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Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in Arts, Fake News, TG Roundup

Addressing a Small Criticism About My Interview with Manchu Lakshmi

It has been almost 5 months since I interviewed Manchu Lakshmi on my show. Apparently the popularity of her E-TV show, “Prematho Mee Lakshmi” is growing by leaps and bounds.  The podcast of my interview with her is still getting a lot of hits on TeluGlobe. I also get e-mails that commend me or criticize me for that interview.  One of the most frequent charges I face, which is a fair criticism – I might add, is that I was too ‘soft’ on her until the end when I asked a tough question. They say that this is a contrast to my treatment of other guests  whom I asked some tough and uncomfortable questions.

I agree that I was soft. Soft because Lakshmi is a woman and my guest. It is not always easy to shake off your manners and be bombastic. When she said, “You know who Maryl Streep is, right?” I would have had a blunt tongue-in-cheek response if she weren’t a woman. I simply said, “Yes I know who Maryl Streep is!”

It is not a contradiction to appreciate Lakshmi’s confidence and still be critical of her style. Also, I could have edited the interview to make myself look better. But, I didn’t do it because it is not fair – especially in controversial interviews.

Right from the beginning, I wanted to pose two very important questions – about her Telugu accent and perceived excessive self-promotion. I saved them for the last. Interviewing people, especially smart and eloquent people is not that easy. Evaluating my interview post cibum, I wish I had better follow-up questions. But while doing the interview, I was focused on those two important questions and possible fall out from asking those questions. So, naturally I was distracted.

I am a novice in conducting interviews. Jon Stewart has a lot of influence in the way I conduct my interviews. May followers of Jon know that Jon can expose some people for what they are often leading to the destruction of their careers. Example: A few days after Jon went on CNN’s Crossfire and exposed it for its worthlessness, CNN cancelled the show. Tucker Carlson of Crossfire who picked fight with Jon has since then became a footnote in broadcast TV.

Here is Jon interviewing Betsy McCaughey and feeling very uncomfortable asking tough questions. He never reacted so uncomfortable interviewing men. The day after this interview, having been exposed for her lies, McCaughey was fired from her gig. I am not saying my interview is in anyway close in importance, style or substance to that of Jon’s, but I can relate to Jon’s body language in this interview.

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