The man who has never let anyone go without answering a question he posed, decided to cherrypick the questions he would answer on Thursday evening.
Arnab Goswami, who decided to do a reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session, was bombarded by people who decided to pose some tough questions to the senior journalist who is all set to launch a new channel, Republic.
The former Times Now anchor was asked everything from his partnership with Kerala NDA vice-chairman Rajeev Chandrashekhar, to his politics and his claims of being 'unbiased'.
Arnab did have a few bombastic answers - including his claim that every Indian should be 'pro Military' and that there can never be enough nationalism. But is that - erm - unbiased?
Goswami's maiden channel is nearing its launch. So you may have recently heard him speaking about his high-profile exit from Times Group, giving interviews pulling no punches, and even saying his ex-employers threatened him with imprisonment if he ever used the phrase "Nation Wants To Know".
Starting a channel with Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, A Rajya Sabha MP and one of the main investors in the channel also owns Asianet News. An e-mail leaked a few months ago had shown how journalists at Asianet were asked to support a certain ideology.
On Thursday, he gave regular people like you and I a chance to ask him anything we wanted to on an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit.
Since Redditors have to post their questions, unlike being able to ask him face-to-face, Goswami did have the freedom to pick and respond to the ones he wanted.
Question: You have been promoting Republic TV as an unbiased media outlet with no conflicts of interest. But with Rajeev Chandrashekhar, a strong BJP supporter and Rajya Sabha MP running the show, and Anupam Kher, another vocal BJP supporter whose wife is a BJP MP, being asssociated with the channel, how can you say that there won't be bias? And why was an article by The Wire highlighting the same taken down when you yourself advocate freedom of press?
I am very proud of all my partners. Each one of them believes in my journalism. I am proud of the investment we have received from Asianet News. It is India's oldest private news channel. Rajeev is a nationalist and we share a great rapport.
The Wire had to take down two pieces, on the Republic TV and Rajeev Chandrasekhar's apparent conflict of interest in his association with the channel, following a defamation suit filed by the MP himself.
About The Wire, less said the better. They are using my name to try and get some followers on their crumbling news site. :) All Indians should be pro-military and pro India. If that makes us right wing, then so be it.
As for the Wire, please refer to the above and check the nationality of its editor.
(That was Arnab Goswami taking a swipe at Siddharth Varadarajan).
And Goswami does not believe in absolute Freedom of Speech. Should there be limits to Freedom of Speech?
â€œThe limit is up to the point where you don't question India's unity and sovereignty. That is unacceptable. No journalist can use freedom of expression to stretch that limit.
The central government's role in Kashmir
I feel the army and paramilitary needs to be given greater powers in Kashmir. The state government must empower the J&K police. Before every election in the state, the party in power softens versus the separatists. I am appalled at the pictures of Kashmiris assaulting a soldier. That soldier must be decorated for his restraint and each of those goons rounded up. People have questioned why a Kashmiri was put in front of an army jeep. If that is the only way to stop an attack on our soldiers, I see no problem with it. No man in an Indian uniform can become prey to the cowards who shoot in stealth. I wish the legacy Indian media saw the reality.
A nationalist to the core
There can never be enough nationalism. More the better. We have forces that are trying to divide and break India from within. No nation can be soft on anti-nationals. My position remains the same that I took when a bunch of anti nationals tried to make the breakup of India into a slogan on the JNU campus. I took them on, even though the Lutyens media and cocktail activists didn't.
Goswami is of the opinion that leftists cannot be liberals and vice-versa
The whole left-liberal phrase is a charade. How can the Delhi Gymkhana circuit be leftist? Leftists cannot be liberal and those who are liberal cannot be leftists. So its also an oxymoron.
Does he believe in right-wing ideology?
All Indians should be pro-military and pro India. If that makes us right wing, then so be it.
Though quite absurd, Goswami seemed to suggest that threat to journalists is a state of mind. This is what he had to say when asked about the attacks on journalists and where does he see Freedom of Press in India in the coming decade.
Freedom for a reporter is in his mind. I broke many scams and many more are to come. Nobody threatened me. Threats should be water off a ducks back, for journalists. (At least 100 journalists were killed in 2016, according to UNESCO. Sure they would have shrugged it off if they could, no?)
One question that many had for the firebrand journalist after his much-hyped interview with Narendra Modi- Why did he go soft on him?
I asked everyone the same way, from Rahul to Owaisi. As for Rahul, how he responded is his concern.