The politics of television

From Tamil Nadu’s pre-election TV war (by S R Ramanujan, The Hoot):

Even before the battle of ballots could begin on the streets of Idli-Dosa land for the state assembly elections to be held on May 8, war has already broken out on the small screen. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko’s walk-out from the seven-party alliance of the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) led by octogenarian leader M Karunanidhi, provided the much needed initial momentum for both Sun TV and Jaya TV to kick-start their screen campaign.

While Sun TV termed Vaiko’s exit as a “great betrayal” and an example for “political opportunism”, Jaya TV went joyously overboard, showing that “great moment of history” when Jayalalithaa greeted Vaiko, whom she incarcerated for 19 months under POTA, with both holding a copy of the seat-sharing agreement for the benefit of television cameras. Jaya was understandably brimming with joy as she was able to break the formidable alliance of Karunanidhi’s, which made a clean sweep of the 2004 Parliamentary poll, winning all the 39 seats.

Ah, that’s what we call ‘fair and balanced’*

* — The phrase is a copyright of Fox News and its affiliates.


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