August 5, 2010

Our Hollering Media

Because we're not bothered. Because we're shameless.
When the government diverts attention to the Karachi killings, the media is up in arms as to why the government isn't doing anything for the flood victims; and when the government plans for the flood victims, they are again stamping feet and brandishing their swords (mikes) like angry Vikings. And while all this flurry of utterly nonsensical shenanigans continues unabated, the people on both sides of the flood (south and north), and in the flood, are left at the mercy of Mother Nature. Because let's face it; the media is calling some shots in this country if not all. It has the government flustered and cornered and it is squeezing every remaining drop of blood out of it bit by bit.

My tirade comes in the wake of Sana Bucha's utterly mind boggling claims on her TV show Crisis Cell, in which she asked the present PPP legislator to explain why the government is sleeping on the Karachi issue when "the flood has not yet hit Sindh". The media, it seems, is in a frenzy to cash in on cheap popularity by making a mockery out of the poor hapless citizens of this state. While they love to shove their mikes into the faces of grieving families, for example in the aftermath of ED 202 flight crash, they are not very keen on giving credit where it is due. The prime example of this atrocity is that they have already declared the pilot of ED 202 a murderer and at fault after "consulting professional airmen". Of course this blame game is nothing new in the arena of Pakistani media ever since its birth, but courtesy their shamelessness they have left the masses out of the loop instead of "becoming their voice". Now the government is in a severe quandary as multiple crisis have hit them hard and high in the span of less than 7 days. First it was the flight crash, then the devastating floods, then the murder of Raza Haider, which by the way has resulted in the death of 76 people, and now Sifwat Ghayoor's murder. What does the media expect the government to do?

We all know that this government, like all other past governments, is inherently incapable of sorting out its own mess let alone the masses'. The media ought to have highlighted the contributions of the citizens rather than harp about aimlessly on the lack of ethos of the politicians. We know what they're like, we don't want you to tell us what we already know. Instead, what should have been the case was to have showcased the plight of the victims, and to have created a spirit of generosity and unity in the nation. We know that is possible because we've witnessed it before in 2005, when the whole country came together to help the people in need after the killer earthquake.

Of course it isn't just our media that is way out of line. The Daily Telegraph for instance, disparages Asif Zardari severely for being a two timing lunatic of a man. Fair enough. The man is getting what he deserves, and when he is getting what is due, why is our media so obsessed with him? Are there not much more severe issues at hand pertaining to 4 million displaced people in this country? I wish our media would grow up and stop indulging in petty politics itself. It ought to follow the Dawn group, which most of us find boring but that is precisely because it is the most neutral news agency in Pakistan which has so far refrained from taking sides. Hats off to them for reporting issues, and not sensationalism leading to panic and mass hysteria.