Monday, November 20, 2006

Media hypocricy

The coverage of Jessica Lall murder case on our 24x7 news channels has been bordering on ridiculous for some time now. But Karan Thapar's interview of Ram Jethmalani on Sunday went way beyond the ridiculous.

The whole basis of Thapar's questioning was that the argument used by Mr. Jethmalani in the court is immoral and unethical. Implicit in that suggestion is that the argument is also false and not based on facts. Because, surely if the argument is based on fact, then Thapar can hardly accuse it of being immoral. So, the question then is, on what basis did Karan Thapar conclude that the argument isn't based on fact? Isn't it the job of the judges to make that decision? Why is the media so eager to pronounce judgement in this case. First there was another CNN-IBN anchor pronouncing that Manu Sharma was "indefensible". Now we have Thapar claiming that Jethmalani's arguments are "immoral". Hey guys, how about leaving it to the courts to decide the matter for a change?

Another argument made by Thapar was that Jethmalani was "maligning the reputation of a dead woman who can't defend herself". That's one of the lamest arguments I have ever heard and it is sad to see it coming from a person like Karan Thapar. Now, as I said above, if the claims made by Jethmalani in court is true and crucial to the case, then you can hardly expect him to NOT make those claims just because it allegedly maligns the reputation of a dead woman. If the claims weren't relevant, then surely judges wouldn't have allowed them to be made. As for the veracity of those claims, again, let the judges decide. But, I have a question for the media. If these guys are so concerned about Jessica's reputation being tarnished, then why are they publishing these arguments being made in court? Jethmalani atleast has a reason for making those arguments - he is defending his client. What reason on earth do media have for publishing those arguments, except to increase their TRP ratings?


Raghu said...

"That's one of the lamest arguments I have ever heard and it is sad to see it coming from a person like Karan Thapar".
if you dont expect this from Karan Thapar where else do you expect...

also i thought you dont even watch these nonsense...why do you even sit and waste your time on such programs..

Mohan said...

raghu: well, I thought Karan Thapar was one of the few logical people among the idiotic lot of journalists. As for not watching, now that I have Tata Sky and IBN is not available there, I don't watch any of the news channels. Even IBN I used to watch occasionally - mainly for the laugh.

babu said...

Guys stop attacking Karan Thapar.First of all we all must understand that media and the Judiciary are the foundation of our Democracy. People use democracy as the first round of defence in the court of law in terms of buying time .With law and order(Police and Lower courts) tailored for/by the politicians,Its never easy for common citizen to seek Justice.
In this case,it is disgraceful on the part of ex Law minsiter of the country to take up Manu's case despite the resistance from his own family.
Five relevant witnesses having confessed can be no co-incidence. And being hostile later on is no suprise either.
Lets not talk or even discuss Karan as people like him are the Glimmer of hope for lesser mortals in this part of the world.
Its only the media which can give that elusive impetus to fight against the polluted political might .
All politicians are not Manu's father

shekar said...

Questions Mohan is raising are very valid. No suspect can be denied the law. No defence lawyer is immoral, because he is just defending his client who is still a suspect. If the witnesses confess due to political and corruption related powers, it does not mean that justice is served. It is a lame argument that law and order is corrupt, and hence media should be the savior, when there is no evidence of corruption in this case. Allowing a defence lawyer to a suspect is not one such. I read the article and the insane number of people supporting the interiew. It just shows how naive people are to the foundation of democracy in the largest democratic country. If criminal cases were to be decided by opinion polls, which can be tailored by media, forget common people seeking justice. I don't think Ram Jethmalani is doing anything wrong in defending his client, even if his client has committed the crime, which is to decided by the judge. But media is not doing its job in upholding the democracy. Their responsibility is only report the facts, if they can assertain that they are true. But when such truth is still being questioned in the court of law, media should refrain from influencing it with their own opinion. But media is goig beyond the line in attacking the lawyerfor doing his job. They should just let courts do their job and justice be served. One day they may attck doctors for treating the criminals, and teachers for educating the criminal's children.... and we would have gone back to the medieval age.

Mohan said...

shekar: good point, especially about extending the principle to doctors/teachers etc. Scary thing is, it is not some ordinary citizens making this kind of argument (that such and such a criminal shouldn't get a lawyer etc) but a reputed national news network doing it! Scary.