Indian TV host’s on-air rant about Ukraine goes viral after guest identity mix-up: ‘I am Mr McAdams’

What didn’t help Rahul Shivshankar was that his channel’s supers mixed up the panelists on his show

Arpan Rai
Saturday 05 March 2022 16:05 GMT
Indian TV host shouts at wrong guest during Ukraine segment

A video of an Indian TV debate on Ukraine has gone viral after the host berated a guest for more than a minute live on air — before realising he was shouting at the wrong person.

The clip shows Rahul Shivshankar, a right-wing television anchor for the Indian news channel Times Now, scolding Bohdan Nahaylo, the chief editor of Ukraine’s English-language newspaper Kyiv Post.

In the video Shivshankar appears to believe that Nahaylo in fact Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, the other panelist on his show.

In the clip, Mr McAdams finally has to shout out to stop the debate so that he can tell the anchor the mistake that has been made.

The viral clip shows Shivshankar telling “Daniel McAdams” to “just take a bit of a chill pill”, before launching into his rebuke and telling him to “relax”. Nahaylo hits back by saying he doesn’t want to because “my country is at war”.

Believing he is addressing an American expert, Shivshankar says to Nahaylo: “Mr McAdams if you are so concerned about Ukrainians... get off the fence and send your forces and put boots on the ground. Don’t lecture us here in India, okay? I am not gonna hear your lecture. And if you have really problems (sic), then go tell the US president Mr Biden who flashes... who flashes his fancy credentials,” the news host can be heard shouting.

As cross talk continues between Shivshankar and Nahaylo, Mr McAdams himself can be heard saying, “I am not even talking”. He goes unheard by Shivshankar.

The anchor then launches into a tirade about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and references the “African nations” and Iraq amid the cross talk.

“And don’t sit here and lecture us... don’t sit here and lecture us Mr McAdams. We shut him down,” Shivshankar said.

At this point the real Mr McAdams interjects, shouting: “I’m not talking! It’s the other guy who’s talking. I haven’t been able to say a word!”

“Absolutely. The man has gone completely ballistic, and if he feels so strongly, he should go and fight alongside Ukrainians who are being killed,” replies Shivshankar, still not realising he’s been berating the wrong person.

This is when Mr McAdams again attempts to explain where Shivshankar has gone wrong.

“Dear host, I have not said a word yet. I don’t know why you’re yelling at me,” he said.

“But I am not yelling at you, I am talking about Mr McAdams,” Shivshankar clarifies.

“I AM Mr McAdams! I am Mr McAdams and I haven’t said a word, so stop yelling at me!”

“Oh... ok, sorry, I got that confused. I got that... I got that... That’s Bohdan Nahaylo,” Shivshankar says, realising his mistake after a few seconds.

It appears the original mistake may have been made on the part of the show’s producers, with on-screen subtitles for Mr McAdams and Nahaylo showing the wrong way round from the start of the debate.

Clips of the video have been circulated widely on social media. Indian sports journalist Prem Panicker asked users not to judge Indian news media on the basis of the clip.

British anchor Piers Morgan, himself a controversial figure in the UK for airing controversial opinions, shared the video and joked about how important it was to “check who your guests are”.

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