What’s wrong with Mr. Thapar?

Came across this interview by Karan Thapar of Mr. Pachauri of the IPCC. There was a time when I used to watch his interviews on TV. The ones in the dark rooms, and yes, I had a fair degree of respect for him. Mainly for the way the interviews were conducted when it came to politicians.

These days, watching him interview all kinds of people, I generally feel that he should stick to what he knows best – interviewing politicians. The Shah Rukh Khan one, where he tried to call him an ordinary actor and someone who acts as himself was a classic example of stepping out of line. Eventually he ends up trying all kinds of stuff giving the idea that all he cared about was getting under SRK’s skin. Am not a big fan of SRK, but the way SRK handled him was classy.

Ram Jethmalani was another one. When it comes to defending the obviously guilty it does come across as a morality vs duty thing. It is a good topic for an interesting debate over a couple of beers. I usually take the duty line, citing Karna fighting for Duryodhana as the prime example for such a scenario. Coming back to it, I kinda felt that Karan Thapar made the same mistake that a very naive Sagarika Ghose made when dealing with Jethmalani. Repeating ten times that the people think he is guilty and hence he should be punished and not defended in a democratic and mature society is simply a stupid argument anyone will laugh at. That kind of reduces us to people stoning criminals in the medieval times, and beating up those who are caught stealing things in public. All Karan Thapar ended up with was a slightly more polished version of the Sagarika Ghose disaster.

Coming back to the Pachauri interview, Thapar clearly shows his ignorance for scientific procedures and processes like peer reviewing. Pachauri agrees openly that it was a mistake, and also points out clearly that it was one line out of 2000 odd pages which got hyped up unnecessarily. Knowing the way the Indian media reacts to news, any kind of news, the exaggeration and hyping up part is not surprising. Repeated calls for Pachauri’s resignation, trying to nail the issue as a “system failure” and finally asking him to make a comment on his predecessor ends up looking very churlish and Thapar comes out as someone totally desperate to put something, at least something, across Pachauri. The end is positively embarrassing stuff for Thapar.

Sorry dude, you need to stick to politicians. Just questioning all those who are in the news for recent media hype-ups is all making you look like an idiot.

As for Mr. Pachauri, hats off to you sir. I know these are hiccups but there are lots of people wishing you guys succeed.

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3 thoughts on “What’s wrong with Mr. Thapar?

  1. It’s sad, but that’s how most interviews/news items appear these days on TV.

    Sometimes I wonder: Is it because we were naive earlier that we had a good deal of respect for these guys?

    What is news, what is entertainment has become difficult to distinguish these days… with 24/7 news and pressure to churn out more stuff, with 15-20 news channels doing roughly the same thing, this fall in standards is bound to happen i guess

    1. Just realized that WP let’s me take OCD to new levels 🙂
      I can actually edit comments too.
      Was just seeing how it works. I promise not to try it again 😀

      But the feature gives me all kinds of ideas…like I can make people say whatever I want them to now 😛

      But then, it’s inherently wrong. If I own what I write in my blog, shouldn’t I also own what I write as comments? Letting blog owners edit comments by others is wrong in so many ways!!

  2. I have never agreed with Karan Thapar’s ways of interviewing people. In the name of being hard nosed and digging at the truth.. he just is plain rude, aggressive and vainglorious. It is a showcase of how smart he is- which actually clams up a lot of people rather than opening them up. usually he is glib and smart alecky, always trying to show he is better than most people he interviews. which is a bad way to do any interview. Don’t know if you remember Saeed Naqvi on DD, he used to do political interviews, I still remember the Gorbachev interview he did. I would call him an interviewer -who was serious, diligent and nuanced and kept the proportions of the lime light on the guest and himself in such good balance. Nobody has the patience to really know another person these days, so perhaps the interview is also packaged to deliver sound bytes rather than understand someone’s opinion.

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