‘No democracy if media keeps sitting on the lap’: Congress ad targets ‘Godi media’

The ad features an ostensible spoof of Arnab Goswami’s primetime show.
A screengrab of the ad.
A screengrab of the ad.
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A Congress advertisement has taken a dig at sections of the mainstream media, with an ostensible spoof on Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami, who heaps praises on the government sitting next to two politicians. And as the camera zooms out at the end of the "broadcast", he is found sitting on their lap.

"Agar media Godi mein baithi rahi, na samvidhan rahega, na loktantra (if the media remains sitting on the lap, there will be neither constitution nor democracy)," says the concluding voiceover.

With the ticker "Papa ne war rukwa di" — pointing to the widely trolled BJP ad in which a woman tells her father that Prime Minister Narendra Modi purportedly stopped the Ukraine-Russia war – the ad also targets sections of the media for giving cover to the government on issues such as price rise.

The anchor says the "nation knows" the direction given to the country by "saheb" – a reference to PM Narendra Modi. He then says the prices of diesel and petrol have plunged so much that they are being used "instead of water" and a few pennies are enough to buy milk and vegetables.

The anchor says one no longer needs a visa to travel abroad, but only the Indian passport, and that the value of rupee has skyrocketed so much that a "rocket was used to bring it down". 

"Videsh jaane ke liye visa nahi, Indian passport chahiye. Rupaya itna uncha chala gaya ki rocket bhejna pada, usse neeche laane ke liye. Indhan ke daam itne kum hogaye hain ki log pani ke bajaye diesel use kar rahe hain farsh dhone ke liye."

As the studio set up is removed at the end of the 58-second video, the camera zooms out, and the anchor is found sitting on the "godi" or lap of two politicians. As he repeats "mujhe bakshish do, mujhe bakshish do (give me a tip)" — much like Goswami’s "mujhe drugs do" segment – the politician duo hand him two lollipops.     

A Newslaundry survey on debates on primetime shows revealed that between February 1 and April 12 this year, Arnab Goswami hosted a total of 137 debates on his Republic World show The Debate, out of which 73 were anti-opposition and 32 were pro-government. Read the full report for the debate tally of other prominent TV news anchors across six categories of anti-opposition, pro-government, Hindu-Muslim, questions for government, jobs and education, and others.   

We need free press now more than ever. Here’s why the World Press Freedom Week is a great opportunity to support independent media and power real journalism.

This report was republished from Newslaundry as part of The News Minute-Newslaundry alliance. Read more about our partnership here.

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