Is all well at Times Now? Why did Arnab Goswami not turn up to host the Newshour at Super Primetime on India’s Election Headquarters last night? And this, mind you, on the day when the crucial Amethi polling happened in the eighth phase of voting in General Elections 2014.
Ladies and gentlemen, with just nine days to go for May 16, the day your channel will air the poll results like no other channel in the business, how can the Main Man go Missing?! India wants to know. Surely my readers want to know.
Do they really? I am not sure. I know I am trying to suggest there could be a conspiracy here when in all probability there’s none. Or perhaps there is. So, let’s cut the banter. Arnab Goswami was off air last night and many rejoiced. Sound pollution levels were down. Doctors reported people of normal blood pressure. Tempers and marital discords after (super) primetime reduced.
There were many who opted to watch Maxwell’s 90 for Kings XI Punjab against the Chennai Super Kings. And I decided to hop from one channel to the other, but couldn’t bear to watch Times Now minus the Big Man.
I have nothing against Anand Narasimhan and Tina Sharma Tiwari, the co-hosts of Newshour in Arnab’s absence, but it’s tough to watch the channel without him, even though there are a fair number of negatives one associates with an Arnab-anchored show.
And how did the other channels fare? Last night: CNN-IBN was better than the rest. I wasn’t too kicked about watching a Salman Khurshid speak with Karan Thapar so didn’t stick around there. There’s nothing new any more to Barkha Dutt in a hinterland setting and NewX’s Rahul Shivshankar may try his best to do an Arnab Goswami, but he can’t.
PS: I heard that Arnab Goswami was busy at a family engagment. Good to see there’s a personal side to the man who we believe is obsessed with his channel. India has a future!
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it.