‘Rabid, right-wing, Fox News on Acid.’ Yet 74%?

A news item on the business pages of The Times of India:

Times Now most viewed during PM press conference

Mumbai: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s televised news conference last week was most watched on Times Now. According to rating agency TAM, 74% viewers among 25-plus males in big cities watched the PM on Times Now. Competitor NDTV 24X7 had 4% viewership and CNN-IBN 2% in the same segment.


Meanwhile, the writer-academic Amitava Kumar interviews the writer-activist Arundhati Roy for the American arts and politics magazine, Guernica.

In the introduction to the interview, Kumar writes:

Have to be
These Days

“That is what I read on the little green, blue, and yellow stickers on the front door of Arundhati Roy’s home in south Delhi. Earlier in the evening I had received a message from Roy asking me to text her before my arrival so that she’d know that the person at her door wasn’t from Times Now. Times Now is a TV channel in India that Roy memorably described, for non-Indian readers, as “Fox News on acid.” The channel’s rabidly right-wing anchor routinely calls Roy “provocative” and “anti-national.”

“Last year, when a mob vandalized the house in which Roy was then living, the media vans, including one from Times Now, were parked outside long before the attack began. No one had informed the police. To be fair, Times Now wasn’t the only channel whose OB Van was parked in front of Roy’s house. But that too is a part of the larger point Roy has been making.

“Media outlets are not only complicit with the state, they are also indistinguishable from each other. The main anchor of a TV channel writes a column for a newspaper, the news editor has a talk show, etc. Roy told me that the monopoly of the media is like watching “an endless cocktail party where people are carrying their drinks from one room to the next.”

Then, in response to a question from Amitava Kumar on the move to arrest her on grounds of sedition for advocating azadi (freedom) for Kashmir, Arundhati Roy responds:

“Interestingly, the whole thing about charging me for sedition was not started by the Government, but by a few right-wing crazies and a few irresponsible media channels like Times Now which is a bit like Fox News on acid. Even when the Mumbai attacks happened, if you remember it was the media that began baying for war with Pakistan. This cocktail of religious fundamentalism and a crazed, irresponsible, unaccountable media is becoming a very serious problem, in India as well as Pakistan. I don’t know what the solution is. Certainly not censorship…”

Read the full article: The un-victim

Also read: Arnab Goswami edges out Barkha Dutt on power list

It happened one night on the day of the eclipse…

Times Now, Times Now, Times Now, Times Now


  1. Very entertaining post. I have only one point to make. Why do we always use words like “rabid” “crazies” etc when we are talking about right-wing?

    What is the meaning of right-wing? Does it denote the religious fundamentalist types? Or does it refer to someone who believes in small government, free economy so that private sector can do its job efficiently?

    It is completely unfair to dub all right wingers as rabid and crazies. They are not. In fact, the most civilized countries in the world are those that have strong conservative, libertarian and right wing movements. Look at USA (Republican party), UK (Tories), Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. All these countries are proud of their culture; they don’t import their ideology from a barbaric non-existent Soviet Union. The minorities in these countries are freer than they are in the nations of their own birth.

    India is a third world country because we have never been able to create a secular right wing political force. Jan Sangh was a failure and so is the BJP. Our media is also responsible for this mess in our politics. Too often we try to dub all right wingers as fundamentalists, crazies and rabid and thereby we sow seeds of confusion in the mind of public. A civilized country is not possible without a strong right-wing movement.

    The real lunatics are on the leftist side of the spectrum. That is why all leftist countries in the world, including India, are so poor and are mired with lawlessness. By focussing on someone like Arundhati Roy, Times now is only giving publicity to someone who does not deserve it. She is the Praveen Tokadia of the Indian leftist club.

  2. Not A Witty Nick

    In that “interview” by Amitava Kumar, he touches upon every interesting matter of her life except her bungalow in Pachmarhi which was allegedly obtained with lots of help from a right wing affiliated politician who is also famousfor his alleged exploitation of poor tribal beedi workers.

    Not a single sentence about that allegation and they go on and on about everything in her life!


    Of course, she fears that rabid anchor of India’s Fox News on acid, will definitely ask her uncomfortable questions that aren’t in the script.

    That’s why she prefers her uncle’s channel just like the Super Prime Minister of India, Sonia Gandhi

  3. Mahesh Vijapurkar

    In India, like ‘minorityism’ means ‘secularism’, ‘right wing’ means being ‘pro-Hindu’. Unfortunate but what is politically correct is determined only by the Left. So anything said is part of a dialogue of the dead who have even lost their hands with which they could have signaled their views.

    Two, I have a limited agreement with A Roy about the Times Now: it bays for blood and barks at its guests which, to say the least, is most uncivil conduct.

    But I recall a report out of Sri Lanka long ago filed by N Ram in which he pointed out that “to a question raised by The Hindu, the Sri Lankan President said…etc. etc.” Much like the Times Now now saying that it asked the most pointed questions. And why the adjectives? – it is pointed or blunt; it cannot be ‘most pointed’ or ‘most direct’. What has come upon English! That is my another lament.

    1. Krishna Kumar

      On the politics of Times Now…I wonder how can one call it right-wing. Ofcourse it is sensation seeking. But the other channels too are, to varying degrees.

      If I am correct, Mr.Vijapurkar had been a special correspondent of The Hindu for a long time. It is amusing to read his comments about N. Ram. I am eager to know his views about the current editorial policy of The Hindu.

      1. Mahesh Vijapurkar

        What I said about the report from Colombo was a fact, not an opinion.
        About my views on the current editorial policy: sometime, hopefully soon, for it has to be comprehensive, not an off-the-cuff remark.

  4. Mysore Peshva

    Mr. Amitava Kumar’s logic left me scratching my head. Here:

    “Last year, when a mob vandalized the house in which Roy was then living, the media vans, including one from Times Now, were parked outside long before the attack began. No one had informed the police….”

    followed by

    “Media outlets are … complicit with the state…”

    Huh?? Mr. Kumar surely meant that “media outlets are complicit with the vandals”??

    For the little that I have watched Times Now, I think its anchor, Arnab Goswami, is verbose and highly opinionated, but to call him “right wing” is to deflate that term.

  5. Byjunath

    It is high time that India attacked and annexed POK with our Kashmir. Also take away the special status of Kashmir. Bring all the Hindus who fled from there fearing the attack of barbaric Pak terrorists. Let the left, pseudo crazies moan.

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