Primetime piffle

This week, even if the Chinese troops had made incursions far enough to take control of the Parliament House in New Delhi, we would not have had even a small clue about it from the various sections of the Indian media. You know they (the media) had no time for such insignificant news, as they were fully immersed in giving us a 360-degree perspective of an event of far bigger gravitas: The up-close details on the IPL shenanigans.

Thanks to the television channels we now know for sure that Sreesanth, when he was arrested, was fully drunk and totally unconscious and confrontational and with women escorts and totally all alone in his hotel room in Mumbai when the Delhi police arrested him.

We have been so well fed by the TV channels on the IPL all this week that we know everything about it, except the part that is shady —- that is to say all parts of it. The round-the-clock frenzy on television over the murky sideshow in the IPL must go down in history as those moments that were filled with round-the-clock frenzy. Beyond this, nothing is clear.

In case you missed it, this is what happened:

(Reader alert: Some of what is to follow may not be factual and may not even make sense. But trust us, on the television out there, it was much worse).

Times Now

Arnab Goswami: We can now confirm to the viewers that this channel is the first one to break the news this afternoon after breaking news in the morning and also breaking news last night in the continuing saga of rapidly unfolding events of fast breaking news for the benefit of viewers of this channel.

We now have on the phone line our Mumbai crime correspondent who has been constantly tracking all that is happening on the cricketing arena (To the correspondent on the phone line): ‘Okay, tell us what breaking news do you have for the viewers of this channel that has been breaking news in breaking news?’

Correspondent: Arnab, our sources in the Mumbai police, which has been probing the cricket events, have just confirmed to us to that the latest developments that we have been breaking to the viewers of this channel are indeed confirmed. We can also tell the viewers of this channel that we break only confirmed news. Back to you, Arnab

Arnab Goswai: Indeed it is a very damning piece of information. It has been a momentous period and the time has come to ask the question that every cricket fan in every corner of this country who has been watching this channel is dying to ask in the light of what has been unfolding before us in the last week ever since we first reported the first-ever reported ….. and as I am speaking to you, we have more breaking news coming in from our chief cricket correspondent who has been keeping track of politics…

(Scroll) Breaking News: This is breaking news.

CNN IBN      

Rajdeep Sardesai: Even as we are speaking to you, on a day of tumultuous developments, sources are telling CNN IBN that the CSK boss will up the ante, bite the bullet, throw the spanner, turn the tables, spin the wheels, soap the shirt, kick the bucket, shut the door on his detractors who may not know what hit them.

Rajdeep: (To the correspondent who is standing behind what seems to be a large building, but it could also be Rajeev Shukla’s tummy. But there is no way of telling) What are your sources telling you now at the moment when the CSK is spinning the wheel, turning the tide and hitting the turf running?  Will Srinivasan resign?

Reporter: Rajdeep, the mood is one of high anxiety among the media contingent out here as no one has a clue as to whether Srinivasan will resign, and if so, as what. Sources are also telling us that Srinivasan, who is no stranger to such controversies, may eventually choose to quit as the father-in-law of Gurunath Meiyappan, which can solve the problem to every one’s content.


Barkha Dutt: According to reports just in, the Congress has made it clear that the IPL mess has to be cleaned at the earliest.  In fact Congress sources are telling us that Sonia is discontented with the developments that have brought disrepute to the game and also seen several thousand crores of rupees flow to some one else. It is also learnt that Rahul Gandhi is unhappy with the state of affairs.

We have in our studios, Kapil Sibal, who as the Law Minister is the man under the spotlight as there is demand for a stringent law to weed out corruption from the game.

Barkha: Mr Sibal, Hasn’t IPL done more harm to cricket than develop it?

Sibal: The game of cricket is…

Barkha (interjecting): So you mean to say cricket is just a game; if so how do you explain the crores and crores of rupees flowing to several people, which has rightfully caused anguish to Sonia, Rahul, and perhaps others?

Sibal: Money and market forces….

Barkha (interjecting): You are suggesting that the market is forcing things on people?

Sibal: IPL, even in its days of Modi…

Barkha (naturally interjecting): OK, without needing to put any words into his mouth, Sibal has eloquently stated that Modi’s presence is detrimental to cricket and country.

(Clang, cling, bang …sound of TV screens being smashed to smithereens in many households).

Many of us in the print media are mighty worried at the state of affairs: You can’t blame us — Our sole source of news these days is the TV news.