The last two days have seen media barons pour scorn and outrage on Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party for suggesting that the media is corrupt.
The Editors Guild said the suggestion that media was corrupt and than an inquiry should be constituted suggested that Kejriwal had “an intolerant mind-set that resents any critical scrutiny”.
According to the Indian Express, which has consistently printed opinion pieces against the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement, the Aam Aadmi Party singled out India TV, India News, Zee News and Times Now for leading a campaign against it.
Times Now editor Arnab Goswami was asked in the recent FICCI Frames conclave why his channel tagged its entire multi-day coverage of Aam Aadmi Party’s recent protests in Delhi under a running title “AAPDrama”, while it had not done the same for Narendra Modi’s rallys. “I felt it was all drama,” Goswami said at the conference.
The Editors Guild said Kejriwal was confusing healthy criticism for motivated reporting.
“It is the democratic right of the free media to raise any issue and to subject any public person or party to scrutiny, and it is ridiculous to label criticism of a party or of a political leader as ‘paid news’.”
Kejriwal is not the first politician to criticize a perceived bias in the Indian media. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s supporters often point to a ‘witch hunt’ of the Gujarat chief minister by a liberal and left-leaning media that was intolerant of right wing politics.
CPIM leaders, especially in Kerala, regularly call most of the TV channels and newspapers ‘syndicate media’ for allegedly running campaigns against it.
The only front that has never accused the media of a bias against it is the United Progress Alliance led by the Congress Party.