Haywire reporting of The Wire.

Shyam Rangeela is a comedian who recently rose to fame. His mimicking skills are par excellence. Specially he imitating PM Narendra Modi is a laughter riot. Now he is a regular performer on Star TV’s comedy show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge”. Rangeela’s one performance on this show was well appreciated by the viewers and the video went viral. He also received standing ovation for his performance by all the 4 judges of the show including Akshay Kumar. However the video has now been taken down following a copyright claim by a subsidiary of Star India Private Limited.

Karnika Kohli, whose twitter bio reads “Damaged adult, chai lover. Social Media Editor, @TheWire_in; ex TOI, NewsX.” did a report on it. First it was published in English & then in Hindi.

According to the report the channel said to Rangeela that he can not mimic the PM & Rahul Gandhi as it may offend some people. The report quotes Rangeela:

The production team told me that the decision to not air my act was taken because the channel feared that it will offend some people and they might protest against them.

This excuse from the channel sounds foolish. As twitter is full of memes & jokes on both Rahul Gandhi & Modi. Supporters of both find them funny and enjoy the humor unless it is in bad taste. Much before Shyam Rangeela rose to fame one of his amateur videos mimicking Modi was shared on Twitter by a staunch Modi supporter and other Modi supporters appreciated the humor.

https://twitter.com/_Namrataa/status/804057640053723136

We checked the comments of this viral tweet and found that the first ones to comment & applaud it are by and large strong Modi supporters. Anyways, it is completely channel’s choice to air it or not. Maybe since Gujarat elections are approaching and political temperature is rising, the channel chose to stay away from political jokes. Here is a quote from the report:

They said you can’t mimic Modi but you can do Rahul Gandhi,”, Rangeela told The Wire. “I thought, ok, at least they are letting me do something, I can salvage something. But later they told me I can’t do Rahul either.

Here their own report says that he was told not to mimic either of Modi & Rahul Gandhi. But since name of Narendra Modi is involved, The Wire couldn’t steer it away from doing a misreporting. Look at both the headlines. In English it says: “Star Plus Drops Telecast of Comedian Mimicking Modi on ‘Great Indian Laughter Challenge“.

[Source: HERE]

In Hindi version the headline goes like: चैनल ने कहा कि आप राहुल गांधी की मिमिक्री कर सकते हैं नरेंद्र मोदी की नहीं: श्याम रंगीला, which translates to “Channel says, you can imitate Rahul Gandhi but not Narendra Modi: Shyam Rangeela“.

[Source: HERE]

Cleverly they dropped the second part of his statement to make the headline spicy. The channel has asked him to refrain from both but Karnika Kohli of The Wire chose to mention Modi only.

If you read the 2nd last para of the report then you’ll come to know that this was not just a twist to make the headline spicy but slowly they are trying to build a narrative. The report claims:

This is the second time that a media house has found mimicry of Modi too hot to handle. Earlier this year, Radio Mirchi scrapped its popular ‘Mitron’ segment, apparently after complaints from senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.

To support this claim they quote another unknown “news website’s” report on why Modi didn’t ET Business Summit. This entire report itself is based on “speculations” and “guesses”. Below is the segment from where the above lines have been copied:

A media website speculated that the snub was meant to convey the Government and BJP’s displeasure at provocations ranging from Times Group Managing Director Vineet Jain’s “demonetization tweets” to The Times of India’s cartoons taking pot shots at the government to Modi spoofs on Radio Mirchi and so on.

Nothing much is left to say when an unknown news website quotes an unnamed media website’s report based on speculation, which is further quoted by well known propaganda website. It was a nice attempt to build a narrative but building a narrative takes time, effort & shrewdness. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. In it’s desperate attempt The Wire went haywire.

 

Inputs from twitter feeds of @Sharanyashettyy & @PadhaLikha

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