For the 100th edition of Freaking News, some TV awards

10 Apr,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Outright, hands down, CNN-IBN wins the award for Silliest Debate Topic Ever On A Monday Night: “Is Yuvraj Singh the next Lance Armstrong?”. For those who have been living on Mars, cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been under treatment for cancer in the US and has just returned to India. A long recovery period lies ahead. Ace cyclist Lance Armstrong, a tour de force on the Tour de France, won his battle with cancer and didn’t let it affect his sporting prowess and achievements. Surely however, it is far too early to comment on Singh’s condition and future at all, although there must be every hope for a full recovery and return to form. Under the circumstances, this kind of discussion appears insensitive and illogical.


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The Earnest Sadness In The Face of Terrible Facts award for Monday night goes to Arnab Goswami and Times Now on the discussion about a spurt in incidents of violence committed by teenagers. Goswami rued that the motto of “Simple living and high thinking” no longer made sense to the post-reforms generation and participants talked about how the drive for money and success had skewed values for young people. There was a pall of gloom all over the Times Now set as actors ruminated on the terrible effects of money and lack of supervision on young people. I had to use at least three hankies. Note to self: keep a box of tissues next to the television.


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The award for showing Immense Fortitude In The Face Of Severe Provocation is shared jointly by Nidhi Razdan of NDTV and Sagorika Ghose of CNN-IBN as they attempted to control Trinamool whatever-he-is Derek O’Brien as he defended his Supreme Leader Mamata Banerjee from the wicked media. First on NDTV and then on CNN-IBN, O’Brien shouted, flustered and blustered his way through as he got angrier and angrier that anyone had dared to criticise his Supreme Leader. Razdan had him first and she barely managed to get him to stop talking so that the other guests could have their say.


By the time he reached CNN-IBN, he had worked himself into a fine rage. He then “had words” with a CPI spokesperson which descended to phrases like “You are not the king of me” being bandied about. He then called Lord Meghnad Desai ‘Lord Swarj Paul” which led to another bout in which O’Brien emerged bloody. Then he and Desai got into another spat.


All in all, Ghose was out-shouted and had to use her diplomatic skills (come on, we’re all born with them) to stop her guests from killing O’Brien. Even Dexter seemed kind and gentle after all this.


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After all that, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central gets the award for Restoring Sanity to News Analysis as he took on the shooting of American teenager Trayvon Martin by a Neighbourhood Watch member George Zimmerman in Florida. Stewart asked all the questions that anyone following the case wants answers to.



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