Wanted: TV Reforms

Published: April 3, 2013 - 16:03

Wanted: TV Reforms

We’ve been talking about police reforms, prison reforms, et cetera, for years now. Sadly, no one has ever mentioned TV news host reforms yet. We must acknowledge the fact that irresponsible TV hosts have a detrimental effect on India’s citizens too. Many of us have got shattered ear drums because of all that screaming, some of us are slowly going mad, and all of us have got dangerously high blood pressure. It’s just a matter of time before India’s TV host-related ailments become a serious project at the WHO.

Here are a few issues that must be looked into before viewers commit mass suicide:

     The population of India is roughly 1.2 billion. Is it absolutely necessary to inflict the same bunch of tiresome guests on us every night? We’ve heard them a zillion times before, we can predict exactly what they’re going to say on different issues — heck, this is getting tedious. One evening, I tried to escape from a crashing bore called Ravi Shankar Prasad. No luck. He appeared on all the four channels (Times Now, NDTV, CNN-IBN and Headlines Today) after 15-minute gaps, repeating the same words and wearing the same annoying self-righteous sneer.

     Stop offering TV studios as a parallel Parliament for the BJP. It’s no secret that the BJP hates Parliament. We’ll never really know why they keep disrupting debates there. We can only speculate that it’s the canteen food, or the fact that they have to actually work that makes them run away from their responsibilities. They must be punished for making the nation suffer, not mollycoddled on TV, for heaven’s sake. Let them say what they have to say in Parliament. That’s where debates are meant to take place.

     An addendum to Points 1 and 2: Stop getting the views of politicians. It’s absolutely pointless because all they do is defend their party positions. Not a single original thought or point of view emerges. Particularly when it comes to parties with scary dictators at the helm like the TMC. As if Derek O’Brien has the courage to trash his Great Revolutionary Leader if she brands a poor farmer a Maoist and claps him in jail for asking questions! He cares for his Rajya Sabha seat more than he does
for poor helpless people. Get real! Give us proper analysts instead and not the usual gang of friends you party with.

     Stop trying to provoke wars with Pakistan. Both Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai are equally guilty of this crime. Let diplomacy do its bit. Or else, I promise you, if war does break out we’ll start a campaign on social networking sites to send all TV news hosts to the front with guns instead of wimpish mikes. And trust me, this will be the only time in the history of the nation that we’ll celebrate ‘bad news’ on our side. Only the finest champagne will do.

One evening, I tried to escape from a crashing bore called Ravi Shankar Prasad. No luck. He appeared on all the 4 channels (Times Now, NDTV, CNN-IBN & Headlines Today) after 15 minute gaps repeating the same words and wearing the same annoying self-righteous sneer

     Correct the pronunciation of your guests. For example, when they accuse you of running a kangaroo court, gently point out that the ‘kang’ rhymes with hang, not hung. If I hear someone saying kungaroo court once more, I’ll scream louder than you guys! Also, the magic wand PM Manmohan Singh claims he does not have rhymes with pond, not hand! And since the word government is repeated frequently, try to stop them from saying ‘gaurmint’ like they usually do. If you do this, it will be a great service to the nation.

     Stop being fickle! Oh, the tears that were shed after the December 16 Delhi gangrape incident. The bitter recriminations.The tearful pleas for justice and stronger laws for the protection of women. Some of us even wondered if there was a lovely girl trapped in Arnab Goswami’s body. Very touching. However, where were you guys the day the Lok Sabha debated the new anti-rape Bill? Getting hysterical over the DMK pullout instead of fighting for women! We had to watch the debates on Lok Sabha TV. For shame!

Screaming is not entertainment. If you really want to keep us engaged, be interesting. Like, say, when senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj threatened to shave her head if Sonia Gandhi became prime minister, it would have been nice if you’d put computer-generated images of a bald Sushma Swaraj on TV and invited phrenologists and famous bald women as guests.

This story is from print issue of HardNews