The herald of the nation’s conscience, primetime anchor Arnab Goswami, has got some brickbats in his time. He has been called a liar and an ignoramus by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy, and plenty of other things by other people. Many have pointed fingers at him, but none had so far singled out the middle finger – at least not on air.

That is what Trinamool Congress general secretary Mahua Moitra seemed to do on Goswami’s Newshour on Monday night, where the subject of the debate was #TMCSlapgate.

As is his wont, Goswami started the debate with a brief discourse. He fulminated how a youth, identified as Debasish Acharya, had been charged with attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code for slapping West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee. Meanwhile, the Trinamool mob who subsequently nearly beat Acharya to death have been charged with relatively milder sections.

From the beginning, Moitra, who looked grim and forbidding, did not take kindly to Goswami’s interrogation on the attempt to murder charge against Acharya. She accused the Times Now editor-in-chief of being the “judge, jury, executioner” who “should not invite people” to his show. As the hectoring continued, she lost her poise.

“Arnab, keep talking,” she said. “This is a one-man show...” And the middle finger went up.

Amazingly, neither Goswami nor the other speakers on the show batted an eyelid and the debate continued.

Moitra is a familiar face in politics and on news television. An economics and mathematics graduate from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, she was an investment banker in New York City and London. Moitra joined politics in 2009 “to make a meaningful contribution to India’s development” and has increasingly received attention as the face of the Trinamool Congress.