For those who believe that the intolerance and occasional viciousness of American media have no equals, I can recommend that they take a look at Republic TV in India, specifically at the daily program “Debates” hosted by Arnab Goswani
When I agreed to take part in one of their programs, I had gone by their self definition set out in their invitation. I quote:
“India’s first independent global news venture. Republic Media Network — India’s Number 1 All-India News Network— is now beaming to over 300 million viewers in English (on Republic TV), Hindi (on Republic Bharat) and Bangla (on Republic Bangla).”
The eye-watering prospect of reaching 300 million viewers is not one you dismiss lightly and I blithely agreed to appear in a session entitled Has The West Turned A Mere Spectator To Russia-Ukraine War?
As we went on air in the afternoon (Central European Time) on Monday, 1 March, I found myself among panelists from the USA, from Belarus and several other locations nearly all united by determined hostility to Russia and its present campaign in Ukraine. There is no surprise in that, of course. The surprise was the behavior of the “moderator,” who spoke in the most heated, shrill manner and who proceeded to interrupt and crush the one voice ahead of me, a Chinese, who tried to explain the formally neutral position of the PRC on the Ukraine conflict and his country’s sympathy for the security concerns of Russia vis-à-vis NATO that underlie the ongoing military operation to demilitarize Ukraine.
Accordingly, when the microphone was made available to me, I used my several minutes of air time to rebuke our host for rendering impossible anything resembling intellectual discourse. And then, when Mr. Goswani flatly rejected being “lectured” by a guest, I simply hung up, cut the Skype connection.
The only saving grace in the episode was that the videotape of this whole affair which Republic TV later put on line did not excise our little spat. But I found this out after something quite remarkable happened in the meantime.
About an hour after I parted company with the show, I received the following email:
Being an Indian please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of my country for the behavior of a commentator of the Indian news channel that I happened to witness.
With my sincere regards.”
And then an hour later, this came to my Inbox:
“Respected Professor, Hope you are doing good.
Television Viewers across India, who abhor & boycott “Republic TV” channel for its nonsense, snooped over yesterday & this morning 02.03.2022, and the clip of your closing comments directing at the moderator, who is known for insults & abuses and not decency & respect, has gone viral & is all over social media spreading like wild fire.
And every one asking who is “Gilbert Doctorow” who taught a lesson on manners & behaviour to that moderator.
Thank you for your appearance.
Request you to kindly write on your experience as to what happened in this news panel.
Eagerly waiting for your article here.”
I am honoring that request with this brief essay.
The ball did not stop there. I have since then received invitations to take part in debates or be interviewed on two other major Indian television channels, both fully aware of my positions and of my refusal to participate in a ‘kangaroo court’ on the subject of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. These were planned for this afternoon, but were trumped by a newly scheduled televised speech of the Indian premier. I expect to hear from them again next week and if they proceed I will post the results for comparison and contrast with the Republic TV show which is available in full (my ‘speech’ starts from minute 22) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI1HOlVLQEk&t=1268s and in a two minute excerpt showing only my rebuke at https://scroll.in/video/1018531/your-programme-is-against-the-interests-of-your-own-country-tv-show-panelist-to-arnab-goswami
Yesterday, I found that the second largest contingent of viewers of my website after the USA now comes from India. At the same time, my Linked-In account shows Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and a couple of other Indian cities as home to the greatest number of visitors to my latest articles reposted there, pushing Brussels, London, Paris down the list.
I heartily welcome the new readership, some of whom have sent in requests to join my Linked-In network. It is very heartening to see that the vicious anti-Russian propaganda now disseminated daily by Western governments and amplified by Western media is not swallowed whole in the broader world and that free thinkers still exist.
As a separate issue, I use this communication to share the link to a 2 March discussion program hosted by Iran’s Press TV: “Press TV Spotlight: Russian-Ukrainian Conflict” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM5w0ZVsnDo
The program runs for 25 minutes. For those with less time to spare, I can suggest the following 2 minute excerpt that was separately posted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dng-TBhHpxQ
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022