Saturday, May 12, 2007

News Channels play Clue-Duh

It wasn’t Colonel Mustard with the lead piping in the conservatory that did in the news channels, it was Mayawati with the Dalit-Brahmin vote bank in Uttar Pradesh.
All the Hindi and English news channels (yes, all) got the results of the just completed UP elections horribly wrong, despite most of them claiming error margins of just a few percentage points during their final exit poll programming before the official numbers started coming in.
They all predicted a dead heat, when Mayawati romped home by a few lengths, making the BJP and the SP look like also rans when the channels tipped them to be joint favourites.
What went wrong with the fortune gazing? To go back to Cluedo, perhaps they were asking the wrong questions of the wrong people in the wrong rooms.
If the news channels were tipsters, the viewers were the punters – and now the viewers look like mugs.
And that’s something the channels need to worry about. Because it’ll be a snowy day in Mumbai before I take the shirt off my back to back a winner predicted by ANY of the Hindi and English news channel.

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