WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MEDIA?

“Master, we also spend considerable time in front of the idiot box; please do enlighten us about the media.”
“They are nothing but peddlers whose business is to sell information at a cost. Information is the commodity which they sell.”
“I must caution you, the business of selling information does not make them into intellectuals. A chemist does not become a doctor, does he? They are as good or bad as those peddlers who sell mustard oil, toothpaste, aloe vera juice, sanitary napkins, condoms, or cold drinks. There is no need to wrap a veneer of undeserved respectability around them.”
“People get the media they deserve. Media creates products which are suited to the tastes and intellectual capacities of their customers. The media is only doing what businessmen must do—sell what the people want and make profit.”

“As James Bond had supposedly a licence to kill, the media has a licence to be dumb. They are under no obligation to be even factually correct, not to speak of being knowledgeable.”

“Newspapers are fit only for one thing: for the unfortunate children living in slums to shit on, because they do not have access to proper toilets.”

“Magazines are fit for those who have access to toilets so that they may read them while shitting.”


“Who are public intellectuals on TV and in the papers, O Profound Guru?”
“A public intellectual is one who blabbers in public. He has no other qualification, and he need not know anything.”

“Then why do people listen to them, Sire?”
“Good question, brothers. You see, as I said earlier, the most difficult activity for most of the humans is thinking. People would go to any length, would do anything to avoid thinking. These public intellectuals, being as dumb as their viewers, furnish them readymade opinions. That suits the viewers eminently. Why think for yourself when some other fool can do the job for you? The public intellectual gets a job, the viewer gets his opinion. Everybody is happy.
“There was an aristocratic gentleman in Italy who, in honouring the traditions of his times, had fought 24 duels successfully in his life over the question who was a greater poet, Dante Alighieri or Virgil, and had killed all his opponents. On his deathbed, he confessed that he had read neither. Your public intellectuals are like this duellist.”

“In future, I do not want you to watch too much of the TV. I have suggested a statutory warning to be shown before TV serials: ‘Watching the serial can be injurious to your mental health.’

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