“CNBC-TV18 today is clearly the last word in business news. CNBC-TV18 is a joint venture between Network18 and CNBC, the global leader in business television”. That is what their website tells us. With the Radia tapes exposing many journalists and news channels and newspapers, the financial networks haven’t received much attention. They, of course, offer wisdom on how your money works best or how the economy is doing or what shares will do well. But do they always tell you the facts? Can you trust them? Let’s take the case of CNBC-TV18. The TV18 group is headed by none other than Raghav Bahl, the author of a recent book called ‘Superpower’. Yes, he should know everything about power.
Udayan Mukherjee - Pays 6 Crores as Income Tax?
Girish Nikam, a journalist, has been following the telecom scandal for quite a long time. Following the second round of the Radia tapes exposure in Outlook magazine, here are some extracts from his site: (in colour and edited for space by me)
What does Raghav Behl, the MD of TV 18(CNBC TV 18 and CNN-IBN), have to say about Manoj Modi (right hand man of Mukesh Ambani) claiming (on June 10,2009) in his conversation with Niira Radia that he told(threatened) him(Raghav) “your organisation is corrupt…. Even factual stories you don’t print about ADAG and you will work for us. I want to know who is the source, Mukesh(Ambani) ko personally attack karega toh main manoj modi hoon, chodega nahin kisiko.——-Raghav said in order to put pressure on me(Raghav himself)— send me(raghav) a legal notice”...... Did Raghav Behl ask Modi to send him a legal notice? If not true, did Raghav Behl get a letter from Modi, making such threats, as Modi claims in this tape and repeatedly asks Niira Radia not to disclose about it to anyone?
In one of the conversations(on June 13,2009) .......Niira Radia remarks that “Sebi investigations is on against Siddharth(Zarabi, Economic Policy Editor, CNBC TV 18), Udayan(mukherjee, anchor and MD CNBC TV 18)....they are getting their wives involved in the (stock) market), and the SEBI investigation is on”. She also goes on to say that Udayan Mukherjee “files the highest tax returns among journalists…… he pays Rs.6 crore as income tax, and he doesn’t even earn that much”. Now what has Raghav Behl and his colleagues named here done about these obviously serious charges? Is what she is saying true? If not what action are they contemplating or have taken?
Make no mistake whatsoever. CNBC-TV18 and other financial channels as also most of our news channels and journals can only be expected to be faithful to their paymasters. The viewers and readers are their last priorities. And if you believe all the stories that appear on financial channels, do so at your own risk. Most financial journalists eat from the palms of corporate bosses and advertisers. Not convinced yet? Let’s go to the global CNBC itself.
In my post ‘Servantile Journalism’ in March 2010 this is what I wrote:
"... In March 2009 in his now famous smack-down of CNBC (the American financial channel) Jon Stewart of The Daily Show showed how the journalists at CNBC asked all stupid and servantile questions to CEOs of companies like Bear Sterns, AIG, GM, Merryl Lynch, one even went far enough to ask Allen Stanford “how does it feel to be a billionaire?” ....In weeks after the interviews each company collapsed and Stanford was actually running a Ponzi-scheme. Yes, the very same Allen Stanford who sponsored a cricket event in the WI. The point here is, the journalists sucked up to the CEOs of these companies and never asked real hard questions that would indicate the health of their companies. The end result was the economic collapse in the US." View the full Jon Stewart CNBC smackdown video HERE.
That US economic collapse also affected India. There were suicides by many financially broken people. When it comes to your money beware of servantile journalists and channels. When it comes to financial channels, be cynical. Be very cynical. Can you really trust them?