Thursday, 17 November 2011

Journalism at its lowest ebb

OK I'll at admit it at the onset.I underwent tremendous dilly dallying before i poured this out.I could not stand the humiliation of acknowledging in  public that i spent a whole five minutes of my life watching street whore Barkha Dutt's 'The buck stops here' after the veil over her so called non-partisan journalism had been swept aside by Radia Tapes.
But i did learn a thing or two, or to be true actually reinforced an opinion .The buck starts here.I happened to catch the interview with Pervez Mushraff, another notorious 'I'm up for sale' fella.And it did not reflect the media in good light.
 Justice Katju, the recently appointed Chairman of the Press Council of India recently labelled the Indian media a of low intellectual level and how Barkha Dutt epitomises that.She has come to redefine the nadir of a career. Her credentials have already been found wanting at Kargil and 26/11-in both situations she put the country's national security at risk by revealing the locations of strategically placed snipers-LIVE on national television.
The interview is going along smoothly-so boring that i would rather watch grass grow-until you are jolted out of your mild slumber by a sequence of events following one of the many wild allegation from Barkha which were laced throughout the show.She accuses him of having made a statement to the regard that Pakistan should continue funding the Haqqani network( a terror module for the uninitiated) as a strategic asset.Mushraff is prompt with his denial.Off course he's denying,he's stonewalling-you think.But what follows shocks to no end.Instead of vehemently defending her claim and sending Mushraff to the guillotine,she without battling an eyelid shifts  her goalpost ,tones down the question and drifts him towards Pakistan's strategy towards the Haqqani network.Mushraff still astounded by the wild remark,stays in denial mode for the next few questions before he regains his composure.
And then it finally dawns upon you, what just transpired.That Barkha's whole statement was a sham.Mushraff never ever uttered those words , it was just the handiwork of some creative student whose just been introduced to the word 'manipulation'.And how rather nonchalantly barkha managed to tug it under the carpet.The fact that she even failed to make a weak attempt to defend her remarks displays her complicity in the mischief.Any self respecting person would have stormed out of the interview, you'd think, but then such people are generally not found in the same room as Barkha..

The transcript:

Barkha:One of the big areas of friction between the United States and Pakistan is the Haqqani network and mike mullen(US

chief of staffs) has described it as literally one wing of the ISI.Now you have said that while you do not agree with this

assessment,you also believe that Pakistan has reasons to continue its support-strategic reasons- to continue its support

to the haqqani network.General Mushraff don't yo think this is a virtual justification for supporting a known terror group?
mushraff:(A bit confused)  No,No i have never said this,uh.
B:(Immediately without any sort of resistance)Well how do you believe Pakistan should handle the haqqani network?
M:Well i have never said that this is a reason to keep supporting....(Still trying to make sense of Barkha's allegation)
B:(refusing to allow mushraff to complete his statement)Do you accept that there is support to the haqqani network?
M:no,no i never...
B:Do Do you accept that there is enough action against it??
M:No No they have not taken enough action against them...........(settles into a  soliloquy)
B:So how do you believe Pakistan deal with the haqqani network??
M:Yes,Yes...(looking a bit more composed)............

And to double check it , jump to 26:28.

While some may choose to classify this post as pedantic ,i strongly believe this is an accurate representation of the wider problems plaguing the media as an entity.There is need for some serious introspection and to weed out the unsocial,unethical and PR agents masqueraded as journalist people.Such kind of atrocious interviewing should be met by a defamation lawsuit in court.Its one things to put words in someones mouth but its totally unacceptable to whip up a controversial quote from thin air.
Let journalism be based on facts and creativity be the domain of fiction writers.


  1. Journalism, always has had the question of being true or false, and this is well-highlighted. Wrote a post, similar to yours a while ago. Though, it didn't target any particular incident or reporter, in particular.

    The truth remains that while the authenticity is always a question in the wild bull run for TRPs, very few news channels hold on to their integrity till the end...

    As for me, I do trust TimesNow blindly. And Al Jazeera when it comes to global news.

    -Setu Shah

  2. I would be wary of placing blind trust on any channel.At the nd of the day every news organisation has a certan agenda which it subtley promotes.Even the almighty guardian for all its investigative and rather balanced view point supported the US invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan.So i watch all channels,try to source facts form the nets and mak sure i take everything with a pinch of salt.


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