The writer talks about the morning show culture inculcating ‘deliberate’ conflicts and trashing reputes.
Lights, camera, action…the stage is set and a glamorous bride walks in. Garbed in one of the finest jewelry and designer wear, she makes a grand entry, hand-in-hand with her dearest hubby. The audience gives a loud cheer and traditional desi music beats in the background…
This is not a scene from a real wedding but actually what happens on prominent morning shows of Pakistan on regular basis. Then the compere walks in and introduces the leading couple. The content written for Pakistan morning show caters to lower middle and lower class. The festivity created on any morning show is a reflection of fantasy created in the minds of audiences.
The audiences of such morning shows are those who have dreams which are foolishly created by the morning shows. The producers are more focused on creating terrible, disruptive and intellectually corrupt content which reveals the hypocrisy and shallow standards of society. Mostly, guests invited to the show are those who have gone through personal tragedies or have forward with their lives after a long struggle. Without respecting their privacy, the actor-cum-anchors try to dig into their past and force them to reveal their personal lives on a public forum. They become insensitive to their feelings without realizing how it traumatize them. Who gives anchor the right to ask such questions? For instance, in one leading morning show, the famous anchor asked the actor to share his feelings about his wife, who passed away in a car accident.
There is no end to such insensitivity. In one of the episodes of the same morning show, an important TV scholar and politician was invited with his newly wedded wife as guest. The couple shared a light banter with the hostess, which later escalated to the point when the personality ended up insulting his first wife on national television.
Social media severely criticized such episodes and demanded to ban such programs, stating why didn’t the anchor invite the personality’s first wife to the show. Throughout the show, the anchor kept on asking personal questions which was an assassination of someone’s character who hardly bore any ill to audience.
Now if such script is being used after mutual agreement between the compere and the guests, then we are experiencing the lowest level of degradation. But if it is not the case then the host should have to play a positive role with great responsibility and bear the well being of society in mind.
There is a long list of show men and women who have taken the content to the lowest level of no return. They are giving importance to petty family politics and minor acne problems which weren’t needed, connecting them with unattainable level of fairness, richness and beauty which are beyond the reach of the common man. Whether the compere talks about losing weight in three-days, these morning show have always shown a sarcastic fanciful attitude towards that problem.
The need of the hour is to create quality scripts which do not damage the repute of someone. There is no harm in doing mild gossiping but you need to think thrice before stating comments on national television. If you are a public figure and an influential host you need to do your background research and pose questions in a careful manner.
Instead of personalizing the theme of the show for the sake of rating, the producers need to introduce more educational topics which bring awareness among people and leads to an inspirational conversation. If you remember the PTV era, the morning shows consisted of series of meaningful segments which carried positive vibes and ended with genuine meaningful laughter. A private life has to be kept private, there have been times when guests have stated that they would like to keep their private lives private but their constant appearance on media has made it hardly a secret.
The heads of major channels of Pakistan need to hire those producers and hosts who understand the sensitivities of being involved in the mass media and invite guests who are indifferent to the intricacies and mannerism that a public platform demands.
We live in times where fame made in the name of bad humor, racism, slander or misogyny will always be called out-regardless of how people care about such happenings on social media. Still, if the scenario remains the same, the least you can do is stay away from morning shows which have become a public platform of ‘targeting reputes.’