Sunday, February 3, 2013

HT's Red Underwear



Somehow, that story of B.S. Chandrashekhar on his tour of New Zealand keeps coming back. After being repeatedly frustrated at a biased umpire turning down his genuine appeals when he finally clean-bowls the batsman he couldn’t help telling the umpire “Almost got him, didn’t I”? Another version of that story suggests he told the umpire “He’s bowled, but is he out”? So what do news outlets or media celebs do when they are clean-bowled or caught with their pants down? They shout “they didn’t check with us first and didn’t give us a chance to respond”. Oops! Get caught with pants down and then claim they weren’t naked. Remember Radiagate? Barkha Dutt wailed that the tapes were published without seeking her response first. I wonder if that would have altered anything at all since the “error of dodgement” would have been the same and there wasn’t any chance she was going to say “sorry, I screwed up”. This time around it’s a member of the unholy trinity that’s been caught and called.

Last month the Press Council of India (PCI) an otherwise toothless, colourless, spineless body released a report which recommended the censure of a few newspapers for indulging in “paid news”. After an investigation their Inquiry Committee cleared one newspaper and indicted several others, including Hindustan Times. It’s fair to believe the Inquiry Committee would have given HT a chance to respond and would have heard them too before the final report in December 2012. P. Sainath, of The Hindu, wrote a report on this on January 29 and HT was upset The Hindu didn’t check for their response before publishing his story. I guess if HT were to be asked, they would have responded with the same crap that they published on February 1 claiming “HT brings you real news, not paid news”.


Do you buy that? Does anybody buy that? Do note that the HT is not so much against the PCI report but is upset with The Hindu publishing a story without checking with them first. HT was indicted for “paid news” during the Bihar elections in 2010 in not one but four separate incidents or stories according to the PCI. Here’s what Sainath actually wrote:

Note that he quotes PCI: “in all other cases, the candidates accepted they had purchased news”. So the confirmation comes from even the candidates who may have paid HT for the insertions. There is a fair chance that HT’s big bosses in Delhi and their top management do not indulge in these practices but that doesn’t automatically imply that branches of newspapers and local journalists do not indulge in it. HT surely has bigger fish to fry than small time candidates paying money for news. They have much bigger events like HT Summit through which they can get the “Mota Maal” from sponsors. There’s also DAVP that the govt can use to dole out heavy amounts of unessential ads. There are govt companies that can dole out money as sponsorship for mega events that include characters who have waged war against this country. The PCI though is quite confident and clear in their findings. Here’s a screen grab from the PCI report (Thanks to @sureshnakhua) which doesn’t need any further explanation:

Far from apologising for their conduct or stating they have made an appeal, if any, HT prefers to brazen it out with self-righteous wailing. We are by now used to that kind of behaviour, aren’t we? The tragedy is not what the PCI has discovered but what it hasn’t uncovered so far. HT has a family outlet called LiveMint. Like angels, LiveMint states in an article titled “Election Commission pegs paid news market at Rs.500 crore”. Nice, eh? Can the HT group explain where that kind of money goes? Any idea? LiveMint adds: “Of the total amount paid to media firms (around 40% of the poll expenses of parties), the EC estimates half to be towards paid news”. And the good news for every media outlet is that a major election is just around the corner. Not just the general elections but also simultaneous Assembly elections in a few states. Lots of opportunities, let’s make money.

It’s not just B.S. Chandrashekhar that I’m reminded of. Remember those extraordinary deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes? Sitting on his chair and smoking his pipe, Holmes heard a knock and in came his friend Dr. Watson. “Ah, good morning, Watson” said Holmes adding “don’t you find it a bit warm to be wearing your red flannel underwear”? Astonished at this stroke of genius by Holmes, Watson asked “how on earth did you guess I was wearing my red flannel underwear”? Holmes typically replied “Elementary, my dear Watson, you forgot to put your pants on”. Elementary, dear HT, your red underwear is showing, because you were caught with your pants down.  

25 comments:

  1. EVERYTHING HAS PRICE. JUST BELOW YOUR BLOG OLX.IN AD SAYS, SAB KUCHH BIKTA HAI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haan toh Adblock plus use kar. Kuch nahi aagey bikega but that is in terms of Internet. What about our media is there any plug in for our media like Adblock plus which can actually block all the paid news and just provide real unbiased news?

      Delete
    2. I am sorry but your comment is in poor taste. If everything is up for sale, why bother at all? I am glad many people still believe there are good people out there who are not for sale.

      Not related to this blog but google ads are dynamic. It remembers your IP+Username and shows you adds that you prefer.

      Delete
  2. This article about HT Guilt in paid news has to be seen in conjunction with other articles of Ravinar highlighting the unholy trinity of HT, NDTV and CNN-IBN most exemplified by in the article about HT Leadership summit. To recap - HT Invited Musharraf to pontificate to Indians - a man who is being derided in his own country. Head of an army that failed to honour its dead, HT invited him to teach leadership to Indians and as Ravinar correctly pointed out in his blogpost on tax-payer's money. There have been lot of red faces in Media recently, a lot of Mr Redacteds (Indian Express Blinks). Now it seems a lot of Red Underwears are about to be shown

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  3. This article about HT Guilt in paid news has to be seen in conjunction with other articles of Ravinar highlighting the unholy trinity of HT, NDTV and CNN-IBN most exemplified by in the article about HT Leadership summit. To recap - HT Invited Musharraf to pontificate to Indians - a man who is being derided in his own country. Head of an army that failed to honour its dead, HT invited him to teach leadership to Indians and as Ravinar correctly pointed out in his blogpost on tax-payer's money. There have been lot of red faces in Media recently, a lot of Mr Redacteds (Indian Express Blinks). Now it seems a lot of Red Underwears are about to be shown - gkundra

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  4. "2010: The Year MSM Got Flushed Down The TOI(Let)" This is a 2010 blog post from you. And now contrast with reality. MSM is still the king. SM is the occasional robinhood abutting the kingdom. How do we reverse this

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    1. Even this paidnews case relates to 2010. MSM has been flushed down but that doesnt mean they were to totally disappear. They now stink like a dirty toilet and the only trustworty place is social media.

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    2. Well I think the shame is noone takes MSM seriously, and worse no one takes news provided by MSM as an authentic source.

      Even international/foreign journalists have labelled this media outlets full of trivial issues mixed with cricket razz matz and bollywood masala news. The hopeless state of India news media supported by the pathetic Press Council of India.

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  5. I wish you had pulled down the Red Underwear too. Or was it a Panty?

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  6. Ha Ha Ha . I guess you wanna see the square peg in a round hole.

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  7. Ha,it is not you and I that discovered # Paidnews ..Media itself accepted the fact.

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  8. We are really proud to have such real news from you @mediacrooks .Take a bow. We do not need to read the fake news from the likes of HT or listen to the crap of @ndtv @ibnlive or @timesnow
    Nation needs real Journos ,not the fake ones people listen to everyday and think they are real!!!

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  9. This is what I have been telling my friends that most of the NewsPapers and T.V.Channels are biased and paid by the ruling party and a area of Propaganda for the the Congress. Anyone can with his little Intelligence and Logic can see / read that How Time and space these people give it congress representative who again will not talk any sense except attack you personally. How Media saved Sanjay Dutt, who was involved in bomb blast. First of all government is wasting our tax payers money for their advertisments and why should people waste their money by buying all these biased newspapers and news Channels. I have written earlier also that stopped buying and watching all the Newspaper and T.V.Channels who actually they are promoting Criminals why to waste your money to read stupid news. Infact people should stop buying the Products they advertised on the Channels and news papers. Like never watch these Khans Movies, Amitabh Bachans Movies after 1984 riots. I don't watch these T.V. Channels news don't read news paper.All the T. V. Channels and News Paper how they are promoting Rahul Gandhi there only agenda eversince 1947 been whatever good is done its done by the Family and others are responsible for the any Mess created in the country. Why there is no Mention of Sardar Patel and Narsimha Rao in congress chintan shivir one who merged 564 princely states in India and the one which was taken care by Nehru is still a Lumpen in Indias belly and another one who took India out of economic mess and the first state from India which was aceeded Punjab was saved by him. More no one had the guts like Sardar Patel to Question the Miniority communities Loyalities towards India.

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  10. these guys (jurnos) are much like the politicians when it comes to teflon coating. time and again they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar but they neither accept their mistakes nor make any effort to rectify themselves. shameful and disgraceful are people who are not loyal to their profession.

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  11. how times of india manages without getting caught ever?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/Uni-ball-Pens-manufactured-by-Mitsubishi-Pencil-Co-Japan-and-marketed-in-India-exclusively-by-Linc-Pen-Plastics-has-signed-Bollywood-actor-Katrina-Kaif-as-their-brand-ambassador-This-is-the-first-time-that-Uniball-has-opted-for-a-celebrity-brand-ambassador-to-endorse-its-products/articleshow/7501802.cms?

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  12. Ravi here is a sexual assault video filmed during Tahrir square protests in Egypt. This is secular Muslim brotherhood for Barkha and gang.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9c8_1359802463

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  13. Here is the Congress propagandist Nilam Dutta (who proclaimed no illegal Banglas in Assam) being arrested fraud, robbery, cheques bouncing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-W2Ho0miCEw

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  14. Dear Ravinar,

    A truly entertaining article. Not just that you brought out the hideous paid news syndrome again out in open but also re-produced the PCI, EC reports & P.Sainath's comments in this regards to prove the shamelessness of the MSM. Kudos Braveheart.

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  15. A NEWS channel which shows Infomercial at midnight....A REAL NEWS CHANNEL.

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  16. Dear Ravinar

    This is how MSM gave positive spin to the RG's brilliant performance
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/youth-should-ask-what-it-can-do-for-the-nation-rahul-gandhi/369645-3.html
    http://m.firstpost.com/india/dont-us-politicians-ask-yourselfyou-can-do-for-india-rahul-606481.html
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/youth-should-ask-what-it-can-do-for-the-nation-rahul/1066718/

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. All this while, I was thinking that only I had the notion that much of Indian media is corrupted. Glad that I am not alone.
    Awesome article!!!!

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  19. I used to read both DNA and Hindustan Times whenever I got a chance, only because I don't support Times of India at all. After reading your blog, I have stopped reading Hindustan Times completely. However, you haven't spoken much about Daily News and Analysis, a.k.a. DNA. Somehow, I feel that is the best of the worst in the whole market. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete

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