How media bias has made us all unsafe in the Coronavirus fight

During ‘normal times’ media bias is just one of those things that we like to argue about. But in Coronavirus times, this is just not funny any more. Take this example.

Right now, both Mumbai and Ahmedabad are reeling under the virus. But the difference in coverage is stark. The Mumbai Mirror cover story is a heart warming tale of a Shiv Sena worker who is helping an innocent baby. The Ahmedabad Mirror cover story is dark and somber, telling of financial ruin, despair and suicide.

I don’t even care about pointing a finger at media right now. I am much more worried about how the media bias is taking attention away from where it needs to be.

Long ago, a Lutyens patrakar had famously spoken of ‘tyranny of distance’ when it comes to media coverage. The context was the deadly riot of 2012 in (then) Congress ruled Assam. People on social media demanded to know why media ignored the Assam riot, while every little negative story about Gujarat was routinely blown out of proportion. Then, Lutyens patrakar explained that it’s not media bias, just “tyranny of distance” working against the North East.

That was nonsense and we knew it. And it has never been as obvious as in the times of Coronavirus. The media will go wherever it can find a chance to bash the BJP. Big metropolis or tiny village.

Otherwise, how do you explain the fact that the virus made Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru invisible to the media? How did India’s three largest cities disappear into thin air? Delhi and Mumbai disappeared because they were ‘secular’ ruled and doing too badly. Bengaluru disappeared because it was BJP ruled and doing too well.

Like Arjuna, the entire energy of the media has focused on one target : Gujarat.

Let’s forget our partisan loyalties for a moment. The virus is literally threatening our lives. It does not care about who supports BJP and who supports Congress.

So let us think from a practical point of view. Where would you rather be at this moment? If you are in a secular ruled state right now, you are basically screwed. The government can fail miserably as possible. And there will be nobody reporting your plight. You will be running from pillar to post with your friend or family member gasping for breath. Perhaps you will be the one gasping for breath. While you are gasping for breath, media will give a ‘best CM’ award to your state government.

Recently, there was a Khan market intellectual who explained that even though it might appear that ‘best CM’ has failed on multiple fronts, people should give him credit for one big achievement. What is that? Apparently, best CM can speak his mother tongue fluently. I’m not joking. This is 100% real.

Wait! This does not mean you are that much better off if you are in a BJP ruled state. This inherent anti-BJP bias of the media also helps the BJP get away with its own failures! Why? Because enough people already know about this bias!

So when they see a story bashing a BJP ruled state in general or Gujarat in particular, they end up filtering it through a partisan lens. This is basically the story of the boy who cried wolf too often. This media bias actually gives the BJP a shield as well: a chance to act like they are not really in power even where they are. And every political party loves to make excuses.

So on one side, we are stuck with secular ruled states about which media has a “see no evil” policy. So we the people are suffering there. On the other hand, there are BJP ruled states, towards which media has an “everything is evil” policy. So we the people have learned to ignore much of the negative reporting.

This leaves us all blind and at risk in front of the Coronavirus.

I think the lowest of lows was achieved during the migrant worker crisis that played out feverishly across TV screens. See the impact of that media circus.

This was obvious. Even the lowest IQ liberal could have seen it coming. The cities are affected. You shouldn’t move lakhs of people from the affected cities into the rural hinterland. That’s why we have a lockdown.

Who is supposed to take care of the migrant workers? The states where they are living. End of story.

But because so many migrant workers live in Delhi or Mumbai, media just couldn’t blame the secular governments for failing there. They just had to blame Modi sarkar somehow.

And so the drumbeat began: run the trains, send the migrant workers home.

The worse that Mumbai or Delhi failed, the bigger jackpot it was for the media. If there is one thing they teach at journalism school, it is how to produce poverty porn. Abandoned by secular govts, the migrant workers began walking back. Walking where? Mostly to UP and Bihar. That too, Yogi Adityanath is UP Chief Minister. And elections are coming in NDA ruled Bihar.

How could media pass up this juicy opportunity? And so the media screeching began : send them home by train.

And here is something I have been pointing out for a while. In their hatred against UP and Bihar govts, media were fine with throwing Jharkhand and Bengal under the bus as well! They knew returning migrants would cause a crisis in Bengal and Jharkhand as well. But the liberal media running around with microphones on the street just didn’t care.

After all, a few years ago, they used to fly in the Prime Minister’s official jet. They used to fix Cabinet ministries on the phone with lobbyists and business people. Then, Modi happened. Now they are reduced to walking on the street. They want revenge. Even if it means devastating UP and Bihar. Even if it means throwing her own friends in Jharkhand govt and Bengal govt under the bus, along with the people of those states. She just wants the good old times to come back when she could fix Cabinet ministries with a phone call.

As a nation, we will suffer terribly for this. Nobody knows how many thousands of Coronavirus cases have been pushed into the hinterland because of that media fiasco. Nobody knows how many lakh people will get infected because of this. The migrants have been sent to the poorest states with the weakest healthcare systems. How much suffering and death will happen because of this?

If only the spotlight had been put where it should have…

But like Arjuna, media could only see its target. Gujarat. And their long term target of a free trip to America on the Prime Minister’s official plane…

9 thoughts on “How media bias has made us all unsafe in the Coronavirus fight

  1. Congratulations mate !!!!
    Today’s essay amply exhibited to me, that you matured one more notch up in your journalism. Keep growing friend… 👍👏👏

    I wonder if you can read / listen and understand भाऊ तोरसेकर… He writes / speaks in Marathi… You could very well find yourself maturing in that exalted direction… Best of Luck buddy…
    👍👍🙏

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  2. BJP has been in power for six years. That was ample time for fixing media bias. But we still see BJP spokespeople complaining the media is biased. As if they are still in the opposition. And on top of it, BJP ministers publicly hob nob with the vilest of biased media like Saba Naqvi. Hence BJP has also played a part in this disaster by their unwillingness to fix the situation.

    At the core of it all the problem is that even BJP is Adharmic and has made no efforts to transform the country into a dharmic nation. The most obvious manifestation of this is the looting of temples. Another example – In many states (including BJP ruled Karnataka), during the lockdown, the police were still collecting bribes from those transporting essentials.

    These are extremely grave issues which we have normalized as a society. Adharma creates a lack of trust in society which spirals into bad consequences.In a Dharmic society, when a king or head of the country asks for resources in a crisis, it will be given without hesitation. In an Adharmic nation which will funnel such funds into secular vote buying, people also shirk collective responsiblity.

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  3. China does not follow any commitments and hence it is not obligatory for the rest of the world to follow any commitments to China

    This includes the one China policy. If Tibet is freed, India would no longer have a boundary with China. This should be a priority now for India (and the world).

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  4. Almost all our Leftist pseudo-secular media persons can be put in the category of our celebrity stars who proclaim “Black Life Matters” while endorsing “Skin Whitening cream”.

    We keep hearing RG shouting till hoarse in the throat that Modi should give this much and that much Rupees to all poor people, but nobody in the media asks him how he would have managed that with 65000 Crore Rupees he endorsed when presented by the Nobel Prize-winning economist?

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  5. Indian psyops is at a new level these days

    Over the past few years (esp after Doklam), China just does not seem a fearsome enemy anymore. If there is a war, would be interesting to see how Chinese soldiers react to their colleagues body parts getting shredded in front of them.

    Indian soldiers have a long experience at fighting terror and are hardened. Both our epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata – are about big terrible wars so the Indian populace is also not a stranger to soldiers dying.

    Interesting days ahead

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  6. I am just tired of juvenile behaviour of BJP towards the conspiracy of anti nationals. How long BJP will continue to be reactive and misled by their propaganda. Look at the contrasts, New York daily cases from 5000 average to 500, India from 50 cases to 7000 all due to systematic, tablighi, shahibaghin type hotspots, propagated labor movements, illiterate social gatherings non anticipated by juvenile party.
    We are missing 2 biting teeth, dand and intelligence. And intelligence does not claim without brain. I know traitors will be first to appropriate and adopt to advantage their anti national spins against the clueless party. I wish my this post is not published.

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  7. Maharashtra has done horribly amongst all states in India.But Gujarat,Delhi are no better.Uddhav has proved to be utter failure and his incompetence and lack of expereince have shown up dramatically.In contrast YS Jagan who is much younger to him(Uddhav-1960) Jagan(1973) has done excellently well although he is also first time CM like Udhav.

    In my view only 2 states did well.They are Karnatak and Andhra.Rest have bungled up very badly.Another lockdown may become mandatory if cases pile up this faster

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  8. Here’s some more Chullu Bhar Paani for our SiFiLIS gang (Sickular Fiberal Lobby & Islamists) : Editor of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper (Paki, therefore blue blooded Sickular 😉) has tweeted some damning data comparing the performance of UP & Maharashtra governments vs. Pakistan in handling the Covid crisis – and asserts that while UP has done much better than Pakistan, Maharashtra has done much worse ! Such an embarrassing Burnol moment for our Prest*tutes.

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