US Networks Cut Out Trump’s Speech Full of Lies. Indian Media, This is What a Free Press Looks Like

Social Commentary

US Networks Cut Out Trump’s Speech Full of Lies. Indian Media, This is What a Free Press Looks Like

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

While Donald Trump’s pandemic response might be botched up, the one thing that the US President has mastered over the years is the art of lying. As the election starts to slip away from him, Trump has been conducting press conferences and peddling falsehoods on Twitter. However, several networks in the US had enough.

When Trump unleashed a flurry of unsubstantiated claims around “illegal votes” and the “election being stolen from us”, multiple networks in the US halted the live coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from Trump’s White House address.

“OK, here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States,” said MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, as the network quickly ended its live coverage.

“What a sad night for the United states of America to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper. He described it as “lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen,” with no evidence, “just smears.”

Social media users applauded the US media and asked whether an Indian channel would dare to cut off a politician for peddling lies, something that is a regular occurrence in interviews and election rallies.

“One day media owners/anchors in India will aspire to do this and speak truth to power,” said member of Parliament Derek O’Brien.

“Name one Indian media house/network that would be willing to do this if a leader was putting false and dangerous information out there,” tweeted comedian Vir Das.

Users alluded to the fact that this is what a free press actually looks like, where even the President of the United States cannot get away from peddling lies and inciting hate.

While the American media has shown spine, Indian channels were bent backwards to those in power and toeing their line.

Prasad Mulgagaonkar on Twitter pointed out that while the American media cut off a President for lying, in India, the media cuts off real issues and keeps the public engaged with frivolous incidents that don’t necessarily affect their lives.

Dear Indian media, it is time to grow a spine and hold those in power, accountable.