Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CNN-IBN's Political Conflict - Part 2



Previous part to this story, from December 2013: “The political conflict at CNN-IBN

In a tribute to John Lennon, Elton John sang “Empty Garden” referring to Lennon as a wonderful gardener who weeded out tears and grew good crop and refers to his killer: “It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain”. That’s true for any organisation or body. One insect is all it takes. News channels are meant to inform and educate the public. If they are into crooked acts in their kitchen, it is in public interest to know what’s going on; even if some are private business entities. Therefore, the goings-on in every news channel that claims to be doing public service are liable for scrutiny. On the flip side, every business must watch for the insects and rats that float in their offices and board rooms. Here’s a tweet from Sagarika Ghose when the Tarun Tejpal incident broke in November 2013:

Interesting, eh? “Many of us journos have faced harassment…” she says. The sick statement implies she speaks for many when she doesn’t. It implies she knows those who suffered but she didn’t speak out for them. It also implies she herself may have suffered silently. At whose hands? It implies she is some sort of “victim” too? And what does she fear? She doesn’t hesitate to slander those she doesn’t like and heap wanton abuses. After all that, she does a camouflaged “Saving Tejpal” act too.

Aan – men at work” is a Bollywood movie loosely inspired by Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables”. But there is a particular scene in “Aan” that shows how to put your bosses and other top leaders in a tight spot if they are a hindrance to you. That’s what Akshay Kumar does when he drops a mischievous hint to reporters on how they will be transferred if they leak names or speak up. Let’s watch the video (1.30 mins):

video
So Akshay Kumar gives the media a vague hint and tells them if he reveals information he and his men will suffer. This is because his boss doesn’t allow certain investigations. Clever, isn’t it? Somewhat like this tweet by Sagarika:

Oh, there is an “evil” out there stamping out free speech and silencing independent journalists who should unite. Ahem! Who is she trying to put in a tight spot? In case you aren’t aware, this tweet was made probably after a private meeting at CNN-IBN’s office between Raghav Bahl, Rajdeep and Sagarika. How do we know? Patience! We will find out. And who is this “evil” that Sagarika is hinting at? Well, presumably, the same evil that other cronies like Ashutosh and Nikhil Wagle keep ranting about: Narendra Modi. The implication is that Modi is pressurising CNN-IBN or Raghav Bahl through some other powerful people. Snitches and Rats are bad for business and healthy work atmosphere but the news media does depend on snitches and rats. It’s their job. Soon after the “evil” tweet by SG on February 7, someone promptly puts out an article with a sensational headline on February 9:

Shivam Vij who wrote that article tweeted about it. It is fair to assume Vij was not present at the meeting between the 3 senior folks at CNN-IBN. So who gave him this juicy input to put out a story? It has to be one of the 3, right? And who, among those close to the CNN-IBN couple, picks up this article quickly and makes noises about suppression of free speech? Well, that would be family friend, the Commie Ram Guha. SG was in Bangalore on February 9 for some show but didn’t meet or talk to Guha. Believable? By some strange coincidence (?), Rajdeep puts out a tweet about NaMo and Nemo on February 8 (which too was after the duo had their meeting with Bahl):

Off-TV Rajdeep is generally known to be a nice guy and I have said often that there are two Rajdeeps. So Rajdeep may have thought his tweet would be funny but it ended up being seen as more abuse on NaMo. And why not? Since simple comments and analogies by Modi have been taken out of context and twisted heavily by both Rajdeep and Sagarika all through the last many years. Consequent to the article by Vij and the alarm by Guha, Raghav Bahl was naturally angry. People in the know mentioned heated exchange of mails between Bahl and Rajdeep. To add insult to the injurious “leaked” tweet tip (and some snitching) that led to the article “Why Sagarika Ghose may no longer criticise Modi anymore...” the internal communications also seem to be leaked to some folks and it makes sorry reading and tells the story behind the whole drama by Sagarika. I will narrate from the exchanges (in brown) that happened very early morning on February 10.

Bahl to Rajdeep:
RB asks Rajdeep to see Guha’s tweet and calls Guha somebody as influential/credible as him (also one of Rajdeep’s closest professional associates), claims it is damaging. RB mentions a mail of Sagarika’s which clearly says she has never been “muzzled” over the last 8 years in N18. And RB demands that: 1 Sagarika isses a CATEGORICAL denial of this tweet; OR 2 They could release the relevant text from Sagarika’s mail to RB to the public, so that this matter is put to rest.

Rajdeep to Bahl:
Rajdeep responds by referring to the article by Vij in scroll.in, and says it is a website run by someone called shivam vij. Rajdeep quotes his tweet to vij denying any such pressures. The tweet Rajdeep is referring in his response to Bahl is the one below:

Bahl to Rajdeep
RB says Guha saying this is as good as Rajdeep/Sagarika saying this (especially since Sagarika was in Bangalore the previous day). A full, formal and unambiguous clarification/denial, of the sort that Sagarika wrote to RB should be issued, he says. And then RB says if not, the full text from Sagarika’s mail should be put out in the public domain since Sagarika’s mail so clearly implies that the truth is totally different.

Good point by Bahl. Did Sagarika meet Ram Guha while she was in Bangalore? She was doing some show at the Infosys campus as I recollect. If she hadn’t met him did she interact with him? I believe that it’s unlikely that Sagarika wouldn’t have given at least a little phone call to dear friend Guha. And why is it that Guha so deliberately puts out a tweet? Since Rajdeep and Sagarika are such “close” friends would he not care to at least ask them about the stupid article before tweeting about it? Surprising? As with the article by Vij, Guha’s tweet is also meant to deliberately embarrass Raghav Bahl and I am in absolutely no doubt about that. Let’s snitch some more. Having learned about the trouble brewing Sagarika quickly replies to Guha with a “sorry” tweet:

Rajdeep to Bahl:
Rajdeep confirms Sagarika has not met/spoken to ram in a while and that Guha is close to a few of those who run the scroll.in website which is an ideologically left website.

So all that balderdash of Guha’s leftist leanings having “lapsed” does not hold. And he’s a close friend of those running that website. Fantastic! He is still as much a Commie as he was and appears to be a willing participant in this game going around Sagarika, Shivam Vij and himself. “The boss shouldn’t be given a chance to sneeze” says Akshay Kumar in that video. Doesn’t he? And that would prevent chances of any transfers or any other action on those leaking stories to the anti-Modi brigade. Do note, Bahl is clearly indicating there should be a categorical denial by Rajdeep or Sagarika and he also implies that he would release parts of an earlier mail by Sagarika which mentions there is no muzzling at Network 18. It gets more intriguing.

Rajdeep to Bahl:
Rajdeep wonders why issue it to all media and attract even more attention to an article which has appeared on a fringe website.  Says they chose the same path when the Caravan story was published… and that response should be measured and fitted to the publication/medium on which they are used.

Bahl to Rajdeep:
Bahl claims the problem is Ram Guha’s “endorsement” – and that Guha has personally charged him by using the word “proprietor” and refuses to be so charged. Bahl’s mind is made up – either this is retracted publicly by Guha, or Sagarika, or Rajdeep  – or he shall act to clear his name. Rajdeep again gives him a reply on how to go about this withdrawal tactfully and painlessly.

Bahl to Rajdeep:
By now Bahl is furious and stops taking calls from Rajdeep. He says “I am in no mood to “talk” about this. Bahl asks an important question: how did a private conversation, known only to the three of them, get into a “leftist” website of Shivam Vij? He swears with his “hand on his heart” that he did not share it with them.

So who put out the juicy titbits to Shivam Vij? Your guess is as good as mine and it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out. More importantly, from all the exchanges that I have read thoroughly, I have found no truth in the “Evil” that Sagarika is trying to peddle. It is true Raghav Bahl is a business man who is now more oriented towards Modi (millions of others are too) but Rajdeep says “go by our actions”. Are the mails circulating genuine? I would think they are. Going by actions alone neither Sagarika nor Rajdeep have stopped their anti-Modi shows or rants. If I remember right, there was a recent programme at Jamia where Sagarika provoked Muslim youth to heap more trash on Modi. It is important to note that even if this duo of Rajdeep-Sagarika toned down half their rants against Modi it still would amount to a huge negative campaign.

So what Sagarika was essentially doing through her “Evil” tweet is what Akshay Kumar does in that movie; to sound a warning indirectly to her bosses and the public in general about fake suppression of journalistic independence. Having tweeted that and attracted some sympathetic concern she attempts to create suspicions in the minds of people. I would read such tweets and articles (such as those by Vij) as collective “ambush-journalism”. If a deputy editor of a news channel plays so much politics over her own channel and issues inside it, then how good is the trash she delivers on TV?

Both Rajdeep and Sagarika (and probably Bahl too) have been Congress cronies all these years. When the masters had become a political liability both these people shifted allegiance to Arvind Kejriwal and AAP. What they want is not real journalism. What they want is not delivery of fair news and discourse. What they want is to trash the politicians they don’t like, peddle lies and distortions about them and promote those they think will nurture their own security and future. Don’t look too far, all this has been neatly explained in “The AAPSucker Proxies”. 

Bahl has a twin problem on his hands. Someone leaks discussions to a “fringe” website and then someone leaks mails to many media folks. He has to maintain journalistic honesty and also business profitability. Sagarika provides neither journalistic sense nor business sense. Events have shown she is not only a bad journalist but also undermining her channel by stupid statements. Whether “personal political preferences” should rule over journalistic principles is a choice Bahl will have to make. So far, it’s the public that gets a poor ride in all this. It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain.


37 comments :

  1. So when are we seeing back of SG.

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  2. Even after SG denies, Vij says he stands by his story

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  3. https://twitter.com/DilliDurAst/status/432719121915346945

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  4. In the same vij article she says "I have been trenchantly critical of the congress and Gandhis, but no one has threatened me with death,gang-rape or sacking.

    Can Sagarika quote one article where she or her husband has quoted Gadnhis with dogs like Nemo. Can she guide us to the site or publication where her so called trenchantly critical articles about Congress and Gandhis have appeared.

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    Replies
    1. since there are no congress supporters and only asslickers who will want to hurl abuse at her for insulting congressis or gandhis.

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  5. felt like reading some Poirot investigation..

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  6. I just hope RB, SG and RS read this article. They would have one more thing to worry now, they have to figure out how Ravinar came to know about all this inside stories.

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    1. O they read this blog "religiously", you bet !

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  7. Someone 'very senior' in TV18 was supposed to have resigned (or sacked), what happened to that news or was it a rumour?

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  8. I have not seen a single show of Barkha, Rajdeep and Sagarika once I came to knew about their real face. I swear on that. Someone should say that you should see their shows and make out what is True and what is false; I would rather say, when one insect can damage so much grain, what these unholy trinity could do to me. Never imagined them to be such Hindu haters. That's why you always need a 'Guru' to see what is hidden. MediaCrooks you are the GURU; and how much ignorant I was.

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  9. It is a sorry read on the going-ons in CNN-IBN in the name of journalism by this dubious duo, especially the female one. What is the compelling reason for Mr. Raghav Behl to retain such unprofessional and unemployable quality in his payroll is beyond my reasoning. And imagine such spurious quality is let loose on unsuspecting viewers as a anchor/journalist. Thank you for painstakingly connecting the links through the sordid maze of cheap tactics and hidden agenda of the editor-editorini and his cabal of friends. If anything, RB can use this solid deduction as a material to get rid of the duo and save a channel that has many deserving journalistic talent.

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  10. "Both Rajdeep and Sagarika (and probably Bahl too) have been Congress cronies all these years."- why probably? was he in 'coma'? people like Bahl more harmful than 'chota-mota' insects.

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  11. Ravi, it does not require so much analysis what a fake and devious minded person Sagarika is.....just seeing her 'on air' tells you that. I do hope we will be rid of these 'insects' sometimes soon

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  12. I really want to see is death of CNN IBN and NDTV, so it will be lesson in media industry how news channel shouldn't manage, trying to understand all of sudden shift by TOI , to me they are biggest presttitues

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  13. I don't see Barkha or Sagarika. I watch Rajdeep though. No option as he is doing most of the Poll presentations.

    Happy to see him being under some pressure to be equally critical of Congress, BJP and now AAP.

    My hunch is, RB will wait for Elections to get over. Then this whole concentration around Modi inlfuencing Media Houses will die down. Meanwhile, he can spend time doing two things:
    a) find a good replacement for the couple. Replacing Sagarika will not be such a big issue. That's easy. Rajdeep might be difficult because of his brand.
    b) over the next few months, find a good reason or better still controversy to give him a reason to kick them both out. an imporpriety or better still, if RB can dig out something 'ala Radia Tapes' from their past, that should put them on the defensive and may make easy pickings of them both for RB.

    Another thing can be done: get rid of baggage like Nikhil Wagle. He should be easy. He is big jerk anyway. I think the Channel might get better viewership if anything else, once Nikhil is kicked out.

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  14. One more option: Just ask Sagarika to go. CNN IBN is not their family run Channel anyway. How can one argue that Chief Editor and Deputy Editor being husband and wife is just a coincidence and both were equally deserving. We know that one of them got their position because of the other. So just concentrate of getting rid of one. SG being foolish enough should present plenty such opportunities. You are not being unfair to them nor will there be claims of pressure from Modi as both would be fired, if there was any such pressure. It would look genuine. Also, many viewers like me would understand that Sagarika was really not deserving of Deputy Editor position and was hence shown the door. It would not be linked with Modi in anyway. Point is, time has changed. Congress is on the decline and so all their friends and sympathisers in press like Vinod Mehta, Kumar Ketkar, NDTV and CNN IBN team etc will have to be shown the door sooner or later. Or you will end having a country to people that majority 'Right of Centre' and a Press than continues to remain vehemently 'Left of Centre".

    I must say, this Twitter in a way, has become a menace.

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  15. Agree with Atul Borkar above.Just ask this person to leave! Or may be they already have been served the notice.Expect drastic changes in MSM post June 2014.

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  16. They booth should be sacked, they have been fooling ppl for years. 12 yrs of peddling lies to please their masters and excel personal gains is enough now.

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  17. These ( media houses and these notorious journos ) will survive ( though not sure of SG) primarily because it is a captive market . Indians are captive in the hands of various TV channels either consuming their news or serials or reality shows . Brainwashed and addicted .
    Now, I am not even sure of whether there will be a significant regime change . Not sure what to believe . I am not seeing anything pure or sacred . Everything is trivialized excepting the expediency and convenience of the key players in media .

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  18. बरबाद गुलिस्तां करने को बस एक ही उल्लू काफ़ी है
    हर शाख पे उल्लू बैठा है अंजामे गुलिस्तां क्या होगा

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  19. It is really unfortunate that there are still gullible folks who believe in people like Barkha Dutt, Sagarika and Rajdeep. It is national our national duty to spread the message that our corrupt paid media is more dangerous to country then Congress, coz this election we may get rid of Congress, but there is still a long way before we get rid of these media parasites,

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  20. THIS 'dumbo' bimbo & her 'old monk' are well past their expiry date...so lets wait for their grand exit...have patience...wait is almost over

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    1. But when this bimbo along with old monk make an exit..people will not forget them just like that ...MC's real stories(reportings) will haunt them till they die.
      This is the legacy which MC will gift them on their farewell.

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  21. Ok, so Ram Guha is being used by even Sagarika Ghose . Sigh.........

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  22. hi ravinar and all

    it's a classic case of 'dog biting dog' and when i say 'dog' - i am being very-very-very modest.

    what cnn-ibn, ndtv and many-many other news channels have done all these years is not bad journalism, not unethical journalism and certainly not biased journalism rather
    what they have done is 'Deception, Perfidy, Sedition and Treason'.

    do remember, it was not only 'modi' who they tried to destroy - they tried to destroy 100 crores of hindus, our knowledge, our history, our present. they tried to destroy - Our Country - Our Motherland - Our Bharat Maa.

    and therefore, they can't be allowed to go scot-free, they will have to pay for their sins, they will have to be punished and punished severely for all their 'paaps' and not in some other 'yuga or in some other birth but in this very 'yuga' - in this very 'janm'.

    and let me state that if there is any 'insect' in this story-then it is not rajdeep or sagarika but it is 'Mr. Raghav Bahl' and the other two are merely his sidekicks and as far as his 'shifting loyalty is concerned, then let me remind everybody that criminals never changes their loyaly towards their masters - if at all be needed - they just slow down a bit and that's it.

    regards

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  23. Kejri was asking to be arrested in gujarat.. the truth
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goY6yCwnC-Y&feature=youtu.be

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  24. how com all the channels are showing only the chair throwing from bjp, and not the stone pelting AAP? even in lucknow. By no means iam defending the wrong doers of bjp. but really stopping arvind kejriwal is such a huge issue? bjp karyakartas did not react when modi was called names, the sangh and rss was vilified. certainly something happened to provoke them. still voilence is uncalled for from bjp's side

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  25. Sagarika Ghose is the daughter of bhaskar ghose ( head of doordarshan in the eighties ). Bhaskar Ghose and his successor Rathikant Basu supported and promoted Prannoy Roy thru eighties and nineties when his ndtv television got established . Rajdeep sardesai married sagarika ghose and that helped him get a leg in into ndtv circle. Rajdeep moved to CNN IBN and tagged his wife along ( despite her little or no competence ) .

    The roots of nepotism ( in this case Bengali favouritism ) run very deep. And often cause very far reaching damages much more damning than petty corruption!!!

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    1. Bengali nepotism and subtle leftist propaganda has been very damaging for MMS

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    2. Can anyone explain what kind of Some strange relation exist between Bongs and Media which is invisible to many of us...

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    3. hi jk and all

      everybody says - forget your past - forget your past - live in present - live in present.

      but i would say - do not forget your past, rather - dig deep into 'our past' and you will have your answers.

      food for thought : have you ever wondered - when britishers left, whom they handed over their assests to :

      regards

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  26. In all this MSM melee, Vivek Law of Bloomberg TV is a welcome change. His programme "Political Capital" is a refreshing change from the sound and light cacophony of Arnab and co that passes off as news and analysis on MSM.

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  27. I'm and out and out modi supporter. I would really appreciate your insightful comments about Media crooks, self righteousness (kejriwal style), and the manipulations. I am especially convinced after listening to the Radia tapes on outlook's website.

    But I would advise you to keep your posts short and crisp that they keep the readers attention engaged. Too long posts get tedious after a while and see like rants and do your work injustice. Hope you appreciate the frank advice.

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    1. Ravinar does give a warning for --- "MAXIPOST" ,to be read in leisure; but there are ppl like me who who feel the "MAXIPOST" is not "MAXI" enough ;)

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  28. hi pi

    everybody wants to pluck the fruits but nobody wants to plant the trees.

    regards

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  29. Another "victim front" has opened. This time Vardhabhai the "Eminent Vaartabhai". He tweets intimidation and immediately a motley crew rakes up the pitch. This has become a constant feature and after this blog entry by MC, these claims sound so hollow. What a fall in credibility for the MSM.

    BTW How does "Vaartabhai" sound for describing journalists?

    ps: posting it again as I posted this comment under a wrong blog article earlier

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  30. Dear Sir

    My twitter Account @punjabiunit was suspended i dont know why i just answered to the Questions asked by Aam Aadmi Party. I never used abusive language against any one, but there are people who abuse frequently. I know i may sound fool Appealing to you but being ur regular follower on twitter i consider u as the most Honest Media House, though i dont care about Damn Social media but i am worried that it was the only Mode of communication where every one was free to express.. But i am going to create another Account and follow you again. As u have become indispensable part of my life.. I dont read others newspaper any more but yours i cannot even think to miss.

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