A long time ago, around the mid-1990s there was a war between two toothpaste brands. It started with Pepsodent claiming it was 102% better on fighting germs than the market leader. That market leader was obviously Colgate. Some of the Pepsodent ads targeting Colgate negatively lip-synced a kid stating he was using Colgate. The matter ended up in the courts and nobody really bothered what happened after (Read here). But the Pepsodent guys had got their message out for a good few months by the time they pulled their ads. All this over a couple of toothpaste brands. What the story doesn’t tell us is dental care may not have much to do with toothpastes. Maybe the brush actually does more but even that may not be entirely true. For some time now Root-Canal treatment has been popular to fix teeth that are beyond fillings and minor repairs. But what is not commonly known is that even the Root-Canal treatment has been found inadequate not by common Dentists but by a former head of the Root-Canal department of Dentistry. Read these about Dr.Weston A Price and the article “The Root Canal Cover-up” by another specialist, Dr. George Meinig. You will be surprised with what you discover.
Dr. Price’s research states somewhere that tribals in Africa who never used toothpastes or toothbrushes in their life never experienced so many dental problems. And here we are, fighting over toothpastes. An online friend of mine, when asked about root canal, jokingly said the Dentist principle was: “Drill, pull, fill and bill… Lucky if you don’t kill”. Most of us accept the root canal treatment without thinking twice. We trust dentists the same way many still trust newspapers. But doctors mostly maintain a code of ethics while newspapers and the media in general don’t. Even the ethics codes they do have are often flouted. So lately a newspaper that cries itself hoarse over “Journalism of courage” and is challenged on this blog and also in the MSM, it cries “Defamation”. Typical of media isn’t it? Well, if you told your Dentist “root canal is a load of rubbish” imagine the reaction. (Don’t try it though because the doc intends no harm). That’s the response that one gets from media when someone calls their load of rubbish. And I can’t be sure that the media only intends “good” like the doc.
Just as Dr. Price’s research report on root-canal of early 20th century was “buried” for many years, some truths about media may take longer to uncover. Dr. Meinig exposed the root-canal cover-up only in 1994. So the Indian Express was chasing Google to knock off some of my posts because it had harsh criticism of the newspaper and Mr (Redact). So I get a mail from Google summarising with the following line: Two blogposts “are in violation of the terms of a court order passed in a matter brought by the Indian Express against our company”. So this is not new, as we shall see. The IE has done it long before.
Now, that order is not in connection with this blog but in some other connection and apparently IE had an agreement with Google in 2008 (When this blog didn’t exist) to pull content that “contains defamatory towards, contains illegal hate mail about Mr (redacted)”. Since the name has been redacted it’s hard to tell who that Mr is, isn’t it?
For the record, MediaCrooks (MC) is not in the business of “manufacturing news” or reporting news. MC just analyses and assesses reports from a different angle that our regular media may not do. The site only dissects their spins, distortions and deceptions. So what exactly was the problem for the Indian Express or its editors? You see, their problem is that this site had commented on their “Raisina Hill Army Movement” article of April 2012. I had reproduced certain quotes and media content about the article and Mr (Redact) which IE and its editors find “defamatory”. Hmm! Maybe the editors and IE as news reporters themselves have forgotten that quoting news reports for the purpose of analysis does not constitute defamation unless the publication of such quotes is specifically prohibited by a court. The “root” cause of this heartburn at IE is comments made by Vinod Mehta (of Outlook) in an issue of the Open Magazine. IE & others have filed a 500 Cr defamation case against Mehta and others for rubbishing the “Raisina Hill” article. But the article still exists online as anyone can see, which means no court has ordered the article to be taken down. Read “The Mother of all mistakes” at Open Magazine and also an analysis at MXM “Apology + Rs 500cr: Is Indian Express right in sending Open a legal notice”? If there was indeed a court order prohibiting the mention or analysis of the Raisina Hill blooper I doubt these pages would still be online.
That apart, the IE notice to Google also objects to certain tweets by Mr. (Redacted – Not of IE) and reproduced on this site for supporting the arguments of the related posts. Those are very damning tweets. Somewhere in the notice to Google, IE claims Mr (Redacted – Not of IE) has apologised for the tweet. As far as I know if there was any apology, no tweet relating to that particular issue was removed and still exists on Twitter. A screen shot of that tweet taken on January 31 is retained by me for records. So the apology bit is another load of rubbish unless it was privately whispered into the ears of Mr. (Should I say Redacted? Haha!) And then Mr. (Redacted) complains about credibility. Let’s see!
I have another post on “Indian Express” which asks why DAVP/GOI issues so many ads to IE. It doesn’t seem logical considering that the newspaper is behind other leaders of English newspaper business. That was written on the basis of actual ads seen in one of their editions. It doesn’t stop there. Newslaundry’s Anand Ranganathan explains the inexplicable favour of DAVP ads to IE in much greater depth in the article “Journalism of chicanery”. Here are quotes from that article:
“Indian Express, that had been trailing a poor third all this while (with a circulation figure 20 times less than ToI), manages to trump even the mighty Times of India! Circulation numbers be damned. Indeed, even HT spoils the ToI show. I wonder if Mr Jain has thought of commissioning PWC to crunch these numbers – a few dozen law suits might start to roll Mr Manish Tewari’s way…. Indian Express, despite having a circulation figure 20 times less than The Times of India, has earned the highest.”
I guess all these preferential ads for IE are pouring in for their “Journalism of courage”. What about IE’s complain about damaged credibility? Well, it looks like our media has for long enjoyed the privilege of damning, ridiculing and rubbishing anyone and any entity without anybody questioning them. If Mr. Redacted cared to hear (which I doubt) about the perceptions people now carry about IE then he would quit by accepting responsibility. Now that that the Social Media has started lampooning them and questioning them, they are starting to cry defamation. Aha! And this isn’t the first time we are seeing this wailing by media, are we? A tweet from January 31 from shows what an observer thinks. I can produce thousand more such tweets. How many will you sue Mr. Redacted?
The notices being to Google I have altered one of my posts and will be reworking another one. This blog is hosted on Google and I see no sense in taking up a confrontation with them. IE has reacted like Colgate has. Mr. Redacted too will realise root-canal is not a substitute for quality nutrition. Many had often asked if these guys read MediaCrooks. Well, I’m sure that answers a lot of questions. Not only Mr. Redacted but a lot of our media celebs read too and I have no doubts that it frustrates and irritates them. Actually, the better choice would be read and show visible improvement but that is a tougher choice to make than issuing legal notices.
Pepsodent pulled its ads after Colgate issued legal notices and went to court. Well, marketing gurus know the trick. Regardless of what Colgate did, Pepsodent got out its message of 102% better. In a contest between toothpastes there is nothing that can really establish the truth. Truth has far lesser chance with our media. The message of Raisina Hill and other bloopers are out across the country. The message has reached Mr. Redacted. Indian Express just BLINKED!
Note: The Root-Canal & toothpaste observations/analogies are made based on published papers but should not be construed as dental advice from this blog in any manner whatsoever. Your Dentist is the best judge and advisor.