[MJR] Grrrrr! Why do people speak so much on News TV?

13 Mar,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


The best news programme in India has to be The Week That Wasn’t on CNN-IBN. Since it steadfastly refuses to save India and the world and shamelessly makes fun of everyone, it fails miserably on the high-pitched hysteria count. But it wins on all the others. And it makes you wish that the programme had more than a weekly format because if you spend three evenings running watching our other worthies, it is enough to make you scale to the top of a tall building without a safety harness.


After his marathon election extravaganza, I have found Arnab Goswami and his channel a dead bore. Also, they spend too much time discussing the minutiae of the Indian cricket board’s digestive processes. Plus, when they do, Boria Mazumdar comes on air and this disrupts my digestive processes. So I tried to give a fair hearing to NDTV, Headlines Today and CNN-IBN (am currently in Tata Sky land which does not carry Newsx).


Rajdeep Sardesai on Monday night went on and on about the UPA government collapsing, a third front forming and mid-term elections approaching. None of his guests – Devesh Thakur of the JD (U), Pinaki Mishra of the BJD and Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress agreed with him. Sardesai laboured the point and the rest pooh-poohed him. I fail to see the point of such a programme. Then Sardesai announced that Chandan Mitra was arriving on the show so I quickly switched to NDTV. And to my horror, there was Chandan Mitra on NDTV. This was too much to handle and I tried to look for a tall building (with no safety harness) but there aren’t too many in Dehra Dun where I am now.


On NDTV just before the horror of the spectacle of Chandan Mitra, Sonia Varma had Arvind Kejriwal on the show. He said that the results of the Uttar Pradesh government, where the Samajwadi Party effectively trounced the BSP, reflected the anger of the people against the Congress Party. Varma, if she had false teeth, would have swallowed them. Serves her right for inviting a member of Team Anna to start broadcasting their bizarre logic all over again.


Headlines Today was on a trip which I couldn’t understand, a mixture of cricket and the government falling, but none of them cohesively.


On NDTV Profit, Srinivasan Jain attempted to interview Aditya Ghosh, president of Indigo airlines, about why they were more profitable than the others and what about Kingfisher. However Jain spoke so much that Ghosh’s views got lost in a series of “having said thats”.


Still on NDTV, Prannoy Roy had a panel discussion with several industrial worthies at a Mumbai college. Rahul Bajaj spoke so much that no one else had a chance, so that was that.


The good news was that someone actually found the world-famous Bollywood Super Star Nupur Mehta who is now going to sue The Sunday Times (phoren) for calling her a “honey trap” used by bookies to lure cricketers into cheating. But no one told me whether it was just because her picture was used or because she really was the honey trap. Anyway, I had never heard of her before and any minute now my ignorance will be exposed because she is the star of Ra One, The Robot, Dirty Picture and more. No?


Finally, I took refuge in Rajya Sabha TV which was so serious and sober that I felt that I had entered a parallel universe which completely disoriented me, so I went back to watching tennis.


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