Some Pakistani TV Anchors: Monkeys with Machine guns!

Some Pakistani TV Anchors. Monkeys with a machine gun

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

I think many Pakistani TV anchors such as Arshad Sharif, Rauf Klasra, Abbassi etc and others who try to expose the ills of our society, are well meaning and keep people on their toes.

I think they’ve also done sterling work in exposing corruption and criminal activities.

But I also think they have gone grossly overboard and have no idea of the damage they inflict on their viewers by completely distorting issues and facts. Sometimes deliberately. Sometimes because they do not understand the art of anchoring.

There’s a huge difference in letting loose full-throated, highly subjective and very superficial opinions in a closed room social gathering vs sharing the same juvenile stuff on prime time, watched by hundreds of thousands.

They grossly lack training, understanding the role of the anchor and the actual art of anchoring, despite years in this business.

They are conceited, pompous, arrogant with inflated egos and even more inflated stupidity!

For them its all about “their opinions” their views” and they use the ownership of the mike to completely take over the discussion and out shout their guests.

For them it’s about generating as obnoxious a show as possible and deliberately berating and humiliating people to get higher ratings.

They don’t know how to question, nor do they know how to anchor.

The golden rule of anchoring is 20/80. Anchor speaks 20% and guest 80%.

In the case of Klasra and company its a show with just one perspective. Klasra’s. No one can question him. No one can challenge his rants. He just sits there mouthing everything that comes to his mind. Amir Mateen is much better.

Klasra is the classical sophisticated bhaand! Pugg uchaalo, muzza daykho!

Most of our anchors have very superficial insights of the subject and most times are usually ignorant and ill-informed. They do not research the subjective, do not offer tentative views and try to coax an answer and never attempt to also let audience hear the other side of the picture.

It’s their opinion or the onion!

On top of this they have very subjective opinions, a sharp tongue and a manner of questioning and offering their perspectives which makes a Lahori Badmash look like an angel!

They want to been as “tough guys” in the Tim Sebastian, Hard Talk mode, but embarrassingly expose their pettiness, immaturity and emotional imbalance and lack of upbringing and basic good manners.

While one can grill and, expose the guest’s double speak and ask the tough questions, but no one has any right under any professional journalistic training, rules, protocols to behave obnoxiously and become jury, judge and executioner and conduct a witch hunt they way Arshad or Klasra or their fellow Neanderthals appear to do.

It is embarrassing to see the quality of anchoring on display by these Idiots in the idiot box.

People like Arshad Sharif or Klasra have a highly inflated sense of their own brilliance and professionalism and clearly like the nouveau rich unable to handle their new-found wealth, these anchors and some others are unable to handle and deal with their public exposure and fame.

They begin to see themselves as the nation’s conscience guardians, which is extremely welcome but they do frequently fall flat on their faces, showing an uncouth, ill-mannered and highly questionable display of professional ethics and behaviours in the manner they go about their so-called business.

Their one-sided judgements, the manner of enquiry, the manner of questioning, whether against Nawaz or Imran or people they invite to their shows or others is deplorable, condemnable and shows a pettiness of mind, emotions and values.

They present half-baked rumours as facts. They present their own superficial opinions as deeply researched insights and most times as facts.

They present one-sided arguments as if it is the complete case and perspective.

They do not allow others to present their side of the picture and cut them off in mid sentence, using derisive language and derogatory tone and behaviour of a fish monger.

In a society with very strong libel laws, Arshad, Klasra and the like etc would either have been cooling their heels in jail or begging on the streets, having sold everything they owned to pay those they had public humiliated in their programs.

I look forward to seeing that day!

I don’t want to liken them to Monkeys with machine guns, totally out of control, but clearly they are making a pretty good effort to achieve that accolade and stature!

P.S.

Here’s how I interview. I have no formal anchoring training or experience but I do believe the art is in the questioning. And if I ever do join this “august” fraternity, I would like to develop my approach along these lines.

I wish we had a Charlie Rose (sans the groping scandal) 🙂