In this blog I had written about the media silence with your favourite line “Hammam mein sab nangen hein”. Since then CNN-IBN has twice talked about the Radia tapes and its repercussions. My compliments to you for breaking the silence and showing the courage to air the news report and the discussions. First on ‘Face the Nation’ (November 22) and then on ‘The last word’ (November 26).
I have an uncanny feeling you may have read the posts on this blog on your line “HMSNH” and your ‘Quid Pro Quo’ article. I’m sure you’re aware there is a site called Rajdeep Sardesai on the blogosphere which lists all posts concerning you. However, in case you haven’t yet read what I have written, I invite you to do so. You will find your panellists have echoed sentiments similar to mine and many other bloggers.
That both, Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, could have redeemed themselves by expressing regret over ‘bad judgement’ and we could have moved on. I don’t think any one is really accusing these journalists of being outright corrupt. But their arrogant stands point to that possibility being open. I have also written that being openly in favour or support of a political party is no crime and is much more honourable than pretending to be impartial or independent of political leanings for a media house. This is what generates the heartburn among viewers and readers.
N. Ram on the panel yesterday stated that if these two journalists had been working for the BBC or the NYT they would have been immediately sacked. I tend to agree with him. However, I am not calling for any sacking but I am sure an expression of regret over an error of judgement can definitely do no harm to the tainted reputation of these journalists. You, as their industry colleague, can enlighten them on this wisdom. Sanjay Baru also talked about the insidious connection between politicians, corporate houses and the media.
Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter of the famous “sexed-up” intelligence reports of the Tony Blair government was fired by the BBC. Gilligan’s source Dr. David Kelly was found dead, apparently a suicide. Fortunately, nothing of that sort has happened here, but such tapes could well hold the potential for such disasters in India too. That’s why the media needs to clean up its house.
Once again, my compliments to you and CNN-IBN for showing the courage to carry the news and the discussions openly. I have no problems with anyone defending the tainted journalists, but a ‘black-out’ of such explosive news raises more suspicions than clearing doubts.