The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority or PEMRA has a tough job, especially when it comes talk shows related to current affairs. The regulatory authorities have to be vigilant at all times to keep an eye on anchors and their guest, just in case they pull off a controversial stunt for the sake of shock and ratings!
Recently, it was Kashif Abbasi’s popular show Off The Record on ARY News that sparked controversy all over social media. In case people missed it, Federal Minister Faisal Vawda brought an actual military boot on the shoe to degrade the opposition parties like PML-N and PPP.
Here is the clip from the show:
Faisal Vawda brings actual military boot to the talk show. The host allows it, plays along; PPP & PMLN leaders walk out of the show in disgust. pic.twitter.com/sNAvWLfvQS
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) January 14, 2020
The moment was surreal as the host Kashif Abbasi awkwardly laughed on while his other guests, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Javed Abbasi, walked off the set in disgust. Social media reaction was mixed as most people considered it be a ‘cheap stunt’ while some people (mostly PTI supporters) believed it was a bold gesture. Here are some of the reactions:
..The host allows it, smiles contemptuously & refuses to stop participants from leaving..
Maybe its time to hire journalists who disseminate information instead of hosts who anchor the audience to the screens for commercial benefit of their owners?
— Sarang Ali Shaikh (@SarangAliShaikh) January 14, 2020
— Ocean. L'Océan. سمندر (@zukham) January 15, 2020
Host himself want cheap publicity , and shame on @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL for disgracing over all nation
— Dr.Arfana Mallah (@Arfanamallah) January 14, 2020
Pehle India K Media Main Ye Sab Hota Tha Ajkl Ham Bhi
— Sami Ullah Gondal (@SamiUll91351853) January 14, 2020
Nothing more than a cheap pre-planned stunt to gain so rating.
— najeeb (@_naajeeb) January 14, 2020
PEMRA immediately took action against the show, issuing a notice to Kashif Abbasi on ARY News for broadcasting “a willful attempt to debase and demean a state institution by dragging it unnecessarily in a debate” on Wednesday.
They shared the notice on the micro-blogging website Twitter late on Wednesday. The regulatory body said that it has banned the program Off The Record on ARY News for 60 days.
According to the show-cause notices issued to ARY News, the airing of such content was in violation of the PERMA code of conduct adding that the host of the show Kashif Abbasi was quite unprofessional, who did not intervene or stopped the unethical act performed by Faisal Vawda during the live show. The notice further pointed out that the host of the show rather took the entire incident “casually” and kept cherishing such an occurrence.
What do you think about this? Was it a cheap stunt or bold gesture?