November 07, 2019
Despite security being tight because of the JUI-F sit-in, there is an air of uncertainty and fear that hangs like a dark cloud over Islamabad. What is even more unsettling is the media coverage of the whole situation. There is a seemingly endless glut of irresponsible, sensational reporting from the electronic and print media.
Professionalism has been chucked out the window, and caution thrown to the wind. Anything and everything does!
That is the attitude going around.
I was not even going to start on social media where the most ridiculous, ungrounded, baseless, irresponsible, and dim-witted posts, comments, and mimes are making the rounds. It's like a bunch of adults let loose in a children's playground with nobody supervising or watching over them.
One Facebook post, though, was brought to my notice and has floored me. My disgust at this shocking YouTube video that has gone viral got the better of me and, since I’m only human, I have submitted to the unrelenting urge to mention it.
Just in case you have not seen it, please search up Hamid Mir/kiss/JUI, and you’ll know what provoked me to vent my horror at what my eyes and ears unfortunately experienced. In the video, Hamid Mir is surrounded by a sea of JUI workers and is telling the world at exactly how happy he is to be there. He has smug smirk on his face, and with supreme confidence he notes there is a big difference between the 2014 PTI dharna and this.
“This dharna is different from the dharna of 2014. At that dharna the air was filled with expensive scents and perfumes. There was too much lipstick around. But at this dharna the smell of itr is everywhere.”
Then he pulls towards himself a bearded lout who immediately proceeds to plant a slobbering kiss on Hamid’s forehead and refuses to let him go. Then another guy starts to kiss and hug Hamid.
Do you get my gist?
Well, I’m not going to question his sexual orientation, but for sure I’m going to point out his incredibly sexist remarks. Come on… what’s wrong with lipstick, perfumes, and scent. Or does this guy like women to smell of kitchen and sweat?
Does he realize that half of the country’s population are women, his mother, sisters, aunts, nieces, etc. are women?
Exhale Zeebie, exhale.
It was never my intention to go there, even though I have noted many other so-called 'senior' reporters, producers, and 'journalists' venting their political opinions and not always in the most logical or civilized way. It seems when it comes to politics, they cease to think or function like media persons. Animal emotions take over.
Meanwhile, the talking heads on either side of the divide are trying to shout each other down while trying to get their respective points across, making for ugly viewing. It's a commotion that gets louder and more incoherent with each passing day.
Nobody tries to make sense of the situation or to break it down, rationalize, and analyze it. All they want to do is put forward strange, disconnected theories, controversies and conspiracies in any way they can. It's like there is no tomorrow.
The lines are drawn. The daggers are out.
The question is, what are all those editors, directors, senior journalists, decision-makers in various television networks and publications doing?
It seems like the mantra of the day is: "Get whatever you can. No need to verify, quantify or qualify it. No need to make sense of it. Just get it out there and let the populace decide for itself. The onus is on them. If they're dumb and stupid, so be it."
Sadly, it has come to this.
Somebody has to take some responsibility. Somebody has to put the truth out there. Somebody has to do the job the way it’s supposed to be done.
My biggest worry is that the people that would and could do this have long gone.
I hope somebody will prove me wrong.
The Express Tribune, March 15, 2018
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