[Reader-list] The Importance of Being Arnab (Goswami)

geeta seshu geetaseshu at gmail.com
Sat Mar 6 16:15:40 IST 2010

ah! enjoyed reading this...is it our exasperation or our sense of
powerlessness that we resort to satire in dealing with our television

whatever it is, may I add to the list:


Media IPL: top news anchors to be
5th July 2009
Issue 8: July 05 2009 <http://noiseofindia.com/category/20090705/>

*Inspired by the IPL, the major news channels have decided to auction off
their high-value assets to ride out the recession. Reputed auditing firm
Ricewaterspouse has already assessed the anchors and submitted a detailed
report to Lalit Modi. Don’t ask us how we laid our grubby hands on page 1 of
this confidential report. Just dim your screens and read silently.*

(SECURITY LEVEL: mouse cursor on minimize button)

*Media assets under consideration*

   [image: anc_rajdeep]

"I'm your soulmate. I complete your sentences, don't I?"

NAME: *Rajdeep “pointus interruptus” Sardesai*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Bark excitedly at faces on a giant screen.

USP: Appeals to a wide demographic; incredibly popular with Pomeranians.

CREDO: Create a channel out of thin air, then sustain it on hot air.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Rajdeep’s fanatical commitment to the sound of his own
voice has the effect of rendering his guests speechless. Gone are the days
when politicians leisurely dangled their modifiers and flaunted their
participles while cunningly hiding their main clauses in labyrinths of
disclaimers. Today, they hurriedly pack all their meaning into the first
half of every sentence. Because once they reach mid-sentence
 [image: anc_sagarika]

Does every question in the universe have a Y or N answer? Y-73% N-27%
NAME: *Sagarika “faze the nation” Ghose*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Maddening high-pitched harangue.

USP: Wields voice with operatic prowess. Can go ultrasonic and sense your
location using sonar.

CREDO: Oversimplify or perish.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Knows that India is a nation teeming with objective-type
questions. Just SMS QOTD Y or N. There is no negative marking. If you’re a
guest, keep it short. If you veer off-script, Sagarika will provide a
heart-stoppingly unrecognizable summary of whatever you just said. High on
sartorial consistency, sleeves match attention span.

[image: "See the putty in my hands? That's you, dear viewer."]

"See the putty in my hands? That's you, dear viewer."
NAME: *Barkha “she the people” Dutt*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Let’s give them something to fight about.

USP: Never ashamed to *T*ea*R* u*P* on camera.

CREDO: Have heartstring, will yank.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: If you’re a guest on her talk show, she will find your
raw nerve and sandpaper it till you cry. And then she will cry with you till
the ratings go wild. It’s like watching Jerry Springer and Oprah at the same
time. As a war correspondent, she will brave gunfire and artillery shells,
but not unfriendly blogs. If you so much as suggest that she put soldiers in
harm’s way, she will make a Cheytanya Kunte out of you (go ahead, google the
poor wretch). Currently anchors a show where the buck stops, but certainly
not the *bak bak*.

[image: anc_arnab]

For every fact, there is an equal and opposite opinion

NAME: *Arnab “the evangelist” Goswami*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Suppressed incandescent moral outrage of the omniscient

USP: Can unleash a 60-minute sermon while pretending to interview 5 guests.

CREDO: The apocalypse is upon us. Follow me.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In an industry obsessed with objectivity and balance,
Arnab comes as a breath of fresh air. In a nation obsessed with humility and
wisdom, Arnab comes as a breath of fresh air. One could go on. Every
evening, Arnab’s forensic pyrotechnics make you question the need for a
judicial system in a nation equipped with television studios. A man of
destiny, Arnab knows that he will one day save the world. Not surprisingly,
he dresses like Clark Kent.



   [image: anc_karan]

"I'm Socrates. You're a gorgeous Athenian lad."

NAME: *Karan Thapar*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Nitpick. Nitpick. Nitpick.

USP: Extremely well connected.

CREDO: The privilege is all yours.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Talking to Thapar is the verbal equivalent of getting a
colonoscopy. Not recommended unless medically necessary, and never to be
attempted in public. Typical interview fragment:

*Thapar:* You’re not saying “yes”…. so does that mean you’re saying “no”?
*Guest:* Not exactly.
*Thapar:* Ok so you’re saying “not exactly”….. Does that mean a “not exactly
yes” or a “not exactly no”?
*Guest:* I’m saying neither.
*Thapar *(narrowing his eyes): So you’re not saying “yes”, you’re not saying
“no”, you’re not saying “not exactly yes”, and you’re not saying “not
exactly no”… Would that be a correct assessment of what you’re saying?
*Guest:* I suppose so.
*Thapar:* You just contradicted yourself! A moment ago you were absolutely
certain and now you’re no longer sure.
*Guest:* Well that’s because-
*Thapar:* Thank you. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
 [image: anc_shekar]

"tell me honestly... didn't you think Skylab would fall on your head?"

NAME: *Shekhar Gupta*

SIGNATURE STYLE: Obscure 80s nostalgia.

USP: Frighteningly well connected.

CREDO: Let’s Walk the Talk. You walkie, me talkie.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Walks and talks with VIPs so VVIP that they won’t be
caught dead near a television studio. Is the most hilariously inattentive
interviewer in the industry. Typical interview fragment:

*Shekhar:* So tell me about your strained relations with Pranab Mukherjee.
*Chidambaram: *As I was saying, last Sunday I had had just about enough of
his nonsense. So I-
*Shekhar:* You mean the PM?
*Chidambaram:* Not the PM. Pranab Mukherjee. So as I was saying, I went up
to him and told him to *take a flying*-
*Shekhar:* I remember during Rajiv Gandhi’s time you were criticized for
fixing the price of tea.

On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 2:45 PM, Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net>wrote:

> Dear All,
> Apropos of the recent small flurry of TV news, and specifically Arnab
> Goswami related posts on the list - here is something that I enjoyed
> reading enormously, and so, thought that I would pass along to the
> rest of the list - it was posted on a blog called www.rollon.in on
> the 19th of December, 2009.
> Enjoy,
> Shuddha
> --------------------
> Arnab Goswami Allows Interviewee to Answer
> http://www.rollon.in/2009/12/19/arnab-goswami-allows-interviewee-to-
> answer/
> In an unprecedented event earlier this evening, Arnab Goswami, the
> Editor-In-Chief for Times Now, stayed silent for a full 5 seconds
> during News Hour, allowing his guests to speak, and sending the TRP
> ratings for the channel soaring through the roof. This shocking
> moment occurred while the usually chirpy Arnab was interviewing an
> expert panel of celebrities, regarding Borivali’s recent demand for
> statehood.
> The news has been received with varied reactions from all over.
> Rajdeep Sardesai, from a competing news channel, said he’d like to
> maintain a dignified silence regarding this development, right after
> pointing out that the gimmick was ‘too low even by Arnab’s dwarfish
> standards’. Mahesh Bhatt called in earlier today from his mobile home
> parked permanently outside the offices of 24×7, saying that the news
> was provocative, communal and biased. He further demanded that the
> censor board be banned for this. When pointed out that the Censor
> Board had no role to play in this incident, he said that it was
> beside the point, and the censor board should be banned regardless.
> Throughout the telecon, Suhel Seth, seated beside Mr. Bhatt, kept
> shouting obsceneties. When asked to comment, he said that he was
> infuriated with the situation for no particular reason and threatened
> to go without a hair cut for a further six months.
> The most candid response came from the expert panel itself.
> Apparently, they were flabbergasted that Arnab betrayed their trust
> on national television. As usual before News Hour, the panel had been
> briefed that absolutely no answers would be required from them
> throughout the program, since Arnab will keep questioning without
> pauses; their role was restricted to trying to fit in as many
> interjections and conjunctions (Whoa!, But, Ah!) in between to give
> the illusion of them actually having something to say. So, fifteen
> minutes into the program, Ms. Ameesha Patel was understandably
> embarrassed when she found herself forced to sing ‘Yeahhh lazy lazy
> lamhe…’ to Arnab’s question on her opinion on a federal government
> structure.
> On the other side of the border, Pakistan Interior Minister, Mr.
> Rehman Malik, noted that this was a difficult time for Pakistan, and
> urged the citizens to be brave and help the nation to collective
> overcome these forces of evil. When reminded that it was the Times
> Now incident and not another bomb blast for which his reaction was
> being sought, he noted that this was a difficult time for Pakistan,
> and urged the citizens to be brave and help the nation to collective
> overcome the forces of evil.
> Arnab himself chose to downplay the incident, pointing out that the
> magnitude of the incident had been blown out of proportions by the
> media. ‘I remember being silent for a full 6 seconds back in 1985
> while honing my interviewing skills on my pet dog. That being said, I
> know that the people of India are dying for an answer. So, you can
> join us today on News Hour to find out WHY ARNAB PAUSED,’ said Arnab
> with his trademark authoritative voice, while leaning over the desk
> on one arm.
> Note: All of this is obviously untrue. Arnab didn’t pause.
> Shuddhabrata Sengupta
> The Sarai Programme at CSDS
> Raqs Media Collective
> shuddha at sarai.net
> www.sarai.net
> www.raqsmediacollective.net
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