The power of the media has unfolded ever since March 2007, and is now building into a crescendo of the major channels baying for the blood of Musharraf. Over these eighteen months they have brought intense focus on the political conditions in the country now zeroing in on the president who it seems is beleaguered and is headed fast towards an ignominious departure, from the presidency, and on to that special dustbin reserved for our ex-rulers, big or small, elected or grabbers. A private TV channel has been running a strip on its News channel, stating that they have conducted a poll asking a Yes or No as to whether Musharraf should be impeached or not. A resounding 76 percent were against his impeachment. And yet in the same programme all the guests were for the impeachment. It seems there is a strange disconnect between the 76 percent and the channels. For, where is the voice of the 76 percent, brushed aside by the panelists as insignificant. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a regime change is being brought about without the public coming on to the streets attacking government facilities, burning cars or looting. There was no evidence of any emotion either for or against Musharraf. Yet, in the media, the pundits let the lawyers movement fizzle out, and concentrated on the ouster of Musharraf. The channels today are becoming increasingly shrill and will settle for nothing less than ouster and persecution. The power of the media to change the direction of the public mood, and then use this power selectively is ominous. It has been used throughout history, Madison Avenue mastered media manipulation, but in Pakistan the media is left of centre, and there has been a love affair between the PPP and the media from inception to date. Both have suffered at the hands of dictators. Their suffering has sharpened their ideological position, and the leftist in them is now more anti-establishment than ever. Musharraf, the military dictator, is backed by the military/business groups and the Americans, a combine that is despised by the liberal intellectuals of Pakistan, right and left. The question that needs to be addressed is whether the wishes of the 76 percent are being ignored. In the 1960 bestseller The making of the President by Theodore White, a book that analysed the election of Kennedy as president and likened it to the selling of toothpaste, and how marketing techniques were applied to a political problem"successfully, and these techniques have been used since then. We in Pakistan are accustomed to a ruler civilian or military being forced to leave, but seldom without bloodshed, and never by the media. For in those days the media was under the tight and brutal control of the government of the day. Now with a free media unfettered by government, a new power centre has emerged. This centre will automatically become a watchdog over all happenings in Pakistan. It is ironic that Musharraf was the architect of giving Pakistan the largest number of TV channels in the East, and the most free " should himself become the first casualty. What we must be careful of is the swing of the pendulum. In Pakistan freedom comes at a cost " millions of lives in 1947, and the freedom of the press has not been cheap. The power in its grasp is awesome, and can help bring Pakistan out of the rapacious grasp of the civil, military, feudal, bureaucratic systems that have ruled Pakistan for the last six decades. The media can expose the flaws at every step, and bring the Pakistani society into a new evolution so we can reap the benefits that our people deserve. The media in Pakistan is far more important than the judiciary for it can oversee and highlight all aspects of society, the true watchdog to expose the criminality, and to follow up on the curtailment. There will soon be an attempt to clip their wings for all rulers despise a truly independent media as indeed they do an independent judiciary. The writer is a political analyst