Long before Arnab Goswami took the English news scene by storm, there was Karan Thapar.
Long before Arnab Goswami took the English news scene by storm, there was Karan Thapar. Argumentative to the point of heckling his guests, it took the viewers some time before they got used to his bold, rude ways.
Arnab, on the other hand, didn’t start out as abrasive as he tends to be these days. Thapar would, if I remember right, from Day 1. Last night, one had the good fortune of comparing the styles of both as they discussed the controversy caused by the Azam Khan speech.
The two had very clear positions on the issue and they wanted Khan to apologise, which obviously his party spokespersons wouldn’t. Madhukar Jetley, the SP spokesperson, was forced into a corner and it required the soothing words of journalist Sharat Pradhan that Jetley could say nothing against Khan given his clout in the party to put him at ease.
The Arnab show had tempers flying big time. Maroof Raza, who is otherwise fairly restrained, lost his cool on the show.
So who was better? For sheer lungpower, Arnab was a clear winner. But for an equally ruthless indictment of Khan’s statement without really getting decibel values out of hand, I found Thapar’s ‘To the Point’ far better.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed Rajdeep Sardesai’s discussion on the Narendra Modi’s positioning statement while submitting his nomination papers. Alyque Padamsee, Santosh Desai, Aakar Patel and tea vendor and BJP member Kiran Mahida who proposed Modi’s name were in the house. The discussion was whether there was any significance in taking a tea vendor and a member of the royal family of Baroda for filing of nomination papers. Whether Modi’s marketing tools worked on the masses.
I personally find Alyque totally off the mark on most TV discussions these days and wonder why he continues to be invited to them. He used to be interesting some 20 years back, but surely there are countless others who can speak on branding and marketing issues. A call to CNBC-TV’s Storyboard team would help.
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh