|Image Courtesy Twitter|
With tweeple heaping ridicule on news anchors, English news channels are the new dart boards for collective national catharsis. It all began when the hashtag #ShameOnTimesNow trended on Twitter after Times Now suggested that the defeat of the Indian cricket team was a national shame. Despite efforts, the channel failed to shame the team and got shamed instead. Yesterday, when they tried to shame General VK Singh, who had earlier called the media ‘presstitutes’, channels were punched on twitter. With the hashtag #Presstitutes trending today, television media is currently writhing on the twitter mat.
Two things. One, despite the veneer of righteousness, the outcome of television debates does little for the subject. Second, since there is a reason for everything, I believe, television news is transmitted into our living rooms for a higher purpose. Don’t look at prime time debates with contempt. Steer clear of perceiving them as self-serving, TRP loving, sensationalist shows. Instead, look at them as nature’s way of healing the mind, body and soul. Stick with me and I’ll tell you why.
Men get to speak
If you are a married man, you get a chance to speak. Whether it is beef ban or a Toyota Fortuner for Telangana babus, you can vent it out. In an attempt to breed outrage, channels invite you to speak out (get angry) after an outrageous comment begins circulation. Shout out for public flogging or street hanging. Don’t worry, nothing changes. But you feel better. Remember what Kareena tells Shahid Kapoor in Jab We Met? Yes, like that.
Nature’s way of restoring health
As in physical exercise, blood pressure shoots up while you are watching News Hour. Regular viewing of News Hour, like exercise, can help lower your blood pressure, as long as you keep it up. This is because your heart pumps more to enable you to make sense when panelists scream. Healthy heart, healthy body. Got it? What’s more, you learn to modulate your vocal chords, thereby exercising the throat muscles like the contemptuous anchor.
Mental health as a perk
A University of Michigan study says that gossip releases progesterone - a stress buster. Because our news is about ‘who said what’, watching news can reduce anxiety levels. Look at the last few days. We’ve spent days dissecting Giriraj Singh’s shocker, Sharad Yadav’s blooper, Goa CM’s blunder and VK Singh’s twatter. Common, admit it. As long as it’s not your bum, there is great fun in public spanking.
Moreover, TV debates convert complex issues into simple binary choices. So you either with the anchor or against him. Easy peasy.
Lessons in secularism
Apart from health benefits, there are other perks of lessons in secularism. Even if the debate about adult diapers, some twist the debate towards what sections of social media call ‘sickularism’.
Panelist: Government has decided to increase the production of adult diapers.
Anchor: So this is about Hindu nationalism.
Panelist: Err, how?
Anchor: Our survey says there is 18% increase in communal intolerance.
Panelist: Communal intolerance? But we’re talking about urinal incontinence?
Inculcates patriotism and Inspires
If you’ve always wanted to join the armed forces, you can fight a virtual war with real life Pakistani Generals and Naval Chiefs. The scene is straight out of a war zone – fire brims off the ticker, loud noises shatter the window panes and emotions run high. Above all, with the anchor on your side, you win.
Once you realize above benefits, it gets better. Tell me, which other show or person inspires you to be the best. With channels screaming about being number one and children following the supremely conscientious anchor with a suicidal love for his voice, we will soon be a country of leaders. Always number one. Leaving competition far behind. Decimating them for 100 weeks.
As for me, thirty minutes, once a day, five times a week has reduced my blood pressure by 20 mm hg. Regular gossip keeps me stress free. Twenty odd angry tweets per day help me vent out. Above all, constant carping criticism on TV creates space for positivity in my personal life. I mean, how much negativity can one tolerate, right? So I either make an extra effort to be happy, or be happy in knowing that nothing is good enough.
Also on HuffingtonPost.