When was the last time a prime time news show became the prime time news story?After throwing out Shamsher Khan from The Newshour last week, Arnab decided to take it to a whole new level, this week. Arnab decided to throw Arnab out of the Newshour. They say, success is when your resume reaches places before you do. But Arnab just proved that success is actually when your resignation letter reaches places before you do.
Arnab spent his formative years as a Television journalist at NDTV working under Rajdeep Sardesai. Then one day, television puberty struck and his voice broke when he decided to join Times Now in 2006. So it was only natural that people were caught off guard after Arnab dropped his letter bomb last night. Gen Bakshi shed a tear because now he has no other place to shed tears for TRPs. Sambit Patra tried calling Arnab hoping to change the latter’s decision on his resignation, but as usual he couldn’t get beyond, “But Ornaaaab….. But Ornaaaaab….”
In the middle of all this, I felt an Arnab-sized void in my ear drum. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the guy. I hate the right wing propaganda that he tried to pass off as responsible journalism. I hate his idea of debate. I hate his idea of patriotism. I hate his tie. I hate the way, sometimes, a tuft of hair sits on his forehead. I hate the way his spectacles drop on his nose every time a heated volley of words are exchanged. I hate the way his upper lip curls when his panelists actually made sense (much to his dismay). I hate him so much, that I find myself tuning into the Newshour quite often. Hang on, so is it love then? Shit. That whopped version of ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’ love that Anjali felt for Rahul? I don’t know.
But I’ll admit this: I don’t know what to tune into at 9 pm anymore . Seriously, we’re all so doomed. What are our options?
Let’s say we tune into NDTV, accidentally. Because come on, nobody tunes into NDTV voluntarily. You are aware of its existence only when you surf channels looking for Times Now. Here you will find some great has-beens (Sonia Singh, Nidhi Razdan, Vikram Chandra, Sreenivasan Jain) reporting the news with the disdain of not having taken up other lucrative offers from rival channels during their heydays. And good luck if you find Pranoy Roy anchoring the prime time News when you decide to tune in. He’s gotten so slow over the years that by the time he finishes reading out a sentence from the news, it has already been marked as archives.
So we might decide to tune into NDTV INDIA to watch Ravish Kumar. But, you won’t find the damn channel because every time there’s some major breaking news he decides to turn off the lights in his studio for some weird kinky reason.
Arnab’s ex-boss and India Today TV editor, Rajdeep Sardesai is a strict no-no. He makes the news all about the news. He presents it with facts, educated perspectives, nuance and constructive debates sans any drama that it can really make you feel depressed.
News18 will bore you by getting Bhupender Chaubey to read out news and views directly from Mukesh Ambani’s phone instead of the TelePrompTer. Though his news anchoring is used in some hospitals as an anaesthetic, one can never really get ticked off with poor Bhupender. He looks like Harsha Bhogle who can’t afford the hair transplant procedure.
Big Boss is almost built on the same lines as Newshour but it still pales in comparison. They get people take a piss as a challenge; but Arnab topped that almost every night by getting his panelists to shit on each other and our common sense.
So as much as I love to hate you, Mr Goswami, I’m gonna miss you big time at prime time. You were my hate-watch. My guilty pleasure. My night in shouting armour. Thank you for the entertainment, tamasha and hashtags. In the words of a great drama queen and rightie journalist, “There will never, ever, ever, ever, never, never, ever, ever, ever be anyone like you.”
Come back soon, Ornab. Because we all have somebody to love but we need that special somebody to hate.