Published in Pakistan Today on the 5th of June, 2012.
So two anchor persons have been exposed. Be it the influence of money, power, personal friendships or grudges, the fact remains that these influences directed their talk show(s) and they attempted to manipulate the public’s opinion. I am amazed that a large number of people seem to be surprised by this revelation. Why was media – an institution that has such power and influence – comprised of people from this very country of corrupt politicians, corrupt judges, corrupt policemen, believed to be pure and denuded of all evil? Anything and everything shown, said or implied by the media, especially a few channels and anchors was being believed without a doubt?
Definitely overdue, this exposure to the masses is nothing but positive; one of the many steps towards social and political awareness and true democracy. But that is only if we let it stick to our memory and if it isn’t forgotten due to our short national attention span as we flit from one issue to the next. We do not use these scandals as eye openers but for entertainment purposes instead. They are less food for thought and more food for our inner beast that enjoys seeing another person being ridiculed, humiliated and disgraced. That is the very reason a scandal not only dies with the birth of another but any imprint it may have on our thought processes also disappears. We do not learn from these events, we merely unlearn anything we may have learnt from the event before the current one.
The Mediagate scandal has raised a lot of questions as regards the role of media since its advent in this unfortunate nation. Was Musharraf actually as evil as portrayed by the Media, or were they merely being paid by anti-Musharraf elements? Is the Chief Justice actually as big a hero or a saint as shown to the masses? Is the peace process with India, being run by one of the mainstream channels actually in good faith or is there a hidden agenda? Does the media show all the atrocities being committed by the United States on our soil or is the CIA catering for their bellies in return for US interests being catered for? After all a person who is prepared to sell his soul to another does not discriminate between local or foreign buyers. The least we stand to gain from all these scandals is the ability to question, to use our minds and to vigilantly watch our own interests since no one else apparently is.