Anil Thakraney: Yes, we want to read about the Saif punch-nama!

24 Feb,2012

By Anil Thakraney

 

As usual, the knives are out for the media on the carpet coverage of Saif Ali Khan’s moment of madness at the Taj in Mumbai. The noble souls of the nation opine that too much attention is being given to what was just another brawl in a public place. That the media has lost it, that it must instead focus on serious issues.

 

Reality check, people. I can assure you all these so-called nobles were hooked to their TV sets and read every single word in the newspapers on the fisticuffs saga, and they fully relished the drama. And then later quickly logged on to Twitter and got busy dissing the media. Such is the hypocrisy we suffer from.

 

Truth is, nothing like a story of two ‘decent’ groups behaving like hooligans inside a five star hotel. And absolutely nothing like it if one of the parties happens to be a movie star. This sort of stuff is sensational, riveting and great fun. And secretly, we don’t want the opponents to reach a quiet truce, we would love it if the battle rages on, and some more blows on the nose will be soooo cool! Yup, we all love masala news, whether we confess to it or not.

 

And this is not peculiar to India. If a Hollywood star behaved thus, respected newspapers like The New York Times and The Independent would dive right into the action. Celebrity news, especially of the violent kind, sells like hot potatoes; we are all suckers for it. Bottom-line: Saif’s nefarious deed collided with another big story: Congress leader Kripashankar Singh’s ill-gotten wealth. And the latter was given secondary importance to the Wasabi confrontation simply because that’s what excites us people. We are sick and tired of the routine political and civic stories, we need a break from these bores. And the media will give importance to what viewers/readers want, that’s the hard business reality.

 

So please, kripa karein, and be a little less hypocritical.

PS1: There have been allegations that the incident was engineered by the actor’s PR machinery to get some buzz going on his soon to be released flick. Bollocks, I say. Wish our PR industry was that smart. Alas!

 

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PS2: Ah! Sci-fi comes into hoardings. Super media innovation in London. A hoarding that ‘recognizes’ you and customizes content for you. High time we saw some excitement happen on this oft neglected medium.

 

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/shortcuts/2012/feb/20/advertising-that-can-recognise-you

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