Mani Shankar Aiyar launches into Arnab Goswami


After a fiasco of an interview with Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, Mail Today reports that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will now go through “mock interview sessions” before further TV powwows to prevent further fiascos.

“The duration of future interviews will be around 30 to 45 minutes instead of 90 minutes as on Times Now. According to sources, this will focus Gandhi’s impact and would reduce the possibility of the exercise going off at a tangent.

“Senior Congress leaders will also guide the Congress vice-president on appropriate body language during interviews.

“Future interviews with Rahul will be based on broad themes related to political, social, economic and other relevant issues. Answers to possible questions related to these broad themes will be prepared in advance and given to Gandhi besides a detailed background briefing.

“The responses will be framed in such a way that they focus on Rahul’s political philosophy and Congress ideology, sources said.”

In the Indian Express, former Union minister and Rajiv Gandhi‘s speech-writer, Mani Shankar Aiyar questions the choice of Times Now for Rahul Gandhi’s arengetram on English TV:

“Why the most superficial anchor in English TV should have been chosen for Rahul Gandhi’s maiden interview is really for his media managers to explain. But every time Rahul attempted to drag the programme from banality to depth, the anchor stubbornly brought it back to the trivial and the episodic.

“This particular anchor has done more than all the other channels combined to dumb down the political discourse among the twittering classes. When I ask people why they watch him, the standard answer I get is, “Not for enlightenment, just for entertainment”. And that is really what the nation needs to know!

“So, it is hardly surprising that the interviewer bristled when Rahul gently suggested that he was being “superficial”. Of course, he was. It is not in this anchor’s nature to plumb the profound. I hope Rahul finds himself a more reflective anchor when he goes beyond the tiny English-speaking audience of that channel to the broad masses in Hindi and other Indian language.”

Grapic: courtesy Mail Today

External reading: 25 questions Rahul Gandhi has still not been asked*

* Disclosures apply


  1. VS Chowdhry

    Background laughter can be added after every reply for enhanced entertainment .

    1. HAHA

      Ha Ha this is so funny!!!!! As if changing the anchor will change how Rahul baba answers questions (or not answers them really)!! Furthermore for the most snobbish, condescending English speaking Mr Aiyer who has zero mass base to look down upon Arnab’s English speaking audience is plain ridiculous

  2. What journalistic value is Arnab Goswami actually adding to the country? All he does is YELL! Are any of his questions really hard hitting? Is there anything new that he has to offer? Absolutely not! He just insults the guests on his show and gives himself a good ego boost. Sheer waste of crucial television viewing moments.

    1. Arnab Goswami needs to remember he is a moderator or anchor, instead of getting carried away by the moment.And he shoud scrupously not take sides in the discussions.

    2. Sam

      I sometimes think like you too on this aspect. But then as someone pointed out to me – Doesn’t the fact that Times Now is the “most watched” (“highest TRP” or whatever) news channel also says something about us Indians too? It than becomes a slippery slope – “Arnab and other anchors like him are idiot, his viewers are idiot”, we say and so the pretentious conclusion is that we “intellectuals” are the only “smart” ones in this country! 🙂

    3. Anonymous

      Yes he is overzealous and tries to drag the interview how he wants. I hated watching him. But then in the Rahul Gandhi interview he was pretty calm and directing his question appropriately, maybe because he knew his guest didnt know the answers to many of them. 🙂

    4. mona

      At least he is honest.and keeps the discussion focussed….unlike polite journalists who loose focus of discussions and get swayed away by these very articulate politicians who know how to mix words to deviate from topics and who feel thay are answerable to none……we watch times news hour as arnab as he questions from our side and tries his bet to get answers being assertive….

  3. Sam

    The interview was a “PR disaster” only in an as much as the choice of the anchor and the format. Otherwise, it gave good insight into Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s vision and his commitment to his ideas.

    What the Mail Today reported is standard for any public relationship exercise. (As it is a tabloid this seems more like a fluff piece – packaging the journalist knowledge of PR campaign and Mr. Gandhi’s interview and presenting it as if all this information is from “sources”.)

    And Mr. Iyer is spot on in saying that there was dichotomy between the interviewer and the interviewee – Arnab wanted some headline fodder for the next few days while Mr. Gandhi was seeking a more serious introspection on governance.

  4. What Rubbish! Arnab Goswami exposed all the scams in India. he is a journalist of repute. Ofcourse, he yells, but we can tolerate honest yelling and screaming to other channels which are congress stooges. People are not fools to follow a channel. The fool is Rahul Gandhi and only a good journailst can help bring out the truth that has finally come out!!!

    1. saisurya



      Oh the reputation that he forgets he is just an anchor not a ‘judge’?

      stop it, common stop it.

  5. nparamasivam1951

    N’est of Luce next time. But Iyer is not a correct coach.

  6. nparamasivam1951

    Best of luck next time. Beware of Iyer.

  7. Andy Jax

    Arnab is what he is, and everybody knows that. But now everybody also knows what a dumb@$$ Rahul Gandhi is. Ha ha.

    Sure arnab tries to get an ego boost by trying to put his guests in a tight spot. Just look at how Modi answers his questions; with relevant examples.
    But what he asked rahul were ‘specifics’ and not ‘superficials’. Truth is rahul had only prepared 3-4 answers which he was giving for every question. hahaha. real comedy show the interview was. ROFL..

  8. Vicky

    There was absolutely nothing superficial in the questions he asked. Those were serious questions, that people really want to know about.

  9. CBS news anchor Dan Rather had interviewed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. When asked what it was like to talk to a crazy man, Saddam said, ‘It’s not so bad.’Quoted by Conan O’Brien.

  10. sali

    It is true that arnab goswamy is becoming more and more theatrical and he behaves like as if he is the most wisest man in the world. Of late he is after AAP and gives an impression that he has a BJP agenda to push through his news hour.

  11. B N

    Am surprised that the VP of INC cant find enough meat apart form empowerment , et al to try and manage reponses for Arnab’s queries, even if we assume he is superficial.. And are we as a nation so subservient and dumb to accept such a personality ( R baba) as a prime ministerial candidate..

  12. B N

    Contrary to his opinion on INC democratization, I see no reason not credentials for RG to be the VP of INC…the only virtue of being a Gandhi!!!???? and we call ourselves as developing ..60 years down as we are still fooling ourselves..

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