An Indian news anchor Rahul Shivshankar has inspired jokes and memes after yelling at the wrong guest while debating the Ukraine crisis.
Rahul Shivshankar berated a Ukrainian journalist for almost two minutes, thinking he was addressing Daniel McAdams, a US foreign policy commentator.
He only realised his mistake when Mr McAdams – the other guest – spoke up.
The exchange went viral, making “McAdams” a top Twitter trend in India.
This is magnificent. It makes no sense until it makes perfect sense. Nobody outside Indian TV can produce this level of chaos. https://t.co/0HJtafL2CX— Stanley Pignal (@spignal) March 3, 2022
Indian viewers are used to news anchors shouting down their panellists and going on rants during their shows.
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In this instance, Mr Shivshankar was speaking on his show India Upfront to Mr McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, and Bohdan Nahaylo, chief editor of Kyiv Post.
But the names and titles of the two men were wrongly placed on air, so Mr Nahaylo was identified as Mr McAdams and vice versa.
The viral clip began with Mr Shivshankar asking “Daniel McAdams” to “just take a bit of a chill pill”.
Mr Nahaylo then responds that he doesn’t want to relax as his country is at war.
Mr Shivshankar proceeds to ask “Mr McAdams” to “get off the fence” and send US troops to Ukraine if he is so concerned about the country.
He goes on to rant about “colonial agendas” and the Afghanistan war, interspersing “Mr McAdams” into every other sentence.
The real Mr McAdams, in the meantime, is seen trying to make himself heard above the cacophony.
“I’m not talking!” he finally manages to burst out. “It’s the other guy who’s talking!”
But Mr Shivshankar, who thought he was now talking to his Ukrainian guest, responded that “Mr McAdams” had “gone completely ballistic” and should “go fight alongside Ukrainians if he felt so strongly about the war”.
“Dear host, I haven’t said a word yet. I don’t know why you’re yelling at me,” the real Mr McAdams persists.
“I am not yelling at you, I am talking about Mr McAdams,” an oblivious Mr Shivshankar responds.
“I AM Mr McAdams! I am Mr McAdams and I haven’t said a word, so stop yelling at me!” says Mr McAdams, generating a quiet “oh” from Mr Shivshankar, who then apologises, saying he got confused.
The clip led to a lot of amusement on social media, with many pointing out that it was the kind of moment that could only be produced by the cacophonous Indian TV media.
Mr McAdams, on his part, appeared to be amused by his rise to online fame in India. The Ron Paul Institute, where he works, tweeted that he had become a “meme sensation” because of the “comedy of errors”, and said that he had been asked to appear on the show again.
They also shared screenshots of Mr McAdams’ conversation with a Times Now employee, where he called himself “the most famous man in India”.
RPI's Daniel McAdams became a meme sensation in India and worldwide yesterday for a comedy of errors in an interview. Tomorrow will be the follow-up. You won't want to miss it…Here's a teaser: pic.twitter.com/S2rAysxbZm— Ron Paul Institute (@RonPaulInstitut) March 4, 2022