Tag Archives: trial by media

Mouthy media: Bite first, think later

28 Aug

Media Talkies

I have often found panel discussions on news channels to be a dazzling stagecraft of sound and fury. Despite the same experts being present in any and all discussions- from Modi’s sartorial choices to  a celebrity’s wedding celebration, from food inflation to murder investigation- one can always count on them to provide us with a thespian act of bestowing opinions.  Prime-time news discussions remind me of what the Walrus told the Carpenter in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, “The time has come to talk of many things- of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-Of cabbages and kings–And why the sea is boiling hot–And whether pigs have wings”.  They are all-knowing, though not all-seeing. But that’s all right. There are no details to clutter the discussion; no boring analysis, and definitely no need to worry about torn reputations, frayed relations, or security ramifications. Field reporters can ask dopey questions while studio anchors can run over the same turf of questioning over and over again, making logic and patience, like a piece of abused earth, crack up. Sensation and snap judgement-yes, that’s the way we roll.

Just like there is a strange fascination to watching birds of prey feast on the carcasses of their victims, we tune in to these news channels to watch such rousing action live; to see those who would not see the other’s point of view, and listen to those who would not listen to others. And then, we too, become  experts, content in the rigid certitudes of our views as we grow deafer and blinder just like the mavens of our news media.

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