Spot of Bother

It’s time to move on from the IPL scandal overkill

The IPL scam has become too much of a muchness, a media monomania which the viewership may be tiring of. The nation does want to know, as Times Now insists with the regularity of a cheap alarm clock, but does it really want to know this much about IPL and nothing much about anything else? Is the story really that revelatory? As Chhota Shakeel told the Times of India, “Koi nai baat to hai nahin!” He understands the public mind better than media managers.

Two former cabinet ministers who were recently relieved of their responsibilities have got a breather from this media whiteout. They did receive some attention from Zee News, which listed them as the UPA’s “phansane waala mantri”, along with A Raja, but the channel then deflated it all by clubbing Shashi Tharoor with them. Tharoor lost his portfolio for calling politicians cows, which the media and his fellow Twitterati do every other day. And recently, he has edited a book consisting of the unremarkable and wholly precedented thoughts of young MPs. But that is not a deadly sin.

Zee provided a welcome break from the cricket overkill, in which almost every channel is reprising the coverage of Anna Hazare’s movement. They try to elicit the same incantation from the public: sab chor hain. Everyone’s doing this number but Times Now deserves special mention. All six of its highlighted stories on Thursday, and all 14 on Friday, concerned IPL. The only serious distractions it faced this week were UPA-2’s birthday bash on Wednesday and the Heathrow closure on Friday.

Everything cricket now seems to be news, even when it has nothing to do with the game. But one story that Times Now stayed with doggedly was actually important, concerning the long-standing need for police reform. A turf war between the police in Mumbai and Delhi had broken out when the latter was denied a request to share the evidence found in Sreesanth’s hotel room.

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