Job well done

When Zee News telecast an interview of the male friend who was with the young woman when she was gangraped, you expected the worst. Which is to say, you expected what happens usually. What happens usually the moment one channel speaks to a certain somebody, is that all the other news channels speak to that certain somebody too. So it's unusual but commonplace to see that certain somebody simultaneously on at least five channels, like he's in a hall of mirrors. Remember Abhijit Mukherjee, only last week in the witness stand on NDTV 24x7, CNN-IBN, Headlines Today and Times Now?

Or take Neelam Dubey, Asaram's representative, who, Monday evening, was gamely but vainly trying to convince Times Now and CNN-IBN viewers that the victim was "0.1 per cent" responsible for her gangrape because she got onto that bus. At which point, we saw what usually happens when the same person appears on different channels at the same time and makes outrageous statements: the other panellists — four, six, eight — pop like hot air balloons. In this instance, Smriti Irani's eyes popped (Times Now). Irani has not outgrown Tulsi, the Mother India, Daughter-in-Law of India, from her Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi days. She gave Dubey such a verbal hiding, the woman could not sit in on the show a moment longer.

Yes, all hell usually breaks loose on such occasions. So what happened after Zee's interview with the young friend of the rape victim was most unusual: nothing happened. The other channels did not rush out and drag him into their studios for lookalike Q&As; even more unbelievable, when the victim's father was all over the wide world of the web, after The Sunday People published an interview with him, TV news channels did not rush off to his village and immediately corner him, or his family, with 100 microphones. It was not a Peepli [Live] scene. How unusual.

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