Arnab Goswami’s latest venture “Republic” is due for its launch very soon. In the run up, Arnab gave an interview to the magazine Man’s world, where-in he slayed some of his competitors from the space of media. Here are the best comments from the interview: (you can read the full interview here)
1. When asked to explain Lutyen’s media’s bias:
Not a bias, but I think there are people in Delhi who believe that they’re the custodians of Indian journalism. And, they have been in the past, because the power centre is there and all the political magazines and newspapers are there. Now those people are too much into each other’s hair. They eat together, meet together, socialise together. And, slowly, unknowingly, or maybe knowingly, over the course of the last 30-40 years, they have become co-opted by the political class. If you go to Delhi, you will find that all those people in media who are supposed to be reporting on the politicians are wining and dining with the politicians. I’m not saying they’ve become corrupt — that may be too strong a word, but they have become compromised. They’ve become co-opted. That’s what I mean by the Lutyens’s media. I don’t necessarily mean people who are staying in that three-kilometre zone in Delhi, even though a lot of them do.
I hear stories about ill-gotten wealth. I hear about editors having massive farmhouses worth hundreds of crores in Chhatarpur. You cannot make that kind of money through an honest journalist’s income.
hmm… who are these journalists he is referring to? We won’t hazard a guess as they are known to sue.
2. Further elaborating the above point:
I’m going to continue to question them. Because the Nira Radia tapes episode showed that there was a direct link between some journalists who were acting as mediators for corporate houses and politicians. I think that’s very unfortunate. We can’t live in denial anymore about what’s happening in our own profession.
3. Not coy anymore, on Barkha Dutt:
I feel Barkha Dutt should check her facts. Barkha Dutt was openly praised by a person called Hafiz Saeed. While I’m nobody to comment on people, if people begin to distract attention from the praise of Hafiz Saeed by imagining that I’ve taken their name — these people should first stop imagining I’ve taken their name. I have made a comment against the media that speaks against the nation. If anyone begins to believe that the reference is against them, then they should ask themselves why they feel that way. I have never taken any names. It’s what you call the guilty conscience of some journalists. That journalist in question must ask themselves, ‘Why is Hafiz Saeed praising me?’ Is it because that Indian journalist has done a lot in lionising another terrorist called Burhan Wani? Hafiz Saeed would love an Indian journalist whose documentary is praising Burhan Wani as some kind of Facebook hero. Why does an Indian journalist lionise Burhan Wani? Why does an Indian journalist serve the purpose of the Lashkar-e-Taiba sitting in India? You have an Indian passport, you’re on an Indian channel, you’re earning in Indian rupees, you’re broadcasting to Indian people. Why are you doing things that will help Lashkar-e-Taiba, which kills thousands of people in our country? Having received that praise from Hafiz Saeed, why then do you want to fight the windmills and imagine that Arnab took your name? Arnab did not take your name. There’s a section of media in India that works against India’s interests. I think it is time for some of us to speak out against them and expose them.
4. When asked to explain his channel’s “India bias”:
I want to know why a section of the Lutyens’s media has a bias against India. It is true. I don’t think they are vested in this country. It is shocking what I’m about to tell you. But, there are some people who don’t even have Indian passports. They are Indian in ethnicity, but have chosen to be American citizens. They are running digital media companies. I want to know where they are receiving their funding from, and what their sources of income are. There is an American citizen running a digital news site in India, inciting students in JNU, speaking openly for Maoists, and questioning Republic. I doubt the intentions of these people. They’re certainly not for India.
Ahem! Sidharth Vardarajan of TheWire.in
5. On “left liberals”:
The problem is that I don’t know what is liberal and what is left-liberal. There are a bunch of people who like to sip the best Scotch in Delhi Gymkhana and call themselves left-liberal. What is left-liberal? If you’re a leftist, you can’t be a liberal. If you’re a liberal, you can’t be a leftist.
Precisely! “Left-liberal” is an oxymoron, but we have to concede that even we have used this term matter-of-factly
6. On the medias coverage of the UP elections:
The media should go into penance for what happened in UP. I mean, it just shows that the Lutyens’s media has no clue about this country. A lot of top editors went to UP and said Akhilesh and Rahul are going to do phenomenally well. They are clueless. All of these people, I strongly suggest, should go into 14 years of vanvas from journalism, and find out why they have lost their touch. They are seeing the reality they want to imagine. Some of these so-called prominent editors, some of whom were also prominent in the Nira Radia tapes, have tweeted their anger at Rahul Gandhi. They are actually upset that Rahul has not performed up to their expectations. Rahul and Akhilesh, it seemed to me, were puppets of a certain section of the pseudosecular media, who wanted to present them as the two saviours.
I spoke to a few reporters and asked, ‘Why did you misread what happened in UP?’ They said, ‘We did not misread. But our bosses and their bosses in Delhi had already made up their minds about what the UP result was going to be.’
Radia again! Take your pick ;)
Update and Editor’s Note (17th April 2017): This article earlier contained 8 sly digs, but now has been shortened to 6 because Times Group found two comments made by Mr. Arnab Goswami defamatory and libelous towards them and their top management. Times Group has served a legal notice to Arnab Goswami, his company, some senior people associated with his company, and to media platforms that carried his statements, including to OpIndia.com and Man’s World magazine. After internal deliberations, we removed the two comments that were objected to by the Times Group. They were not our own editorial comments, only for which we can take responsibility and liability. Even now, this article remains a report about the interview done by a third-party (Man’s World magazine); it is not any endorsement of the interview content or of Arnab Goswami’s views in totality, except his views on the so-called Left-Liberals and his views about Lutyens media bias as is clear from commentary in this article.