There is a reason why a media outlet must stay clear of politicians and too much political influence. Channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN who frequently crown politicians with all kinds of awards can hardly be expected to report honestly. Their dishonesty and corruption in news reporting and analysis has been evident to almost every observer. So when Narendra Modi cancelled a planned engagement at an event involving Facebook-Newslaundry-NDTV as joint partners it did result in a hilarious catfight:
In case you haven’t read the background to this story, I recommend you first read “The Surrogate Interview” before proceeding.
From the very beginning there seemed to be something unholy about the alliance behind the event. Naturally, many Modi supporters were dead against his appearing on NDTV since they have abused him for 12 years and still continue to do so. There are many records of this and we need not dig those up again. People are only curious as to the real reason why Modi withdrew. Some media morons in Delhi are jumping around claiming Modi is afraid of facing an interview with Madhu Trehan of NL. Well, MT is a decent journalist but certainly no terror for anyone. It’s not very hard to estimate that there are thousands of interview requests pending with Modi so this cancellation must have been a big blow to all the three media partners. Remove Modi from the event and what have you got? Here it is:
The four other participants scheduled for this event do not deserve to be in the same bracket as Modi nor can they stand shoulder to shoulder with him in terms of performance. The first one, Arvind Kejriwal, is a pathological liar who represents the very scum who have no stakes in India except getting the corrupt Congress back to power. The fact that 3 of NL’s partners are associated with him and some of them are AAP members makes his choice extremely dubious. Forget listening to this scumbag, I wouldn’t throw my old worn-out shoes at him. TheJaggi at Firstpost explains better on why this tantrum-queen needs no attention from Modi or from any politician of reasonable common sense. The pathetic nature of AAP and its leader will be evident from this message on SM:
Lalu Prasad Yadav is a convict out on bail. His only reason for being there is media loves criminals and non-performers. Akhilesh Yadav, another non-performer, is better off being paired with someone like Rahul Gandhi, who he can match his intelligence with. Only Mamata Banerjee has some standing as a political leader but hardly a contender for anything other than deputing her party members as puppet ministers in case she is an alliance that comes to power.
There is something that people have noticed about NL. Ever since the AAP party formed a govt in Delhi, its approach and attitude to many issues and the MSM has been perceived to have undergone a change. One can measure this by the many comments on their site and also many tweets on the topic. Madhu Trehan claimed in an interview with TheNewsMinute that when the event became public there was outrage and abuse. I don’t quite agree with that. Yes, there was outrage but “abuse” is a term which is quickly resorted to by MSM folks as a first resort in a lost plot. Madhu should be careful in resorting to such terms. In a poll for “India’s Best Journalists” in 2012 Madhu was voted as one who had re-invented herself in the age of social media. That reputation is more important than being associated with a bunch of AAPTards and their agenda. The most distasteful evidence of this was an article trashing Tarun Tejpal’s victim as a “bubblegum feminist”.
One of the surprising things about this event is that it does not have a single representative of a major national party like Congress. The Congress also happens to be the ruling party and the main target of Narendra Modi. This could also be one of the reasons why Modi may have considered it unworthy to be in the company of a motley crew of non-performers, convict and a pathological liar. Maybe, Kejriwal is the default representative of Congress. Who knows! MT has stated she will explain the reasons for Modi’s withdrawal after March 10 when the event is concluded and done with.
Any media outlet has the freedom to choose the politicians it wishes to host. The choice of Lalu Prasad is an insult to people’s intelligence. But NL is not the only one, others like TimesNow and CNN-IBN too love to host this criminal for his comic value. But they should remember that politicians too have the freedom to choose and withdraw from events that do not reflect political realities accurately in their title and theme. It is for this reason that I believe Modi has done the right thing in withdrawing from this event. He may, of course, choose to reveal or not reveal his reasons; that’s his privilege. But like I stated in my earlier post on this topic, without Modi this is a still-born event.