Morning madness with the irresponsible

Published: August 14, 2010

Sana Tariq is a popular television host on Hum TV

I have often thought about the relevance of morning shows in our lives.

Why, despite their mindless talk, are these hosts on every other channel so popular?

Why have I never heard them say anything intelligent?

But no matter how much their chattering gets to me and no matter how I wish PEMRA could control their script and content, I make it a point to listen to them (Nadia Khan on Geo, Sana Tariq on Hum TV and Shaista Wahidi on ARY) for just a few minutes every day – sometimes hoping to hear them say something constructive or just to see their attempts at making their viewers laugh.

The shows also help me understand how our so-called educated, urban women perceive issues. This week on Sana Tariq’s show ‘Morning with Hum’ the host talked about how “she was able to enjoy her weekend after receiving news of a man throwing a shoe at the president in Birmingham, UK.”

Needless to say, I switched the channel but it got me thinking about all those viewers, those housewives who worship these hosts and look up to them. What message was being sent across? Is this the way to challenge our government and hold them accountable?

Not that I’m trying to justify the treatment meted out to former US President George W. Bush, but President Zardari is nowhere even close to being a war criminal. I don’t want to get started on the sms messages and jokes about the president that followed minutes after the news flashed our television screens, but seriously, do we have no shame as a nation? It’s disturbing to see how we refuse to understand that every person has some self-respect and there is a less hostile way to deal with our leaders and hold them accountable – using our power to vote.

This brings yet another popular morning show host, Nadia Khan into the discussion, who last week discouraged her audience from voting because none of the political parties, in her opinion, are competent enough to run the country.

It is sad that such big, sweeping statements come from people who are unable to even run decent morning shows.

Update 16th August 2010: This blog post was reedited in accordance with policy guidelines.


Aroosa Khan

A Karachi based reporter at The Express Tribune who focuses on human rights and social issues.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ghausia

    Another article from a Zardari sympathizer. Yawn. Tribune’s filled with them for some reason.Recommend

  • Shumaila

    Ugh, I so agree. I absolutely loathe morning shows, and their mindless, nattering hostesses make me physically ill. From the way they interrupt guests with abandon (tameez naam ki koi cheez hai kay nahin?), to the ridiculous opinions they hold forth without thinking, to their overdressed appearance and pseudo-intellectuality/-compassion – I can’t stand them.

    These political comments are just another way these women prove themselves to be mostly mindless.

    Since I personally know brilliant, intelligent women in real life, it saddens me that this important stage is overtaken by a bunch of stereotypical prattlers.Recommend

  • Natasha

    The gori/kaali statement was indeed ugly.

    About the shoe-incident , Im sorry to say that those preaching ‘manners’ and the use of ‘vote’ to throw out these people have no idea how frustrated the nation has become over the years. Ask those who have been left to deal with Nature’s fury in scorching deserts and freezing mountains, how they feel about president’s trip to Europe and they’ll give you better ideas instead of shoe-throwing.

    Preaching manners over laptops while enjoying the comfort of your air-conditioned bedrooms is easy. A change of power makes no difference to the privileged. It’s the poor who matter and those who ‘feel’ for their unfortunate Pakistani brethren.

    Nadia Khan’s advise was silly . Morning shows are more of fashion shows hosted by chatterboxes.Recommend

  • Zubair Naeem Paracha

    Ghausia, it is more about the independent media that has been miss-using this independence since the electronic media boom in Pakistan. Aroosa is absolutely right about these morning shows and I would not like to comment on the president issue. However a media person should not write or talk about him without thinking twice. He is a corrupt man but abusing him on these tv channels would not solve the problem rather it would create a bad image of our country.Recommend

  • SS

    these morning show hosts are “dumb bimbos” who sit in air-conditioned drawing room, wearing designer clothes(often auctioning them later) thinking that they are bringing some kind of hell “revolution”! GOD KNOWS…
    the most irritating them of all is sana tariq, and shahista
    whom i have noticed, literally hitting on few of the so-called good-looking male celebrities…
    i recall hum tv’s “shahid afridi special”. Ms. Tariq just couldn’t help herself drooling over him. desperados indeed…Recommend

  • Farrukh

    The English speaking/writing elite despises the majority Urdu speaking well educated faces they see on the TV in Pakistan. Another substanceless article. Just go through some of Elizabeth Hasselbacks comments on THE VIEW the most famous morning show here in the USRecommend

  • Schazad

    This is re-tarted. I mean our nation has lost everything by now. Their dignity, honor, self respect. How could she do that and I have to agree with their “bat tamizi” as well, the way they receive calls and make fun of their names and the way they talk and then don’t pay attention and talk in between when viewer is talking as well is just disgusting. We have absolutely no idea what privacy is by flashing people’s date of births and names and where they were born on screens. Its totally ridiculous.Recommend

  • Tippu

    A calous man who has the audacity to float around europe enjoying his palaces and lavish dinners in 5 star hotels while his country drowns should be abused by everyone at every opportunity they get!Recommend

  • Umayr Masud

    The shoe throwing affair and the reaction it got with the people in Pakistan shows a very twisted state of affairs. If you look at it objectively this attempt by the man to hit the president with a shoe and the subsequent happiness actually displays that probably this is how we would react. If instead the guy had thrown a copy of the constitution at the guy maybe that would’ve left a longer impact.
    Also what i really disagree with in the shoe throwing bit is the headlines plastered around the world are not about Zardari .. they are about “the PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN” .. so its not really zardari that is hit .. it is Pakistan.
    If these guys werent really cowards , a similar attempt may have been made or attempted to have been made here in Pakistan. Alas , that wont happen . Recommend

  • Mahreen

    Dear Tribune why are you filled with articles by Zardari sympathisers. Just curiousRecommend

  • Maryam

    i soo agree with…i used to watch the repeat of these mornings shows regularly as i work. it was Nadia Khan intially so when popularity got to her head …she got hopeless and badtameez n all i switched to Shaista waidi…..same happened there too, criticing all the time, and after that i switched to sana tariq but sadly she has joined the same band wagon.
    2, 3 days back she had strings on the show, and she ws intentially criticising atif aslam after every min that finally bilal and faisal came to atif’s rescue and told her hw big a star he is and so very down to earth.
    my husband doesnt even like me watching these shows now beacause all wat is done is gossiping on these shows instead of discussing some social issue or informative topic…Recommend

  • Danish

    i completely agree with the writer. these shows are devoid of any content and it’s sad that they waste the precious morning hours of nearly half the population of the country in mindless gossip. 2 of these hosts are supposed to be accomplished doctors, it’s sad that they are not only wasting other peoples time but their degrees too. The cooking channels are much more constructive and knowledgeable than these morning shows. Recommend

  • Nauman S

    I agree @Ghausia as well as @Zubair…Media has never been an organized institution when they had formed a policy to broadcast faces of dead bodies from emergency situations, then why not PEMRA take a pre-step and form policies that are FOLLOWED and not IGNORED. what is this government and media war? PEMRA acts how govt asks them to and media acts like an advertising agency selling an hygienic juice made by any road side factory (same goes for so much news channels broadcasting “nothing”).Recommend

  • Taufiq

    We leave in independent country and everybody have right to speak and also Sana has right to speak that’s it “Bol Kay Lab Azad Hain Tere”. Aroosa, you also expressed your views in this articles and Sana did same.Recommend

  • talha

    You are absolutely right Arousa; this is totally irritating to see these immature and absurd anchors discussing matter without knowing their consequences. They just waste on air time in recognition to their illiteracy. It is important that the script should be made before the start of program and later they follow the rule and instruction.

    Its time that the media should realize their importance and provide real picture of the country and if they are not aware, I request them to learn how the others countries develop image of their nation through television.

    I wish that the chief executive of these channels should understand the need of today and unite the nation through the positive image of media. Recommend

  • Sahar

    The writer’s profile says she has “been tempted to join the broadcast media but feels accuracy and objectivity have taken a backseat in this part of the industry.”

    Isn’t this a sweeping generalization as well? Perhaps we should all choose our words a little more wisely?

    The writer says she watches morning shows. Well then – mission accomplished. Everything does not have to have a grand message. As Farrukh points out morning programming overseas is not intellectual either. Everything doesn’t have to have a ‘message’ or be educational.

    I agree, Sana Tariq and Nadia Khan’s statements were irresponsible – but consider they are not leaders. They are morning TV show hosts. Do your really truly want PEMRA controlling their scripts?

    What next? Do you want song lyrics that encourage anarchy censored?

    How about books that could lead to religious extremism?

    Just because thing are wrong does NOT mean we chain them or shoot them down.

    Thats right, boys and girls – live and let live.
    Do you not like morning show host because they are ditzy?
    Thats exactly why I like them!
    Thats exactly why what you call “our so-called educated, urban women” like them.
    Because they are not holier than thou. They are relateable.
    Sure, they dumb themselves down.
    But have you ever seen Dr Phil? Connie? Even Oprah?
    Just because laa dee dah intellectually elite don’t like it (but of course watch it any way!) morning tv does serve a purpose – pure unadulterated entertainment.Recommend

  • Afia jamal

    I agree with furqan and sahar. Just becauase we are elite working class disliking these shows doesnt mean they serve no purpose!!! and just one wrong statement by them doesnt make the whole show bad. these shows are a source of lots of household tips for woman. diet and exerises are frequently communicated with the viewers .Besides they allow teh women to get in line wth their favorite celebritiesss! Alot of woman watch these shows , if that wasnt so then the advertisement rates for this timeslot were not so highhhh!

    this article is totally lame in my viewpoint!Recommend

  • Farhat

    Aroosa! What do you think, why is everyone CELEBRATING the ‘shoe-hurling’ incident? Please ponder.

    I wish Zardari and other elected officials think over it too.Recommend

  • Shabbir Khan

    I fully agree with Aroosa that its a shame that a shoe was thrown at our President and media rejoicing over the incident. If for the arguments sake the shoe hurling activity was right then we must first throw a shoe at GHQ because that is where from all the evil come.Recommend

  • Ovais Tariq

    Don’t you know that “People respect those who respect themselves”. Respect is something that you earn, not something that you can demand. So if our leaders have been unable to earn respect then its their failing, and then they should be ready to face situations where people are hurling taunts and shoes their way,.Recommend

  • Nadeem

    The point is these morning shows are not meant to discuss these type of issues at all… people are already fed up watching news… instead of giving such comments they should try to give some healthy comments. Giving personnal opinion over such incident should not be appriciated. Media do have other shows to discus that issue. Recommend

  • Abdul Basit

    I agree with Sahar.

    I find the writer’s point of view biased. All the morning shows are broadcasted by channels being run by capitalists for the sole purpose of maximizing the bottomline. As we – the audience, watch them therefore they are there. We can easily gauge the importance of the these morning shows for the respective channels with the number of ads associated with each of them.

    The best and easiest way to condemn them is to stop watching them. Its about time that the nation starts learning the importance and effectiveness of intelligent consumerism (which by the ways is effectively present in the societies the majority looks up to).

    So if you disdain them stop patronizing them!

    And yes the viewership is increasing because the these ladies are relateable in one ways or the other and they provide utility in terms of entertainment! Recommend

  • Mansoor Hussain

    Our entire middle class, no less than 10 % of our population, is very rightly criticizing Zadari day and night. The rest of our population however is very busy these days in other trivial pursuits like survival. But come to think of it, Zardari-bashing too is our way of ensuring survival through filling our empty lives with some purpose.Recommend

  • Ghausia

    Oh please, don’t give me the independent media has a responsibility lecture. Its Zardari and his fatter than himself ego that’s making an issue out of it. Bush got a shoe thrown at him, he laughed and said, I think it was a size 10. Conan, Letterman, Jay Leno, they all made fun of him and I bet the writer would agree that those shows aren’t entertainment either, seeing as they often use crude humour. The media is free and independent and always, always speak out. They’re entertainment for their target market so what’s the harm? Take away shows that celebrate a shoe being thrown at your president, people are still going to rejoice, no matter what. You can’t change the reality by trampling on freedom of speech.Recommend

  • SadafFayyaz

    Morning shows are becoming pathetic….I agree,,,,and most of the hosts talk senseless and pointless….I like “Live with talat”, “Debate with mahreen Khan”,, and some others too…the rest of the shows, hosts TRY to look more beautiful and elegant, instead of doing little homework or research. according to a senior old celebrity….These are his words……of not coming on shows…..


    It feels good to see good things happening in our media, most of all freedom, but the channel owners should pay much attention to the content, as it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters.
    As an artist I refrain from giving interviews especially on TV not because I am stuck up, but because their presentation is very flawed. Starting from basics like the set, the lights, they don’t know how to present someone who could be an achiever. They need to do proper research in the featured artist’s career and personality and ask proper and informative questions based on the research. If they can’t make them look their stature at least don’t make them look bad. I remember there was a certain program on a channel where they were profiling a certain legendary actress and the host, in his stupidity, was asking really dumb questions and just the way he was sitting showed that he actually did not know who she was, hence no respect. Disappointing!”

    But please no sympathising articles with zardari…..Its shocking to see that even our educated women have kaali gori complex… Oprah Winfrey a Gori? Improving the show content is more important than looks….


  • Shayn

    GHAUSIA i am totally with you on the statement that there r too many zardari sympathizers here… and this is yet again written to defend zardariRecommend

  • RAZK

    OMG the whole country hates him, why r u writers set out to write articles that force sympathy and emotions for him.Recommend

  • SadafFayyaz

    It would have been better if two topics were kept apart: “Stupidity of Host shows” ….and zardari separate….Two separate blogs on each topic :)))////Recommend

  • zaigham

    ahhh… another new blogist…
    i don’t know if its true or not but they say, when a lady scorpion has “new borns”, they climb right-away onto her back. When they finally come down some time later, they had eaten their mommy. I’m reminded of this story too often these days…Recommend

  • Ali Haider

    Agreed with the morning show hosts part.

    But when you try to save Zardari’s face (obviously failing in doing so), you forget that our leaders have brought us where we are and the shoe treatment was apt.Recommend

  • rasheed

    The shame is that the shoe was thrown at him in the UK while he should have been hit with it in Pakistan. That would have been a more appropriate place to gift him with a shoe.

    Sorry to all the people who are drawing lines of decency. Our not so beloved leaders haven’t shown that since the birth of Pakistan. Its time we show no mercy towards them. We have different opinions on our way to record our protest but certainly a man who has taken Pakistan many years back single handedly deserves more disrespect.
    Nobody had in mind that Zardari would be playing such crucial role in our government.

    Lets just ask ourselves once that a person of his caliber would even be offered a government post in any country? With the sense and knowledge he has will he be part of any government?

    The only way we can accept Zardari is just other natural disasters are hitting us badly he is one more of them. Maybe its time for us to understand why Allah is testing us again and again? where are we going wrong? why are our leaders like this? for me this is all part of one game. Our nation needs to wake up and understand why are we going to the darker side of life. Recommend

  • Ghulam Rehman

    Political disagreement is there, but we can’t avoid the fact that most of the morning hosts in different TV channels lack professionalism to deliver— the multicultural audiences need new people!Recommend

  • saher

    we are not zardari sympathizers.. we are just fed up of the zardari phobia… pakistan needs people who can change system by their actions .. for example .. stop cheating in your exams…. not ppl who only know how to blame and try to find those whom they can blame.. Recommend

  • talha

    wake up media just wake up, please show us the progressive image of Pakistan and don’t indulge yourself in nefarious practices that leads to auction your identity for the sake of just earning money.Recommend

  • Yasser

    The performance of AZ, his party and his government is also very sad why don’t the author look at the bigger picture and compare with it, you have to analyze the reason behind public frustration and its getting higher and higher day by day. To quote one of the many examples of bad administration, Cricket is a game and for which our people gets emotional but PCB patron in chief is busy somewhere and nation voice to replace the PCB chairman is not reaching deaf ears.

    Hope its clear now :)Recommend

  • Jawad Haider Sumra

    I really admire Aroosa Khan’s impartial analysis of aptitude & mental approach of these hosts of morning shows in particular. rather I should say the whole media persons in general. I really don’t understand when our media will turn to be mature enough to discern the boundaries of its moral obligations besides its commercialism. Why every channel thinks that only opposing, criticising and ridiculing the people in government can earn them popularity. These were the same channels who were then champion of democratic force during dictatorship by criticising Pervez Musharaf regime and now the same channels are once again claiming to be the savior of nation while deluding their viewers against democratically elected representatives. Recommend

  • Ovais Tariq

    @Jawad: There is just this one question that I want to ask,. What have these so called democratically elected representatives done for us Pakistanis, except for filling their pockets and plunging the nation into misery?Recommend

  • salman jafri

    i think sana tariq is not going to news anchor anymore,i am waiting to see if she becomes like the other women who do politics shows in pakistanRecommend

  • Samreen A.Khan

    totally agreed with the writer….these morning shows are getting damn pathetic day by day…..specially nadia khan show!….its really sucks me !….. there senseless gossips! dont know who are watching them!Recommend

  • Mango man

    yeah agreed with the writer. There is nothing constructive in sana tariq’s show. ARY morning show is well, …… you can put it in a way that it puts me back to sleep.
    by the way Nadia khan on GEO gives out Generators and jwelery and clothes. But to whom and whether they deserve it or not,
    I don’t know….!!!Recommend

  • Madiha Mustafa

    True…these ladies are brain washing the minds of those innocent housewives who are illiterate and are unware about the current senarios..Recommend

  • nasir khan

    i agree wid above 2 post ….

  • Mustafa


  • maha kamal

    ur show is just awsum sana aapi l0ve ur smile always keep smiling m jst a fan ov urs me n ma mom use to watch ur show daily !! love u!Recommend

  • manu1111

    emm…. reading ur article from top to bottom, there are few statements to get agree with but one of them is quite enough to contradict. I agree that sana tariq on hum shouldnt have said that she ‘enjoyed’ the weekend for the news about throwing of the shoe at our dearest president, but at the same time, our very dearest president shouldnt have visited france and uk in-spite of the deadliest floods within the country and after the statement of prime minister of uk… I agree that every person should have a self respect, but its every one owns responsibility to keep it… Our president is answerable to the nation, and against the nations will, he went to uk on government expenses on party meeting!!!!??? President must have maintained his self respect when pm uk gave objectionable statements against pakistan… But he went their for leisure trip… And u talk about self respect?!?!?!!!…. Why we should get ashamed of us a nation? When even we are stopping him and he neglecting all the wishes and problems of the nation, he went there… We should be proud that even after all these happenings within the country, one after another, nation keep on saying what is wrong and what is right. We are sleeping, but atleast not dead yet… :) Recommend