Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sagarika Ghose' Tweets: Should Twitter Tag Them As Racist?

I am reproducing here the full text from this article: Sagarika Ghose - Case Study on Biased and Racist Journalism:

Sagarika Ghose (born 8 November 1964) is an Indian journalist, author and television anchor. She has been a journalist in India since 1991 and has worked at The Times Of IndiaOutlook magazine and The Indian Express. She is currently (2011) the Deputy Editor and a prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN. CNN-IBN is a sister channel of CNN, owned and managed by her husband Rajdeep Sardesai. This site attempts to gather public opnion on whether Sagarika Ghose is racist and a biased journalist or is she just doing her job as a news reporter and an editor. Therefore, feel free to participate in the poll below to voice your opinion

Tweets of Sagarika Ghose - Following are some of the tweets which were posted by Sagarika Ghose on 29'th Jan 2011.

In western countries such racist slurs tantamount to hate crime, however in India, people tend to be forgiving and ignore such behavior.

Criticism on twitter
§  Ugly Men Controversy - On 29th January 2011 Sagarika Ghose tweeted the following on a social networking site Twitter Notes from Bangkok airport: Indian males as a species must be the ugliest in the world! The ones on Twitter sound ugly "too!" which was heavily criticized on twitter and was on top trending for 3 days in India.Her sexist and racist tweets were reported to TeamCNN and TeamCNN was asked if CNN endorsed her views. Though CNN network did not tender an apology on her behalf but tweeted back the following on 31'st January 2011 - SG issued this apology:"My comments on Indian males was never intended to offend or hurt. Am deeply sorry if it did. My sincere apologies"
§  Hindu Religion Slander - On 23rd September 2010 Sagarika Ghose tweeted the following on a social networking site Twitter "whether or not lord rama is the rightful owner or a divine encroacher is a question unlikely to be settled in a hurry". The screen shots of this tweet are still available across the internet. She was severely criticized for this tweet for being insensitive to Hindu religion and disrespectful towards the most revered Hindu deity.
CNN had in the past fired one of its journalist Octavia Nasr based on a controversial tweet, however Sagarika Ghose continues to serve as the deputy editor and prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN.Many people have speculated that she enjoys the protection offered to her by her husband Rajdeep Sardesai who is editor-in-chief of CNN-IBN.

Ethics of Journalism and Sagarika Ghose - Poles Apart (Added 02/12/2011)
Here is an analysis on ethics of journalism and how Sagarika Ghose and her husband's channel CNN-IBN flout them regularly.

1) Standards and reputation
Among the leading news organizations that voluntarily adopt and attempt to uphold the common standards of journalism ethics, adherence and general quality varies considerably. The professionalism, reliability and public accountability of a news organization are three of its most valuable assets.
Being deputy editor of CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose has shown little professionalism, reliability and public accountability. She is the one who coined the term Internet Hindus to refer to the tribe of people who have an opinion different from hers. Here are some of the tweets from Sagarika Ghose on the same - Internet Hindus want to `Islamise' Hinduism: they are enamoured of the extremist version of Islam.  Another one goes like this - Internet Hindus are like swarms of bees. they come swarming after you at any mention of Modi Muslims or Pakistan! . Using such demeaning phrases for the hindu majority of india is shocking.
Having read all these tweets, one wonders how CNN would have reacted when one of its top notch journalists like Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer would have tweeted about Internet Christians on twitter but Rajdeep Sardesai who owns CNN-IBN seems to be least bothered about what his wife has been doing to their family owned channel. One must say the quality of news, journalists and professionalism exhibited by CNN-IBN is substandard than that of CNN.

2) Campaigning in the media
One particularly controversial question is whether media organizations should endorse political parties or candidates while debunking others. Political endorsements create more opportunities to construe favoritism in reporting, and can create a perceived conflict of interest.

Sagarika Ghose has been openly critical of the main opposition party of India - Bharatiya Janta Party and some of its friend organizations like RSS. Here are some of her tweets making fun of RSS and BJP - The RSS-oriented Twitter brigade is so predictable! Attack congress, they applaud, attack BJP they abuse and scream blue murder.  Down with liberals, down with minorities, down with cong-media, shout Internet hindus/rss twitter brigade. Day in day out the same refrain. Nothing has been proved in courts till date regarding involvement of hindu organizations in some of the terror incidents that have happened in India in recent years but nonetheless CNN-IBN has been jumping on conclusion calling it "saffron/hindu terrorism" and running programs on it. Here is what Sagarika Ghose had tweeted - Are we in denial about `Hindu'/saffron/right wing terror? FTN 10pm.

With so much hatred against the main opposition party and its allies one wonders if CNN-IBN has sold itself to ruling party, become a mouth piece of it, giving little coverage to scams and short comings of the government.

3) Taste, decency and acceptability
Audiences have different reactions to depictions of violence, nudity, coarse language, or to people in any other situation that is unacceptable to or stigmatized by the local culture or laws. Even with similar audiences, different organizations and even individual reporters have different standards and practices. When certain distasteful or shocking material is considered important to the story, there are a variety of common methods for mitigating negative audience reaction. Advance warning of explicit or disturbing material may allow listeners or readers to avoid content they would rather not be exposed to. Offensive words may be partially obscured or bleeped. Potentially offensive images may be blurred or narrowly cropped. Descriptions may be substituted for pictures; graphic detail might be omitted. Disturbing content might be moved from a cover to an inside page, or from daytime to late evening, when children are less likely to be watching.

Apparently, Sagarika Ghose never attended any ethics and standards of journalism class. Her tweets surpasses all limits of decency and acceptability. They are as distasteful as the demeanor of lady herself. Here are some of Sagarika Ghose's distasteful tweets - 
So many angry, racist and sexist views from a deputy editor of a news network that is broadcast across the nation will have dire consequences on young minds who try find their role models watching televisions and surfing internet. Without any stern action against the said deputy editor, people will become more tolerant towards racism which is not good for the nation.

At the end of the article, a poll asks if Sagarika's comments are racist and biased. Of the total votes till the time of writing : YES: 586 , NO: 60, CAN'T SAY: 19 (Total 665). I am against a ban of any form of expression, no matter how offensive it may be. However, being in the public domain, especially the media one expects greater sense of judgement. Rajdeep himself doesn't come across as a racist person. So I only have one suggestion for him. Can you please do this?

Rajdeep, Can you do this, please?
Sagarika mentioned somewhere in her tweets that she has a son who's almost 20-years! Now, I wonder what she thinks of her own son, an Indian male! Twitter shouldn't ban Sagarika but must tag her tweets as 'Racist' where appropriate.


  1. It is not even worth commenting on any issue concerning Sagarika Ghose.
    We are too important to waste time for her

  2. Twit may refer to: Idiot, a mentally deficient or self-defeating person;
    sagarika ghose tweets are those of a twit.

  3. I have always found Sagarika very rude. She calls panelists for a discussion on her show and doesn't let them talk/shuns an opinion which is contradictory to hers. She seems to have absolutely no sense, no respect for anybody. It is shameful to see a woman ( with a son of 2o years) behave like this in public!

    Your blog is a resource of information! Loved it!

  4. You have become an ugly Indian male because Ms.Ghose will not like your posting.

  5. sagarika ghose bloody bitch.she is a insult to hindusim if she is professing hinduism.she must not insult all hindus.her abuse of the internet hindus shows her cowardice.she cannot take hindus for granted by insulting them.Hindus are toleranta nd passive but not creatures like these aliens.

  6. @Ravinar,

    Though I agree,that SG's tweets were quite offensive,how do you think,your suggestion to Rajdeep,asking him to shut his wife up,sounds????

    To top that,you have represented that,with the help of a picture....

    Is this sexist,or what???

  7. @ Lavanya

    The pic is just a humorous suggestion and nothing more. Then again, you missed the point. The suggestion to Rajdeep is not to shut his wife up, but to shut his 'Deputy Editor' at CNN-IBN up. It's just a coincidence that the Dy. Editor happens to be his wife as well. Also, while this blog is critical of media, it mostly uses humour and satire and that's the way it will be.

    Thanks for your comment.

  8. Its funny, but there's no dearth of chauvinism against women in the Indian media. A shocking amount of it in fact (to a British expat like me, anyway). Yet, no one seems to mind. In the west, even the tiniest bit of sexism against women gets heavily punished- an example being the sports journos at Sky who were fired and publicly shamed. In India on the other hand, major movie stars can get away with making movies where they justify slapping their girlfriends and rape is casually portrayed (Khatta Meetha, a movie that I had the misfortune to watch).

    But when a woman has a personal opinion on the appearance of Indian men, Indian men are enraged. And they respond to it how- by making personal, insulting tweets about her appearance! Wow, what logic!

    And that picture is deeply offensive and sexist, satire or no satire. I love how you can justify telling Rajdeep to shut Sagrika up with that picture as 'satire' (when the tone of the rest of your post is not satirical but serious) but you get so deeply offended by what she says. Why can't you take her comments in good spirit as well? And how is your putting up the Bond tweet about her appearance in your previous post any less superficial than what she did?

    What you're feeling is not righteous rage, but the rage of the patriarchal Indian man who has come across an Indian woman who dares to insult men. And do you honestly believe that Indian men are amongst the most genetically blessed in the world?

    And if we're talking about balls (you were, in the previous post) I believe it is a proven fact (not biased racist opinion) that Indian men have some of the smallest penises in the world and condoms had to be sized down to fit them. And size is universally accepted to be a huge aspect of physical attractiveness.

    I quote "The conclusion of all this scientific endeavour is that about 60% of Indian men have penises which are between three and five centimetres shorter than international standards used in condom manufacture." Truth hurts and thats probably why Indian men roared collectively against the poor, unfortunate woman.

  9. @ Anonymous... You wrote: "Its funny, but there's no dearth of chauvinism against women...."

    I largely agree with you. In a recent ad for Sprite it tells boys how to oggle at girls which is just as silly. Now, does Sagarika mean any offense? I really don't think so. Does she hate Indian men? I don't think so. But there is a consistency with which she spews venom in her utterances and that indeed is a problem.

    If she were someone like a movie star or the Thackerays, that would be fine. She is part of a media and in the public domain, that claims to have some morals and ethics. That being so, if this kind of thinking is what she approaches her work with then it says a lot. If it were a one-time comment we would all laugh it off. And no I find nothing offensive about her comments. But I dont think such minds should be moralising over public issues.

    As for the physical endowments of Indian men or women the issue is irrelevant to the topic. It sort of reflects your own inferiority complex and nothing else.

  10. Anyways she is a looser just check the TRP figures when she is hosting.

  11. Although i agree with you that it was wrong on sagarika's part to make derrogatory comments about the indian male, but at the same time i think the picture of the birds with a caption like that was uncalled only brings out the underlying chavinistic mindset of the author. When a woman speaks out, the men of her family are required to shut her up!but i am sure rajdeep isnt the kinds who would go that low as to shut his wife up.and now please dont delete my comment just because i critisised you...please be fair.

  12. @ Anonymous..

    You wrote:"...but at the same time i think the picture of the birds with a caption like that was uncalled only brings out the underlying chavinistic mindset of the author.."

    This is a free speech blog. No comments are deleted unless they contain obscenities and are abusive. In response to your comment though, I would recommend you read my response to the previous anonymous comment on similar lines as yours..


  13. agreeable that the coverage of CnnIBN has been biased. it rather should be Congress national news . Only hindu and BJP bashing. Even the
    coverage of anna hazares campaign. In any panel discussion there will be vinod sharma who is a congress spokesperson in the guise of a journalist. then there are the shabnams and testlevads.high time we stopped watching CNNIBN

  14. Somebody Wrote:

    >>What you're feeling is not righteous rage, but the rage of the patriarchal Indian man ... I believe it is a proven fact (not biased racist opinion) that Indian men have some of the smallest p*****s in the world and condoms had to be sized down to fit them. And size is universally accepted to be a huge aspect of physical attractiveness.<<

    :D That makes perfect sense. So this is how the scenario played out maybe:

    The Internet Hindu hated Sagarika and her shows on Television.

    Now, please don't ask why; no one quite knows the reason.

    It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

    Or it could be that his head wasn't screwed on just right.

    But I think that the most likely reason of all...

    may have been that his p***s was two sizes too small.

  15. @Anonymous: i think that all the comments barring yours were at least tasteful and satirical. Any person can speak his / her mind as did this journalist and she got heavily rebuked for it. She also apologized but I do not think Anonymous got the picture. Wonder if Anonymous's actual initials start with a R ..he regrets his small size

  16. Why can't Sagarika Ghose be criticised? She has reached her position courtesy her husband Rajdeep Sardesai's ownership of the channel, and become a journalist courtesy her father, Bhaskar Ghose's status. Someone else in her place would never merit a mention...

    BTW, it would be nice to know about her opinion/s on gender empowerment!

  17. @Blossom's Papa Just as the journalist has the right to voice her opinion I have the right to comment on what I think of that opinion (or those of others in the comments section) - in this case of another anonymous user who thinks finding a generalization of all Indian males as offensive implies male insecurities and/ or sexism.

    So imagine a different situation. If instead of a post on the Indian male someone wrote a blog post about conditions in a Muslim ghetto calling Muslims filthy as a species what kind of reactions do you think it would deserve? Would you also think taking objection to such a stereotyping implies bias against the poster's gender and insecurities about your family jewels department?

    P.S. About the initials - guess again.

  18. Fake Video by Sagarika.

  19. Sagarika Ghose surely has her shortcomings but unfortunately you don't seem any better. On the contrary you seem blatantly biased, in fact looks like a Sangh Parivar propaganda tool. Journalism should be fair, ethical & not take sides of any party or organisation. Your personal preferance should not cloud your professional judgement.

  20. What is this anonymous/femizai rant.
    First just like anon thinks it has got right to being sexist, i think the author has the right the suggest the bi**h to be shutup by her husband. Why this double speak. if women are equal, why then does not it gos both way.

    in fact i would go ahead and suggest, in case anon is a married female, that her husband should rein her, for she is bringing him a bad name. I would do the same if anon is a married male...which i guess is not the case here.

    1. Look at it this way. Rajdeep is not just her husband but her boss/ chief editor as well. Why do people look at the birdie picture and look for a sexist meaning? It can also imply restraining a journalist by the editor in chief.

  21. Sagrika was provoked by all those people that is why she resorted to such language.You have hidden the original comments and only highlighted the replies from Sagarika.


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