Is Kejriwal a monster of media's own creation?

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in an unprecedented move lambasted the media saying the whole media is 'sold' and 'heavy amounts' have been paid to promote BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

FP Staff March 15, 2014 12:54:26 IST
Is Kejriwal a monster of media's own creation?

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in an unprecedented move lambasted the media saying the whole media is "sold" and "heavy amounts" have been paid to promote BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

This created an outrage, with the Editor's Guild condemning his comments. "The Guild condemns in the strongest terms the repeated attacks on the media by the Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, that violate the norms of decent democratic debate," a statement by N Ravi, the President of the Editors Guild of India, said

Is Kejriwal a monster of medias own creation

Representational image. AP

Former journalist Ashish Khetan who recently joined AAP defended Kejriwal during a discussion on CNN-IBN saying, "This election is being fought on the one criteria of Gujarat model of development. Today huge money is being poured in to certain media channels through by Modi."

AAP and Arvind Kejriwal have received massive media coverage during their protests. Sambit Patra says, "I believe this is a classic case of indigestion due to large exposure to media. It is verbal diarrhea."

Columnist Tavleen Singh, meanwhile, chose to blame the media itself for this situation. "Kejriwal behaved like a messiah sent from god. No one in the media has questioned him so far," she said and added, "There is an element of tyranny that people who think they are messiah's have. The fact is we have helped the AAP more than any other party in the elections we have covered. They are so used to good coverage."

While Kejriwal's comments may be below the belt at some levels, there are sections of the media that are corrupt. Is the media then unwilling to accept its faults?

Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta said, "The PCI is a toothless tiger. What is the issue that concerns the majority of country? IT is inflation and corruption, the why not talk about corruption in the media. There is a section which is masquerading advertising. All of us are guilty of double standards. There are media houses who are receiving money. As far as Arvind Kejriwal goes, every politician has a love-hate relationship with the media."

To this argument Patra said, "Modi has been bashed in and out by the media. Modi has never uttered the same words. Kejriwal has crossed the laxman rekha."

Meanwhile, Firstpost columnist Mahesh Vijapurkar said, "The day elections results were over wasn't the media pushing AAP to form the government? Why is it that people clap when Kejriwal talks about the media? AAP has been, after it formed government, was hounded by the media. This reduces the credibility of media."

On the flip side Vijapurkar said, "There have been instances when Kejriwal has made some comments in a private gathering and then denied it in public."

However Vijapurkar said, "If media doesn't introspect then we are in deep trouble. Ask a common man, their opinion of the media is very low. But Kejriwal, what he has said is not justifiable."

Guha Thakurta, meanwhile, said, "If you think Kejriwal is a smart politician, he is. There is anger and outrage of corruption. If sections of politicians are corrupt, so is the media."

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