Thursday, January 18, 2007

The joys of telly!

I thought I would write a post on the misguided or mistaken view that two fairly senior journalists in television have about the internet and particularly user generated content. But, after everybody's favourite football administrator banned AXN yesterday, I feel forced somewhat to write this post. First, a defense of AXN. I do not for one second believe that the channel shows anything wrong - fair enough, it repeats the same shows over and over till the point of absolute boredom, but to ban them for showing risque adverts - on a show about risque adverts?
Y'know - other than banning propaganda channels shown by neighbouring countries - to the best of my knowledge Sushma Swaraj - everybody's favourite moral policewoman never banned any channels. Arun Jaitley as I&B Minister did ban TB6 - y'know that channel that used to show Playboy TV at 12 at night on weekends - the channel was never supposed to come into India anyway and one can even understand why that channel was banned. But this takes the cake! Look at it this way, Sushma Swaraj might have railed against FTV, but she never banned it!
And this man just doesn't shut up - he tries to precipitate a diplomatic incident as well. The man whose job it is to rescue Doordarshan - and do something about AIR (Even though I was amazed the other day when I put my tuner to 102.6 at eight in the evening and heard Death Metal - Death Metal, not hard rock or eveil Metallica or Megadeth type metal - this was serious stuff - at eight in the evening. Nothing wrong in that, but it does make you wonder why AIR FM doesn't get any adverts!). On the Shilpa Shetty incident, I think the woman who has in the recent past joined Yana Gupta on the list of VJM's squeeze's - Germaine Greer has a wonderful article about it. I agree, I think Shilpa is doing a fantastic job in showing us that working class Britain is still full of yobs and racists. But, my god she is milking it - little wonder William Hill has made her odds-on favourite.
And you want to see the sort of ads that AXN played to get banned - here is one to watch, risque, maybe. Suggestive, yes - but for God's sake!

EDIT : And thanks to the power of the big, bad, interwebs - we have Shilpa Shetty in the Big Brother House at YouTube, that wonderful repository of things!

Look at the related videos link for a lot more. I wonder if Miss Shetty will end up in a Hollywood production thanks to this fiasco. I still can't get over the protests in Patna - Why? This country is becoming weird too, no wait, we are weird. Yes, I agree, it is a surreal diplomatic crisis. Poor Gordon Brown, I feel for the man, he came to India to show off his credentials to the erstwhile colonials and he gets sucked into - this!


thalassa_mikra said...

So now that AXN is banned, perhaps the channel's representatives would plead and bargainn with Mr. Dasmunshi to reconsider. A neat little source of income - sure beats trying to revive DD or AIR.

The irony is, I can bet everyone in AXN's target audience has internet access. They'd see those ads anyway, and much, much more - unless India goes the North Korea way and bans global internet as well.

RJ said...

What I find disturbing is the muted reaction from teh print media. The Hindu did not even bother reporting it( wonder what happend to their ethical defence of freedom of media ?), Deccan Chronicle devoted about a couple of lines, Indian express had it buried in the 9th page. Only Slimes had it on first page.

Anonymous said...

For Gods sake what kind of/Dictators/Govt/Ministers do we have? What has come to our Country?
Would this really please Madam?

K said...

TM : Don't give this government any ideas - they are a bunch of nincompoops. What role does the Junior Foreign Minister have in Celebrity Big Brother? Argh!
RJ : See, while most bloggers rail against the Times, I have never attacked them. Somehow, the Times might be overly commercial and is all about space selling, but somewhere deep down it realises that its own Biz model gets impacted if Ministers start banning channels. Plus, the ToI recently wrote a scathing attack on the state of Indian football roasting PRDM.
Anon : Madam is a hypocrite (not that it makes her any different from any politico anywhere in the world). But, y'see what can you say about the Congress' female leaders. The last great lady leader of the INC is rumoured to have gotten her younger son bumped off (for reasons of self-preservation).

Anonymous said...

Old His-story:
Mr minister :'foot' in mouth, no ' balls' so football can go to ashoka hall..
AXn: repeat repeat repeat
Star:"Peter" pan and "Michelle" cycle it to no 1 post
Zee :Running for no 2
Sony :running for no2
News Corporation: Murdoch, happi and usual

Recent history:
Mr minister :PRuDe as every one and still no 'ball' ..getting smart and orders for CAS Implementation in 4 metros
AXn: repeat repeat repeat
Star: Peter and michelle say'tata bye bye'
Zee :Still Running for no 2..meanwhile acquires lots of stake like 50% in ten sports and tryin to improve content
Sony: Adding eng channels (AXN, SONY PIX.) and trying to improve content
NewsCorporation:Happy over CAS ( Hathway is ours :) ) and happy with DTH ( Tata Sky is ours:) )
But one thing makes it discontent...hmmm

Very recent history:
AXn Repeat naughty repeat :) :)
Mr minister: forget PRuDe , now very screwed...gets opportunity to make crude moneee
Star: people visit INDIa...get new man from "murugun STAINEE" hongkong..rupert knows that minister will sing a song...when given ping pong$
Minister: (attack sony ..attack zee mode) BAN AXN...oui showing dirtee dirtee things:) Ban BAn
Sony:Now doesnt know what hit it:(
Zee: Gets ready for some attack that must be launched on it..
Old lady of BorEE Bunder: OMG, our investments are in so many entertainment comps like Percept, Pyramid, sahara..
Do something before business is affected..Gets supppper acttive

So show dirtee dirtee:) but give mantriji some roti:) :)

thalassa_mikra said...

As you can see K, PRD has been in the game far too long to not have figured it out himself.

Mamata Banerjee may be a looney disaster in every respect, but it was out of disgust for folks like PRD that she formed her own party. They represent the very worst of the Indira-era suitcase culture.

Don't tell me Mr. Goel isn't savvy enough to pre-empt any dirty tricks that PRD might be up to. I'm just surprised that Sony didn't manage to do any damage control. I guess he took them by surprise.

RJ said...

BTW, Express has made amends today. Has an editorial that touches the issue.

Regards Slimes, my take is that, if the axe fell on AXN today, it can fall on Slimes tomorrow. Hence its more like preemptive defence.

Regards Sony not doing damage control. the cynic in me tells me that there is no better way to get publicity to a dead channel than by getting banned for a few months.. and especially if the ban can be revoked in a much shorter time