The News from TNTN Politics is making the same kind of nasty headlines as usual and this time everyone in the country is taking notice of what has become a routine JJ vs the rest battle. Anti has a bit to say on the latest provocation here
There's another aspect to this battle that we at home (away from the hurly-burly here in Pune) take keen interest in following: the role of the Tamil TV Channels in all of this. In particular, the two channels Sun TV and Jaya TV that have open political affiliations and serve as mouth-pieces for their respective political owners. Political agendas in the media are usually not as blatantly voiced as in these channels and one can actually see the same facts being reported (actually there is never any straightforward reportage - there is heavy topspin in the kind of language used to describe any event) in such a different manner that they're actually contradictory.
In the latest row over the AIADMK-motivated attempts to punish The Hindu,
the news-stories as they appeared in today's afternoon bulletins (Jaya TV at 12.30 pm and Sun TV at 1.30 pm)
amply illustrate this. Jaya TV headlined their story as "Many political leaders and the people on the streets
welcome the decision to the sentence of the journalists" (paraphrased). The actual report had exactly one
"leader" read out a statement in support of the AIADMK. This was the Hindu MuNNaNi, a party which is
almost insignificant on the political map. There was no mention of any other leaders in support, which is
pretty obvious considering everyone else other than the ruling party has taken umbrage (they dare not say
otherwise). Coming to what was a "cross-section" of apparently common men (ranging from shopkeepers to
drivers), the story tried to show how the decision was "welcomed" by the man on the street to punish those
who dishonoured the legislature. What seemed interesting was the common choice of words that most of these
used while speaking on camera.
Sun TV, on the other hand, didn't have to resort to the sampling because there is enough against the TN Govt. in this case to beat upon. But the way they presented their news item remains true to their style. Referring to the Bangalore incident on Saturday night where N.Ram, his brother N.Murali and their wives were stopped by people allegedly from the TN Police who were trying to arrest the third brother N.Ravi (who has been charged and sentenced). N.Ram described how they (including his driver from whom the car keys were snatched) had an exchange with these men who couldn't find what they were looking for. Sun TV chose to describe it thus as to what happened when these alleged policemen realised their mistake: "... avargaL thappi ODinaargaL", which could be translated as "they escaped" or "they fled" - which could be considered a spin on the facts.
This is old hat of course, those who followed the news on both these news sources during the recent TN Govt. employees strike would have noticed how contradictory even the facts were. The present CM always manages to overreach herself in her vengeance, but others before her have been no less guilty.