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From Sridevi's Bathtub To Cyclone Biparjoy In Studio, The Times Indian Media Took Bizarre To New Levels

From jumping in the streets of Ukraine to bringing Cyclone Biparjoy inside the studio, Indian news channels have often become the story.

The anchor braving Cyclone Biparjoy in her studio
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Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Gujarat's coastal areas on Thursday and wind speed reached up to 140 kmph. 

The coastal Gujarat was not the only place being battered by the storm. Apparently, a news channel’s studio was also battered by such windspeed.

With visuals of a storm in the background, the channel’s anchor held an umbrella in the studio and anchored a segment on Biparjoy. Barely holding on to her umbrella and somehow stopping her from being blown away by the wind, the anchor said that winds were so strong that it was hard to stand and speak. 

While reporters often respond to the call of duty and cover from dangerous grounds, whether it's earthquake- or flood-hit areas or a war-torn country like Ukraine. But this anchor was not in Gujarat. She was in the comforts of her studio and her antics have been ridiculed aplenty on social media.

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The anchor braving Cyclone Biparjoy in her studio

Writing for AltNews, Indradeep Bhattacharyya called the anchor's antics "hilarious and pathetic".

"Hilarious because of its absurdity, and pathetic because it ended up making a caricature of what is essentially a natural disaster affecting thousands in potentially life-transforming ways," noted Bhattacharya. 

AltNews further reported that the visuals that played in the background as the anchor fought Biparjoy's wind in the studio were actually from a hurricane in Florida that hit the American state last year. It also reported that the anchor also led the channel's loud coverage following actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. She was seen harassing a watchman at actor's Rhea Chakraborty's housing society and was seen chasing Deepika Padukone's car and shouting "do you take drugs?" at it.

Here we share other occasions when Indian news channels took bizarre to new levels with their antics in and out of the studio.

Sridevi's death and the media trial

The news channels entered the bathroom of actor Sridevi after her death in Dubai. 

'Maut ka bathtub' was one channel's headline. 

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News channel's coverage of actor Sridevi's death was widely criticised

ABP News anchor was standing next to the bath tub in an animated segment that had a glass of wine on the arm rest. 

India Today went on reconstruct the sequence of events that led to Sridevi's death. 

A reporter even stepped into the bathtub in an apparent attempt to recreate the scene.

Much of this was done well before the details of Sridevi's death came out through official channels. The coverage was criticised for being insensitive, sensational, and sexist. The tropes of women drinking and not being able to handle the alcohol was also insinuated in the coverage. 

"An anchor stood beside a bathtub with a wine glass in a simulated luxury bathroom, with Sridevi’s photo in the background. There was a photo of Sridevi drinking from an old movie. Traces of alcohol was somehow the same as being drunk. The channel was happily reinforcing every stereotype of old Hindi movies – bad women drink, and women can never hold their drink," noted Shivam Vij in The Print.

'Dancing reporter' in Ukraine

Last year, a reporter of a channel went viral as the 'dancing reporter' for her animated coverage of the Ukraine War. 

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Talking about the then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being sanctioned by Russia over his support to Ukraine, the reporter rapidly moved across the street, resembling a badly choreographed dance sequence, and spoke in a manner that appeared to be more of a rap song than a reporter's piece to camera.

Taking Budget coverage to new heights, literally

Before the anchor braved Cyclone Biparjoy in her studio, two news channels took bizarreness of antics to new heights. Literally.

Both the channels took their anchors and experts for their Union Budget 2023-24 coverage to a hanging platform.

From a platform dangling over a hundred feet in the air, the two channels discussed the Budget 2023-24. One channel's event reportedly took place at Noida's Flydining, a concept restaurant that provides dining experience on a table suspended 160 above the ground. 

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One channel covered Union Budget 2023-24 on a table suspended 160 ft in the air

The second channel also similarly covered the Union Budget 2023-24, sharing the visuals on its official Twitter handle.

Anchor wears fatigues, holds gun 

Following the Balakot air strike by the Indian Air Force in retaliation to the Pulwama terrorist attack, an anchor of a Telugu news channel wore military fatigues and carried a toy gun in his hands during the coverage.

While the hyper-nationalistic or militaristic coverage on TV was not new, wearing fatigues and holding a gun still came a shock to some.

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After Balakot airstrike, an anchor wore military fatigues and held a toy gun

Anchor flies in a helicopter in studio

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After one channel's anchor braved Cyclone Biparjoy in her studio, a second channel's anchor rode a helicopter in her studio to take an aerial survey of the storm-hit area.

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An anchor rode a helicopter to take viewers to right above the cyclone-hit area. The helicopter was virtual.
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