When TV news plumbed the depths of bathroom

We recreate, without watching TV, how news channels covered Sri Devi’s death

Chennai, Mar 1:  There has been a huge criticism over the manner in which TV news channels went about covering the sudden demise of actress Sridevi. And there has also been an equally huge criticism over the fact that why do people continue to watch news channels and then cry that it is silly and stupid.

We at Crank’s News fully appreciate this point. And that is why we have taken the moral position that we will critcise TV news without even attempting to watch it.

For this we have to thank Twitter. (Twitter, if you don’t know, is the official media partner for controversies across the globe. Whenever anything controversial transpires anywhere, it is first shared on Twitter before it moves to other places.) By the virtue of being on Twitter we get a ringside view of all the bad things happening all around.

And here is a representative exchange on news television that we never watched.

(This is not about one particular channel. Actually, if you remove their logos, all channels are essentially the same.)

Anchor: We have some Breaking News coming in on the death of actress Sridevi. Just as well, because we ourselves were quite tired of playing the same few tunes from Sadma, Chandini and Lamhe for more than half-a-day, despite this being a news show, and droning our lines without any variation and without even a molecule of insight into her career or personality.

We now have reports from Dubai that Sridevi died not because of cardiac arrest as was originally believed, but she apparently perished after drowning in her bathtub. For more on the sensational twist, we have our correspondent Neha Grewal speak from a different part of this same studio even though we are going to ask her about things that happened at distant Dubai. Neha is our resident expert in this matter. She specialises in saying the same thing again and again.  She is the Sanjay Leela Bhansali of news reporters.

Neha, what is your take on this unexpected development in Sridevi’s death?

Neha: Yeah, you really plucked the word out of my mouth. Unexpected it certainly is. Which in other words means we were not expecting this at all. This is the proverbial twist in the tail. The classic out of the blue development. No one even had an inkling of this. The development totally sets the cat among the pigeons. Or to put it differently, it might also have put the pigeons among the cats. This shocking turn of events, we can now confirm to our viewers, has totally shocked every one.

Anchor: Aptly summed up, Neha.  We will keep coming back to you all through the day. If Sridevi drowned to death in her bathtub, it raises many uncomfortable questions chief of which is whether Global Warming has made water in bathtubs to rise alarmingly.

But this is not the occasion for levity, but a moment of extreme sadness and that is why we have, with extreme sensitivity, come up with an image of a bathtub in the background and we will bring in experts on the subject of Sridevi’s drinking habits, as it has emerged that her blood contained traces of alcohol .  Over to one of the experts who might be an Advocate/Politico/Socialite/Bollywood hand/Person who had once seen a movie that starred Sridevi.

Expert: The fact that her blood, at the time of her unfortunate death, contained alcohol leads us to believe that she might have been drinking prior to her death. And if she had been drinking, it forces us to ask the uncomfortable question: why are we not putting a picture of a wine glass along with the bathtub in the background when competing channels are already doing that?  We also hear that one channel had a correspondent report from inside a bathtub

Anchor: Wait till what we have in store. We will have reporter speak from inside a mock funeral pyre. Meanwhile, we have our correspondent Atul Saxena from Mumbai outside Sridevi’s house, even though it is well known that her body is in Dubai, her husband is in Dubai and all her family members are elsewhere.

Atul: As we speak, the whole place is crammed with people, all average fans, all probably wondering with the same question as to what we news people are doing outside Sridevi’s house here in Mumbai when it is well known that her body has not been even handed over to her family members in Dubai.

Anchor: Atul, thanks for the update. Now we will go to politician Amar Singh because he is known to be close to Sridevi and Boney Kapoor family and despite this he has agreed to shamelessly speculate whether Sridevi committed suicide, which will help us to keep discussing the event till the next controversy arrives.

Over to Amar Singh…

When Amar Singh speaks on TV, even those who hadn’t switched on the TV get out of the room.