About a year back the India Today managed to the interview of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and during the buildup, it was advertised as the “biggest interview of the decade”. After the interview conducted by controversial journalist Rajdeep Sardesai aired, it was soon re branded by social media users as The fixed interview of the decade, primarily for its softball nature.
Yesterday, CNN News18 started creating a similar build-up to an interview of Congress President elect Rahul Gandhi:
#EXCLUSIVE | Standby for the BIGGEST political interview this election season: Rahul Gandhi’s (@officeofrg) 1st interview to @_pallavighosh, after Gujarat poll campaign, only on CNN-News18 | #ElectionsWithNews18 | #RahulOnNews18pic.twitter.com/B99RDblUzo
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 13, 2017
Considering the fact that the interview was being conducted after the Gujarat poll campaign, one felt that, CNN News18 would do justice to journalism and pose tough questions to Rahul Gandhi, like asking as to why did he lie multiple times during the election campaign. Rahul’s lies were so widespread that even Tata Motors (which was at the receiving end of the one such lie) had to come out with a statement debunking them.
Possibly one of the first signs that the interview would contain no firebrand content was the fact that it was being conducted by Journalist Pallavi Ghosh. Pallavi has attained notoriety on twitter for being a ‘fan’ of the Gandhis, if one goes by these tweets:
U may criticise her on some things but undoubtedly sonia remains one of the most graceful netas
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) November 21, 2016
Definitely a very very good speech by rahul gandhi :
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) March 2, 2016
At the risk of being trolled and called a cong stooge must say rahul came across v confident at the press conf / the change is apparent
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) December 27, 2016
Almost predictably this is what happened, and the interview whose clip was also shared by the Congress, saw Pallavi asking Rahul soft questions and at one point even expressed her desire to meet Rahul Gandhi’s dog Pidi (Video via @LOLiyapa):
This insane and abundant amount of Love from Pallavi Ghosh….. ??? pic.twitter.com/oUxv2Tc1di
— LolmLol (@LOLiyapa) December 14, 2017
The tone and tenor of the interview gave out a feeling that it was more of a PR platform for Rahul Gandhi than a means to make him answer some tough questions.
Social Media users as a result weren’t happy and decided to roast Pallavi for her approach:
That was an interview??? Looked like a hungry cat sitting in front of a bowl of milk to me ! https://t.co/3DsjUMuNmA
— दिव्या (@divya_16_) December 13, 2017
I asked @_pallavighosh on @CNNnews18 what was explosive about #RahulBaba interview? She quoted him – “I don’t need BJP permission to visit temples!” Wow, that’s truly explosive ??
— Ratan Sharda (@RatanSharda55) December 14, 2017
When jokes write themselves https://t.co/CGkYrJqVjS
— Computerman (@rajivji019) December 13, 2017
Arey Bhai Bhai Bhai.. #PidiInterview ?? pic.twitter.com/1Q3HhZc21K
— LolmLol (@LOLiyapa) December 13, 2017
When your mouth is on on floor .. and tongue at boots … all you can see is #Pidi
They are not in awe of #Pappu .. they are in awe of #Pidi
Well done @_pallavighosh for the expose pic.twitter.com/OaEO6ISdV4
— travelबाबा (@rkgeemail) December 14, 2017
Such an interview raises the question as to whether journalists and media houses are more interested in currying favour with the political establishment even though it means committing a grave travesty of journalism.