Tag Archives: Karan Thapar

Why is BCCI rolling out the red carpet to one “ultra-friendly English news channel”—India Today TV if you really want to know its name?

Girilal Jain, the late editor of The Times of India, used to say that, in India, politics sets the pace and everything else follows in its wake. So, just like some news channels are completely in the thrall of some political parties, some news channels are also the go-to stations for cricket bosses. After the…

Jessica Lal, Tehelka, Bina Ramani & the media

It was in South Delhi socialite Bina Ramani‘s Tamarind Court restaurant that Jessica Lall, a “model who worked as a celebrity barmaid”, was shot dead in 1999 by Manu Sharma, the son of Congress politician Venod Sharma. Initially exonerated of the charges, the case turned full turtle for Sharma following a sting operation by Harinder…

‘People know TV news is just entertainment’

Pratap Bhanu Mehta president of the Delhi-based thinktank, Centre for Policy Research (CPR), in an interview with Karan Thapar for CNN-IBN: Karan Thapar: How do you view the Indian media? Do you share justice Markandey Katju‘s concern, that by and large it is obsessive, it is narrow-minded, it focuses on middle class – urban concerns,…

Karan Thapar takes on Shekhar Gupta on credit

Even after a quarter-century or thereabouts of television interviewing, Karan Thapar‘s competitive edge has far from dimmed. In his weekly column in the Hindustan Times (whose failed TV venture Home TV he helped set up in the 1990s), Thapar takes offence at the Indian Express and Mail Today for not crediting him for an interview…

Reuters’ Modi interview: “Sensational tokenism”

Reuters‘ scoop interview with Narendra Modi published yesterday by the news agency, but apparently given 17 days ago on June 25, has created headlines for the Gujarat chief minister’s continuing lack of contrition for what happened under his watch in 2002. And for his faux pas of comparing the victims to “kutte ka bachcha” (puppies).…

Poems on news anchors: this week, Barkha Dutt

In Open magazine this week, Madhavankutty Pillai continues his occasional series of poems on news anchors. This week, the face of NDTV 24×7: Barkha Dutt, the host of We the People and The Buck Stops Here. Ye destitute widow, acid attack victim Forgotten spy, despairing cripple Who was once trapped in rubble And ye burnt…

Karan Thapar says ‘sorry’ to L.K. Advani (twice)

It isn’t often that journalists, especially the bold-faced names, descend from their ivory towers to admit they may have hurt a politician’s feelings. It’s even rarer to hear them say ‘sorry’ for having done so. But twice in the past week, the interviewer Karan Thapar has found the inner reserves to publicly do so, and…

Poems on News Anchors: this week, Karan Thapar

In the latest issue of Open magazine, Madhavankutty Pillai continues his series of poems on news anchors. This time, the TV anchor Karan Thapar gets his attention: O, obstreperous weasel Unregenerate blight Cowering from the shock Of my hair’s white Prise your eyes From my neon necktie Prepare your deceits Get ready to fight  …

Salman Khurshid, India Today & Sunday Guardian

Salman Khurshid, the Oxford-educated Union law minister, has taken the India Today group to court in Delhi, Bombay, Lucknow and London claiming damages of Rs 243 crore following Aaj Tak‘s sting operation that accused the trust run by his wife, former Sunday magazine journalist Louise Khurshid nee Fernandes, of a discrepancy of Rs 71 lakh.…

Brajesh Mishra, Outlook, Indian Express and DD

The passing away of the former national security advisor and former foreign service officer Brajesh Mishra last week has resulted in a welter of tributes, many very mushy, a few critical, but almost all of them throwing light on the uncomfortable influence that the Vajpayee aide held over the media—and the chummy friendship that some…

The curious case of Karan Thapar & a flyover-II

After 17 articles on the City pages of The Times of India, Delhi, the 14 owners and residents on Palam Marg—including the media baron Aroon Purie and the TV anchor Karan Thapar—respond to the allegation that they objected to the expansion of a flyover becasue it threatened to eat into the service road in front…

The curious case of Karan Thapar and a flyover

One of India’s top voices, Lata Mangeshkar, earned a fair bit of negative publicity for opposing the construction of a flyover on busy Peddar road in Bombay because it threatened to disturb her peace of mind. Now, one of India’s top TV faces is threatening to follow in her footsteps in Delhi. On July 29,…

‘The New York Times’ calls Sibal’s Facebook bluff

Indian politicians are long used to happily denying what they said on record (and in front of cameras) without ever having their versions contradicted. Union telecommunications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal is learning the hard way that The New York Times isn’t write-your-pet-hate-newspaper-or-channel-here. Last Monday, an NYT story which said “Big Brother” Sibal had…

Editors’ Guild takes on Press Council chief

The Editors’ Guild of India* has responded to the remarks made by the chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, in recent interviews and interactions with the media. Below is the full text of the editors’ guild response: “The Editors’ Guild of India deplores the ill-considered, sweeping and uninformed comments on the…

‘I have a poor opinion of most media people’

The Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory body for “preserving the freedom of the press and maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies”, has a new chairman: Justice Markandey Katju, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. In an interview with Karan Thapar for CNN-IBN’s weekly programme Devil’s Advocate,…

Barkha Dutt breaks silence in NYT interview

For 15 days, as the media storm over the Niira Radia tapes raged around her, NDTV’s star-anchor Barkha Dutt opted to speak to the world through an official press release, an online essay, and a pre-recorded inquisition by print editors. Dutt declined to appear on a Karan Thapar show and in a Headlines Today debate,…

Why Karan Thapar stopped haggling with God

Karan Thapar has a well-cultivated image of a tough, snarling, bulldog of a interviewer a la Jeremy Paxman. All the aggressive, relentless questioning and eyeball to eyeball gazing with the crooked and the wicked of the world might leave viewers wondering if the man has a heart at all. But the Devil’s Advocate has a…

What Raghav Bahl could learn from Samir Jain

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: Some time in the mid-20th century, the legendary New Yorker writer (and foodie) A.J. Liebling famously said, “freedom of the press belongs to those who own one“. For proof in the early 21st, he might like to take a look at Raghav Bahl. The founder, editor, controlling shareholder and managing…

From the desk of Shri Quick Gun Chidambaram

The Union home ministry under Palaniappan Chidambaram has been markedly different from that of his predecessor Shivraj Patil‘s. Gung-ho, proactive, media-savvy. The minister himself pops up in chosen English TV studios now and then. The home secretary G.K. Pillai dashes off corrections, clarifications and assorted complaints. Sometimes, Chidambaram himself shoots off a letter to the…

Jessica Lal verdict proof that Indian media works

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the life sentence awarded by the Delhi high court to Manu Sharma, the son of Congress leader and former Union minister Vinod Sharma, for killing Jessica Lal, who had declined to serve him a drink after the bar had closed in Delhi, in 1999. Manu Sharma’s counsel, the…