or minority, we expect the people in public life to hit back hard. For all the money they mooch off our adulations, it is the least we expect them to do.

I am saddened by lack of outrage when Indu Sarkar is asked by Censor to chop off certain portions. The silence is deafening. This when same people are busy writing op-ed’s about another film where utterances by a well known economist have been muted. I wonder why?

It leads me to my conclusion; Incidents like emergency are implemented by buying of intelligentsia and people of prominence. Elites love restrictions like emergency during which they side with the powers that be. Even today the known and well off people scoff at such movies. When leaders who imposed emergency should have been relegated to the gutters of history, they are celebrated. I can even live with that. But during the era when any and each cuts by CBFC is portrayed in media as an act against freedom of expression and rightly so, the lack of support for Indu Sarkar is an eye opener.

Such selective collective approaches is what erodes the public trust. When media and elites rue the fact that Modi is PM or for that matter Trump is President, their own hypocrisy is to blame. Had they rallied against acts such as emergency and stopped bowing down to the Family, maybe public would not have been forced to look past the taint of Godhra. Had they called out Clintons on their misadventures, maybe public would not have looked past the sleaze audio tape.

There is still time for redemption, but I don’t see it coming. All we have to do is to apply same yardstick to everyone. But in todays polarized time, it is easier said than done.

Written by arpitgarg

July 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Donald Trump: Why pollsters got it wrong

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poll_wrong.jpgPolling (just like risk calculation in businesses) is as much a mathematical calculation as it is an art. You need to have the sense that few have to get it right. In last 10 years or so, it has become more of mathematical model than anytime before. Just like the 2007-09 financial crisis which brought to fore risk calculation model errors, similarly the current election result has brought to notice the polling model errors.

Trump campaign used to attack polls as fake and political hit jobs regularly. For my analysis I want to assume the intentions behind polls were pure. So why did they get it so wrong, barring a couple of polls (which can be owed to chance). I believe the polls had severe model errors, which didn’t took into account a lot of factors.

Just like 2007-09 when polls failed to take into account correlation risk across geographies, the polls failed to take into account the anger among the electorate. Also Trump was a new phenomenon, who was not someone one would like to say one likes, but was bang on message and policies. That created shy voters who did not admit to pollsters they were voting for Trump.

Polls also failed to take into account the contempt the main stream media had for Trump. So much so that anyone saying he/she supported Trump was bashed not just on social media but by mainstream media pundits too for being a bigot. I remember one of the Kardashians had to roll back on her comment of voting for Trump after the backlash. Would she have voted for Clinton? I very much doubt so. When bashing of a candidate becomes an acceptable thing and anyone supporting him is touted as a bad person by responsible people in media, it becomes difficult for one to admit the support anymore.

The anger, the shyness gave rise to the errors in legacy polling methods.

What polls also failed to take into account was the contempt for the media. Gallup poll which has tracked trust in media for last 40 years or so, found the trust to be the lowest in 2016. Two-thirds don’t trust media. And that same distrusting media was out to get Trump in full force. Media distrust fueled Trump support.

All these factors have to be modeled into polling methodology in future. The change election with a flawed candidate with an appealing message, the anger in the populace, the creation of shy voters and the bias in the media were few of the factors that broke the polls this year.

Hope the pollsters learn from these errors and evolve for better.

Written by arpitgarg

November 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Posted in Media, Political

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Why US Elections make me sad: And no it’s not about Trump

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money_politics.jpegElections in world’s oldest democracy and the leader of the free world should have been about all that is good about Democracy. It should have been a showcase to world which can influence non-Democracies to become one. However I am afraid to say US elections make me sad. I’ll tell you why.

The debate should have been about the candidates, the policies, what they can do or not. However I see the media discourse about who is raising how much money. Money, which should have been abhorrent when associated with a candidate, is being considered a virtue. The liberal media is celebrating the candidate who gets more money out of the wealthy donors, the Oligarchs.

Consider the headline on CNN, “Clinton burying Trump: $42 million to $1.3 million”. It reeks of a feeling that a candidate with more money is more virtuous. And this makes me real sad. It feels the real purpose of democracy has gone lost. Each person, rich or poor, was to have equal say. However a donation by rich, which is then used to influence other voters, makes the voice skewed. Rich has more voice even in elections. I am sure if Trump had raised more money, the headlines would have been is his favor. It’s not just CNN, its all media. In fact it’s a general sense.

Whole concept of democracy has become a sham. In the world’s largest democracy, India, it is even a bigger sham. Billions of dollars of black money is spent during General elections. It’s akin to buying votes.

So much money in politics and its naked celebration by media makes me sick. Makes me wonder, where did it all go wrong?

Written by arpitgarg

July 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Britain’s moment of Trump(h)

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trump_britain.jpgBritain has voted for exiting the European Union putting to rest months of uncertainty and leading the global economy towards unchartered territory.

A lot was said as to how bad Brexit would be for UK economy and UK political standing. People campaigning for Leave were termed racists, xenophobic and what not. Still people decided to leave. Just as we did not ask when Trump won Republican Primary, we are still not asking the right questions. I see a lot of analysts and pundits calling it a dark day and a bug loss for humanity. Seriously? People of a nation determining their future, if that is a black day, then something wrong with the analysis.

Those who wanted to Remain and a huge number of them, have to introspect why they lost. No point blaming the other side. Why was it that people chose to leave? To understand that well off ones have to come out of their palaces. This includes media pundits. Stop demonizing the poor’s as racists. These people want jobs, security. Why call them xenophobic?

How I read this outcome is, majority of population have been left behind. Majority of population has not benefitted from European Union. A lot of them have benefitted and it is evident from 52-48 split. But the majority has been left behind and ignored. When they raise voices, they were called bad names. Hence they took matter to the ballot.

Same happened in case of Trump. He invigorated the silent majority. People who have been left far behind. People who were at the fag end of economic spectrum. People who have gained nothing for decades. I felt bad when Trump voters were demonized as racists in the similar way. Pundits could have called Trump a racist, but calling the voters names was outright wrong.

Now is the time for course correction. Its up to the 48% people now. Do they want to take 52% along towards prosperity or not? Further alienation and subjugation might lead to much worse consequences. I am not much too happy with Brexit myself. But will be happy if this is taken as a sign to stop taking the bourgeois for granted.

Written by arpitgarg

June 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Political

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Why media got Trump prediction wrong?

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trump_media.jpgSince Trump started topping polls and started winning primaries, media pundits are having a hard time explaining why they got predictions so wrong. It’s not an easy thing to introspect about ones failures. Most in media are passing through the same phase. They are blaming Trump voters, calling them angry, bigots and every name under the sun. Few have admitted they were wrong in their analysis. Still they are not ready to admit as to why they went wrong. Let me do it for them.

They were wrong as they were not impartial. They were wrong as they analyzed from studios. They were wrong as they were disconnected from public. They were wrong as their fat paychecks plugged their ears from the pain of the common man. They were wrong as they had a secure job, nice house and were paid for by those in power. They were wrong as the media houses they worked for and swore allegiance to, are owned by same elites who own politicians via campaign funds. More importantly they were wrong as they reported what they wanted to be true, not what was indeed true.

When polls started coming late last year, many in media knew that Trump had a solid chance. But they wrote otherwise. They wrote what they wished to be true. They wished Trump was not the nominee. Had they done unbiased analysis, they would have known the Truth, which was so evident.

Most of the Pundits are paid for by big business houses. Anything coming out of their mouths is thus tainted. They never say what they feel, they say what pays. Hence the disconnect.

Whether Trump will be a good nominee or a bad nominee, only time will tell. But to have said that he had no chance just coz they wanted him not to be a nominee, is where media went wrong. It’s time for biasness in media to go away or else people will force the exiting media to go away.

Written by arpitgarg

May 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

The Future of Main Stream Media

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media_politics.jpgLast 5 years have been really tough for Main Stream Media (MSM). MSM has always reveled in taking moral high ground and driving their agenda. It got TRP’s by maligning the political class. It fought for the injustice and got public support. “Media Pressure”, it was called. It reaped results and people were happy. In India, advent of AAP was also attributed to the unprecedented media coverage.

This emboldened MSM further and it began to think itself as king maker and agenda setter. However it was able to maintain the veil of neutrality. In reality everyone was driving their own beliefs and policies. Growth of Social Media removed this veil. MSM was found in bed with the same politicians whom it once stood against. People were left aghast.

So where does MSM go from here? Well, as far as I think, globally it has survived by becoming more political. And this should be the case in India too. We will see more and more news channels aligning openly with one or the other political party in lieu of patronage.

We will see political beliefs of media persons coming out in open. They will start flashing it more openly and not under the veil. This is what they have to do. This is what they will do. Social Media has called out their hypocrisy. Currently MSM is in denial and anger more. It is calling people names in return.

Soon we will see the Bargain/Depression stage, which will soon lead to Acceptance of the truth and coming out in open. MSM can survive only by shedding the tag of hypocrisy. The sooner they do the better. MSM will was/is/will be never neutral. Soon it will accept it.

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Media, Political

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Modi and Trump: Why they don’t care about Media?

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media_ethics.jpgModi and Trump have a lot in common. Both portray themselves as outsiders. Both vows to fight against the accepted norms.

One thing that both fight against is the Media. And they have been highly successful at that. Voters have supported them whenever they have lasted out against News giants. From Modi’s news-traders barb to Trump’s open fight against Fox News, they have gained public support. This begs the question how/why?

Well a lot can be owed to the rise in competition in News Sphere and to the downfall of journalism in the traditional sense. News gave way to News-Entertainment to earn more advertisement revenues. Nowadays, if you ask any common man about the biggest problem that ails our society, most common reply is “Sensationalist Media”. Zillions of channels in search of breaking news destroying the very pillar that stood for.

Moreover everyone knows how fat pay packages are earned by media professional these days. People no longer see them as poor guys fighting against big corporations and politicians. The ‘behind the scenes funding’ of media houses have become public thanks to social media. This has further damaged credibility of the news that we read/listen. Media itself has become THE INSIDER. Since Modi and Trump portray themselves as outsiders, they out-win the media.

Thus Trump breaks no sweat when withdrawing from Fox News debate, which would seem like a political suicide for any other politician. Similarly Modi has no problems in not taking media along on foreign tours as part of his entourage. They both fight against the insiders.

This is the hope they instill in public. To do what no one else dares to do.

Written by arpitgarg

January 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Media, Political

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