Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The hypocrisy of Barkha Dutt, yet again.

An earlier instance was documented here

There is this site called "News Laundry" and it carried out an interview with Barkha Dutt yesterday. It is a 12 minute interview and though there are multiple points to talk about - I wish to concentrate on what I think is a fairly important point.

At about ~11:45 in this video interview, Barkha gets asked if she would expose paid media. She ponders and then answers - 

" I am still uncomfortable on media doing stories on media."

Back when Radia tapes happened, she wrote this:

"While there is no doubt that journalists must be held to the same exacting standards of accountability that we seek from others..."

So media should not do a story on media. If viewers/readers/bloggers/tweeters do a story, they are abusive, trolls etc. Government should not regulate media - then how exactly on earth will a journalist then be held to the "exact same standard of accountability" that they seek from others? 

Barkha says "paid news" is much more rampant in print than in TV. Yet, media should not do stories on media and journalists have to live up to the "exact same standards...."!  

How else is the viewer/reader supposed to know what is paid for and what is not? That TV media has blurred the line between what is news and what is views is a fact, whether the likes of Barkha Dutt like it or not - and yeah, please, no one thinks "Barkha is in my bedroom. I can whip her...." blah blah. That's pure unadulterated crap. 

Barkha Dutt herself tells in this interview (and earlier too) that she lies to her sources; that she creates a sense of "feigned friendliness", "maybe even empathy at times" with her sources (at~8:00 in the video). I wonder how her sources will now feel - being taken for such a ride. She goes on to give an example of how she agrees with both her BJP and Congress sources, thereby knowing exactly what happens in both parties! I sincerely hope sources in the BJP learn their lessons atleast now, but that's a different topic. 

So is the "outrage" on TV feigned too? The oft-changing facial expressions are feigned too? What else is feigned, Barkha? If the sources can be taken for a ride, why not the viewer? 

This blog and many others have written in detail about the malaise of TV news views and debates (if you are a new reader :), please click on the "media" label below. Umpteen instances listed). We have written to these channels asking them what steps they are taking to stem this rot - either we get no answer or we get branded as trolls. If you don't believe me, go to her timeline. Any day of the week. No accountability whatsoever. Just fawning praise all over the place. 

Even this 12 minute interview (and let's ignore the wierdest (est) camera angles!) is no where coming close to the "exact same standards".  

It is unfortunate that the likes of Barkha Dutt set the agenda on what should be debated and how it should be debated. It is because she wields this kind of power, that her work is being scrutinised. Her views matter, because there is a gullible audience out there, believing in everything she does. So please let's not have the argument that "don't watch if you don't like" - these are public figures and they have no right to mislead us. 

I was blocked by Barkha Dutt about a couple of weeks back. Never once did I "abuse" her. Frankly, I was a little disappointed because I lost a chance to question her (more importantly, she will not get to see my questions). But after listening to this interview, I have no regrets whatsoever. 

Barkha also says she just blocked about 150 people for being "abusive". I am one of them, and after watching this interview, I am proud of that fact. There is an inherent contradiction and hypocrisy again - she ends the interview saying that she is open to criticism and blocks me for doing the exact same thing

PS: Look at the way she lies about why Chaitanya Kunte was sued - multiple contradictions there. It's just lies and lies all over the place. 


Anonymous said...

Maybe time for a tweet from you saying "#barkhas150, Proud to be one of them". If everyone of the 150 :) does it, we can get it to trend, and maybe approximate the final count.

Will this trend ?

Siva kumar said...

Anna, Keka kevuuu... ... Im also one of them in 150

ghalib said...

No wonder she gets along famously with Kapil Zero Sibal. He decides what is abusive and then blocks it.

Jaideepb said...

Brilliant. and reassuring that for every false propoganda of media, their story basis personal agenda, we have people like Sudhir Kumar who counter such maligned views of 'journos' like Ms. barkha Dutt. and trust me, she is very right and intelligent in blocking Sudhir as she would not have words, logic and anything else to counter her questions.
the Fourth Estate has always been a revered organization but these few people have set the wrong precedent and more unfortunately they are misleading the young lot of 'journos' if not all. but yet hope reigns , for every Barkha Dutt, we have a MJ Akbar. hope reigns. and most importantly, we have people like Sudhir and others who, according to me, are the real journos. who talk logic, raise issues.
Congrats for the great job Sudhir. one more reason to be proud of you.

Prashanth Vaidyaraj said...

Timely and brilliant! Need to box her in until she is thrown out of journalism or she herself quits. Surprising that her talent to lie repeatedly to the whole nation with a straight face has not yet caught NDTV 'viewers' attention! Are they effete by choice or by education?

Roberto el Sandriano said...

And they bored Nitish Kumar (and viewers) to death with that question? "Are you going to share dais with Modi...Will you extend support to Modi's PM candidature?"

No queries whatsoever directed at maa sonia and pappu rahul on the 2G scam. RIP : Fair Journalism?!

san222 said...

manthara OF INDIAN journalism

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