Is there any truth to Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations about Paid Media?

All the channels have been outraged or are at least pretending to be outraged over what Arvind Kejriwal said. They contend that Kejriwal has threatened to send all journalists to jail. Here is the video.

In the video he says “Agar Hamari Kabhi Bhi Sarkar Bani To Hum Iski Jhaanch Karwayenge Aur Media Valo Samet Sab Ko Jail Bheja Jayega”. Now he says this after alleging that some media has been paid to give all positive coverage to Narendra Modi. Now he does mention “Jhaanch Karwayenge” which all the media channels seem to be very conveniently ignoring. It means we will have it investigated. And what does that imply? It means that those who have been found guilty by that investigation will be sent to jail including people from media. Now what is so wrong with that statement? Are they implying that they have blanket immunity and that they should not be investigated at all? If some media channel is found to be taking money from some politician/party and providing only made up positive coverage and no negative coverage for him and his party while doing the opposite for others then should they not be punished? If someone says that we will have this investigated then why is all of the media worried? If they have not done anything wrong why should they be worried at all?

Now Is there any truth to Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations about Paid Media? Or is this just some publicity stunt as his critics say?

Watch this reverse sting where Zee News head Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business head Samir Ahluwalia can be seen blackmailing and trying to extort Rs 100 crore from Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) for not airing negative news against the firm in connection with the coal block allocation scam. When something like this happens one would expect that Zee News will fire these two but Sudhir Chaudhary who is on bail is still with Zee News and Zee News filed a defamation case instead. “Police registered a fresh case of forgery against Mr Chaudhary for telecasting in October 2012 a show titled “Media ka sauda” and showing on screen what they claimed to be a part of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report but were found to be forged.” Link And he is on twitter link pretending to be honest and tweeting against Arvind Kejriwal.

Watch this documentary The Open Frame

And lastly according to this PRESS COUNCIL Sub-Committee Report

“The phenomenon of ―paid news goes beyond the corruption of individual journalists and media companies. It has become pervasive, structured and highly organized and in the process, is undermining democracy in India.”

“The entire operation is clandestine. This malpractice has become widespread and now cuts across newspapers and television channels, small and large, in different languages and located in various parts of the country. What is worse, these illegal operations have become ―organized and involve advertising agencies and public relations firms, besides journalists, managers and owners of media companies. Marketing executives use the services of journalists willingly or otherwise to gain access to political personalities. So called rate cards or packages are distributed that often include rates for publication of news items that not merely praise particular candidates but also criticize their political opponents. Candidates who do not go along with such extortionist practices on the part of media organizations are denied coverage.”

“When confronted with circumstantial evidence that substantiate allegations of paid news, the standard reaction of individuals and representatives of media organizations accused of corrupt practices is to pretend that nothing untoward has happened since the evidence is circumstantial in nature. The typical response of representatives of political parties as well as media organizations who have been named and against whom specific allegations of corruption have been levelled, is to flatly deny these allegations.”

The report itself has Dr Madabhushi Sridhar, Professor, National Academy of Legal Studies and Research say this about media “Initiation of proceedings for prosecution against media personnel and media companies could prove to be more effective than the Press Council of India issuing strictures and admonishments against errant media personnel and giving these wide publicity, Dr Sridhar opines.”


  1. aryan 9 years ago

    Arvind’s allegations are correct most of the TV Channels has become paid Media and Zee news is against AAP all the time they show negative news against AAP.

  2. yakuza 9 years ago

    Mahatama Gandhi statement about media in 1947 ..

    “कोई कितना भी चिल्लाता रहे अख़बार वाले सुधरते नहीं । लोगों को भड़काकर इस प्रकार अख़बार की बिक्री बढ़ाकर कमाई करना, यह पापी तरीक़ा अख़बार वालों का है । ऐसी झूठी बातों से पन्ना भरने की अपेक्षा अख़बार बंद हो जायें या संपादक ऐसे काम करने के बजाय पेट भरने का कोई और धंधा खोज लें तो अच्छा है । ”
    12.2.1947- महात्मा गांधी( सौजन्य: वरिष्ठ पत्रकार श्रीकांत)”

  3. Bored 9 years ago

    Thanks for putting this up. Very detailed and informative.

  4. Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

    Great post.


  5. Ipman 9 years ago

    a separate post for defending kejriwals comments on media. sputnik seems to be paid by AAP 😉

    • Author
      sputnik 9 years ago

      Ha Ha. I could have added these as comments under that other thread but did not want them to get buried under other comments. That Zee Jindal sting which I had not seen before and the documentary and the Press Council report deserved a new post.

      This post can be used to post examples of biased/paid reporting and the other one the usual political stuff.


      @bored and @ritz,

      You are welcome.

      • Ipman 9 years ago

        yes i know. i was kidding. kejriwal usually uses his words carefully. i would not have a problem with his comment even if he said the whole media is corrupt. its the truth. they all have indulged in paid PR activity at any point of time

  6. narad_muni 9 years ago

    Tanqeed is acting like paid media of AAP.
    Kejri is as cunning as any other politician…his double-speaking is now known to everyone.
    When Media was going gung-ho abt him n AAP a couple of months back, why dint he make any allegations? Sore Loser!
    I want him to contest against Modi…n lose his deposit 😀

  7. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Why overreact to Kejriwal’s criticism, ask journalists

    Eminent journalists on Saturday questioned the media reaction to criticism by the Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal. Of the view that the media should be open to criticism that is “legitimate and long overdue,” Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. and publisher of The Hindu N. Ram said: “the hype and overreaction makes us look like a laughing stock.”

    He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘The State of the Media Today’ after the release of journalist Sashi Kumar’s book Unmediate: Essays on Media, Culture, Cinema here.

    Echoing similar views, Mr. Kumar said when Mr. Kejriwal criticises the media, he does so with the knowledge that there is antagonism within the public towards the media.

    “Unfortunately when people outside the media criticise us, we have a very thin skin,”’ Mr. Ram said, identifying hyper-commercialisation and trivialisation as some of the ills plaguing the media, apart from the rogue tendencies that Mr. Kejriwal spoke about. Stating that it was time to look at the vices that have crept into journalism and not just celebrate the growth of the media, Mr. Ram wondered whether the phenomenon of “paid news” was confined to election season.

    Maintaining that everything had become “momentous and momentary” for the media without any contextualisation, National Affairs Editor of The Telegraph Manini Chatterjee questioned the latest trend of television channels using feed provided by the BJP and the Congress of their rallies without sending correspondents to the field.

    “If Mamata Banerjee had provided that kind of feed to channels of her Delhi rally, people would not have known that only 2,000 people turned up,” she said dwelling on the way the media was manufacturing a “reality”’ and then using it to generate a discourse.

    Mr. Kumar lamented that objectivity appeared to have become redundant in journalism; “subjectivity is masquerading as objective.” While TRPs were driving the visual media, the print medium was allowing television to set the agenda, he added. This phenomenon was summed up by economist Prabhat Patnaik as “tyranny of the discourse.”

    With the panellists painting a bleak picture of the media, members of the audience questioned their failure to provide solutions and pointed out that self-regulation had obviously failed. “We are being told nothing has happened in 60 years in this country. Whole past has been demolished,” pointed out Dinesh Mohan of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, wondering why newspapers and magazines were not challenging the lies peddled by some media houses.

    Replying to the point made by an oncologist about the absence of solutions, Mr. Ram said: “There is no easy solution, any more than we have for curing cancer.” Calling for professionalism and codification of values and practices, he conceded that self-regulation was not working within the visual media. The Press Council was not only a toothless body but was also infested with representatives from the newspaper industry. “There is a need to have something radically different.”


  8. Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

    • Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

      Abb Modi ki fatt gayi.

      Kejriwal has nothing to lose. If he loses against Modi, the face of AAP will change – it will be a good change as AAP is about thinking than a face.

      And if Kejriwal wins – hahaha, abb kya batau – feku ka kya hoga.

  9. Bored 9 years ago

    @Sputnik – Do I hv posting rights to publish my own write-up @ TQ?

  10. 9 years ago

    “feku ka kya hoga ??” –

    Anjanpur685Miles – Feku ka kuch naheen hoga. Joothe aur besharmo ka kuch naheen hota. Liars will remain liars. 5 saal baad phir hanste hue aa jayenge >

  11. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Broadcasters’ body threatens to black out AAP

    News Broadcasters Association on Sunday expressed shock over AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s “unsubstantiated” charges against the electronic media and warned that if he and his associates do not exercise caution the members of the body will be forced to reconsider coverage of the activities of the party.

    A statement here said, NBA is shocked to note the “unverified and objectionable statements” being made by Kejriwal and his supporters regarding the electronic media and accusing it of being “paid” by political parties to drive their agenda during the Lok Sabha elections.

    NBA reminded Kejriwal and his associates that the electronic media is independent and discharging its responsibilities in a fair, transparent and balanced manner and asked the AAP not to hurl “unsubstantiated and unverified charges” on the electronic media.

    The release, undersigned by secretary general Annie Joseph, said NBA requests the convenor of AAP to “immediately refrain” from making such preposterous allegations failing which NBA members would be forced to reconsider coverage of the activities of the AAP.

    The NBA is a private body representing the private television news and current affairs broadcasters.


  12. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Interviewer admits with Arvind that Ambani has invested in their channel and that they have taken a loan from him.

    • Ipman 9 years ago

      LOL.kejriwal has raped the interviewer hollow. he got irriated and restless because he knows kejriwal is right about congress, bjp and ambani.he is saying “aapka samay ho gaya” wtf is that. first time i am seeing an interviewer not allowing the interviewee to speak, usually a journalist silences or irritates a politician with his questions, here its the reverse. that idiot got outraged and tried to challgne him to re-air the clip where kerjiwal made comment about media. later he retracted from it saying kejriwal is right. Hahaha.from his reaction alone it is proved that this channel is sold out to chor ambani.

      • Bored 9 years ago

        The point that Kejriwal raised is that media shud not spread propagandist news without verifying it. Its a valid point and there shud be accountability for what media reports.

        But if u call a thief as a thief, it invariably invokes insane anger from them.

        The problem is just not with the media. Most of the public dont care abt ‘knowing the truth’ before forming their misinformed or uninformed opinions. Its basically the culture – laziness all around, combined with lack of ethics from many.

  13. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Read this article from FirstBiz. Its about how EC’s decision to defer the hike is wrong and then right down at the bottom they have a disclosure in italics which many will not read.

    “(Disclosure: Firstpost and Firstbiz are published by Network18, whose promoters have received funding from the Reliance Group which benefits from the new gas pricing regime.)”

    Gas pricing: Why the Election Commission’s decision to defer hike is wrong

  14. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Read these tweets of Dr. Manish Kumar who is the Editor Coordination of newspaper Chauthi Duniya.

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Kejriwal is talking like a Madaari..”ye Bhagwan ka Chamatkar hai, ye Allah ka karishma hai, ye Wahe guru ki kripa hai”

    “EX AAP MLA Binni exposes Kejri,Says AAP hired 22Buses 4 Varanasi fm same Travel Agency involved in Nirbhaya Gang Rape”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Khujliwal stops his speech as soon as he heard an Ajaan from near by Masjid. Time to take a break for TV Channels.”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Once again this Natwarlal is trying to fool the people by giving a fake bank Account no of Ambanis without Bank’s name.”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Mr.Kejriwal will u ever answer the questions people have asked about u and ur party? People r fad up with ur nonsense.”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Kejriwal’s speech is like a “Sadak-chhap Neta” who neither has any vision nor any policy to offer to people.”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Kejri is talking more abt Modi’s future policies which Modi has not talked about. He is a pathological liar. disgusting”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally:Kejri says he came to Varanasi to tell the truth abt Gujrat.But, where r the people of Kashi. Its just Aaptards on ground”

    “AP Varanasi Rally: Natwarlal Again bashing Media. He sh know that If media stops showing Him, he will be a reduced to a smalltime MLA.”

    “AAP’s Flopshow in Kashi”

    “Yes Aajtak is also saying it’s a flopshow”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Abt 10 thousand Ppl r in the ground.Most of them are AAP workers&supporters from outside Varanasi ”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: The Ground is surrounded by muslim-dominated area. If the Ground is empty, it means that muslims r with Mukhtar, NOT AAP”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: The Schedule time was 2 PM. But, its being delayed bcos people r not there on the ground. Some buses are still to arrive”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: Abt 1000 ppl present on the ground(mostly outsiders) look at empty chairs welcoming Natwarlal”

    “AAP Varanasi Rally: around1000 ppl r present (mostly outsiders)in the Ground that can occupy max 25 thousands. Out of 4K chairs 3k r empty.”

    • hithere 9 years ago

      I think he should have chosen one of the urban constituency. Here he has no chance kind of scenario until all other parties support him. I would have preferred him to fight Modi from Vadodara because he went there on 4 day trip and claimed nothing much has been done. So morally it would have been right thing to do.

      • Author
        sputnik 9 years ago

        Modi used to bash Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and if he is against Congress why is he not contesting from Amethi or Rae Bareilly?

        I don’t know how much chance Arvind has in Varanasi but I don’t think he had any chance in Vadodara. I don’t think Gujaratis were voting for Modi on development and I don’t think the many people who are supporting Modi will vote for him on development either. If Arvind Kejriwal contested from Vadodara then Modi would have played the outsider denigrating Gujarat’s development card just like he did it in 2002 elections with the Gaurav Yatra.

        • hithere 9 years ago

          Then there is no point in contesting from Varanasi? It has more symbolism than anything. No other leader is claiming to fight just because they are criticizing unlike Kejriwal.

          But if he stood against him in Vadodara, he could have gained strategically that he went into den and it would created polarization in favor of AAP even if he lost.

          • Author
            sputnik 9 years ago

            When Arvind was contesting against Sheila Dixit people said the same thing and we all know what happened.

            There was so much chaos and negative media in the 4 day visit and one can only imagine what would have happened if he was contesting from Vadodara.

            If Modi was only contesting from Vadodara he would have “went into den” but since he is contesting from two he obviously will choose the one from where he has more chance of winning.

        • Bored 9 years ago

          Yeah, after mocking Shehezada in every other speech, Modi cud have at least chosen to stand up against him?

          If he did so then we cud have had Modi, Rahul n Arvind contesting same seat (Arvind said he will take on Modi if ‘Har Har’ dared to contest outside Guj). But NO, vote-bank politics and symbolism is more imp to Hindtuva fundamentalists and Modi had to contest from Varanasai (inspite of internal resistance and infighting)!

          Says a lot abt Modi/BJP, doesnt it ???

      • Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

        Even I think he should have done better if he stood in an urban constituency. But thats not the point. Modi and BJP should be worried now.
        Vadodara was no chance for him. Modi would have destroyed him as he is an outsider. Here in Kashi, I think there is anger against BJP but just because of Modi wave ppl are supporting BJP. I hope AAP gathers more support in coming days. Their main strength being connect with people. (I also think AAP has best orators like Kumar Vishwas which *may* connect better than MOdi/BJP in Kashi)

        • hithere 9 years ago

          I want him in parliament 🙂

          • Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

            I had mentioned women supporting BJP for stability and that could be a deciding factor.

            But another factor is never ever I have seen youth being so interested in elections and wanting a change / voicing their opinion / participating in the process.

          • Bored 9 years ago

            Arvind isnt contesting to ‘enter’ LS and become another ‘Brown Sahib’ like Modi or anyone else. And he can split more BJP votes anywhere outside Gujarat than inside. Modi is banking on strong ‘Hindutva’ undercurrent of Varanasi to win this seat – so some sort of symbolism is at play here for ‘Har Har Modi’.

            We dont need Kejriwal inside Parliament to keep any ‘Har Har’ guy in check. He is equally dangerous from outside (ask Ambani if u hv doubts).

            India needs Arvind back as Delhi CM (with majority govt) for next 5 yrs to bring in the change many are demanding. He is one who can actually ‘change’ the system/establishment, unlike Modi’s PR con-jobs in the name of ‘development’.

  15. Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

    One of the most weird comment on twitter (yes, I am active there in recent days) was something like:

    “In varanasi people dont even touch eggs. So attack on Kejri with eggs shows they were outsiders who did this.”

    Kuch bhi.

  16. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    May not be an example of paid media but posting here because media is involved. AAP Party leader Teena Sharma slapping AAP Party Spokesman Ejaz Khan. Comments please on both of them and the anchor.

    Some more info here.

    AAP member Teena Sharma slaps party supporter live on TV, says he deserved two
    India Today Online New Delhi, February 21, 2014 | UPDATED 09:23 IST

    Responding to her slapping Aam Aadmi Party spokesman Ejaz Khan during a live TV debate, party leader Teena Sharma has said she has no regret about her action as Khan was misbehaving with her.

    The shocking moment came when the news anchor asked Khan to apologise to Sharma following a heated exchange between the two. On Khan’s refusal, Sharma reached out and slapped him.

    When the Aaj Tak web team called up the AAP leader, Sharma said, “Khan has earned this slap. He instigated me to take this extreme step. He deserved two, not one slap.”

    Detailing on how Khan instigated her, Sharma said, “Khan was misbehaving with me throughout the live TV debate. He called me mentally ill, shameless and cheap. Khan also said that I was greedy for a party ticket.”

    Sharma said that the other panelists during the debate were also disapproving of Khan’s ways. “He was blacked out during the debate and the anchor asked him to apologise to me,” said Sharma.

    The AAP leader said, “The show anchor told Khan that the debate would continue only if he apologised. Nonetheless, Khan refused to apologise and continued misbehaving with me. I did not have an answer to the kind of language Khan was using.”

    Sharma said, “I had no other option left than slapping him. I do not regret that.”

    The panel was discussing the topic ‘Does Arvind Kejriwal also indulge in caste politics?’ when the shocking incident occurred.

    The shocking video, which has already got about 4,000 hits, was uploaded by YouTube user Madan Mohan Tiwari.

    It is noteworthy that Sharma, a former BJP member, had quit the saffron party to join AAP but was soon seen siding with rebel party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny.


    • Ipman 9 years ago

      why are there two spokesperson for AAP and only one from bjp and Congress?

      • Author
        sputnik 9 years ago

        I think she had already left AAP by then or was at least accusing AAP of issuing tickets wrongly. I had edited my comment to say ex-AAP leader Teena Sharma. The last line in my comment above may explain it.

        “It is noteworthy that Sharma, a former BJP member, had quit the saffron party to join AAP but was soon seen siding with rebel party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny.”

        • Ipman 9 years ago

          but in the video it says “Teena sharma, sadasya, AAP”

          • Author
            sputnik 9 years ago

            Ok I edited my comment and removed “ex” 🙂

            I think she rebelled against AAP just like the MLA Binny. That’s why they got two people from AAP.

          • Ipman 9 years ago

            she seems to be a stuntwoman. was a bjp member, left it to join aap and take panga with it and then left that party to. she will probably go back to bjp

          • Ipman 9 years ago

            that mla is ex congress member. aap should do away with these ex-es . they are all the same drama queens. take some real people with real work

  17. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Look at the headline of the video – “Did AAP lose the plot?” and the anchor keeps making it sound as if AAP/Arvind screwed it up. Also look at the negative AAP headlines/questions that keep popping up on the screen.

  18. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    The Great Indian Media Circus – Spoof on how media blows tiny issues out of proportion and how that leads to an unstoppable, ridiculous chain reaction.

  19. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Shereen Bhan interviewing Satish Jain in her fake accent. Satish Jain is an IIM Bangalore graduate who is AAP’s Candidate From North Mumbai. I thought she was born or brought up abroad but turns out that its not the case.

  20. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rahul Kanwal was very concerned about Somnath Bharti spamming years ago. Lets see if he does a show on official BJP Account spamming on twitter.

    India’s next ruling party is also one of the world’s worst Twitter spammers

  21. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Raj Thackeray pwns Arnab

    Frankly Speaking with Raj Thackeray – Full Interview

    • spuntik – i dont think raj pwned arnab. its the other way round. his questions made raj uncomfortable and he had no answers to them . he lost his cool and at one point he threatened to remove the mic LOL. arnab maintained his cool throughout and kept throwing the stingy questions at him

      • Author
        sputnik 9 years ago

        What cool? He looked scared and was taking permission to ask a question. He was buttering him with lines like people consider him a mature politician. Look at how he talks here and compare it to how he screams and yells in News Hour.

        I don’t like Raj but Arnab was asking the same question a thousand times and Raj was admonishing him with lines like “Tum 10th se Montessori jaa rahe ho”. Arnab should have asked him some real questions instead of the same you said this or somebody said this questions so many times.

        • he was not scared. he intentionally was lionizing raj and buttering him so that he gets angry because he was clearly insulted by the bjp president. arnab wanted him to make some controversial statment on rajnath singh/modi/bjp. and raj’s stand that he “supports modi but not the nda/bjp” is pure retardedness. what does that even mean? arnab is totally right there

          he asked him some really good questions on the dissimilarities of modi and raj ideologies and raj had no answer to them. so he lost his cool and started blabbering like a kid threatening to remove the mic.

          • hithere 9 years ago

            RT was angry but he browbeats Arnab with brute force.

          • well that is all he can do.he is known for being a rowdy. but debates/arguments are won by logic and sense, not intimidation. when arnab shouts and intimidates people in news hour, it is he who loses the argument because he loses his cool. when you know you are right, you dont need to shout and force your opinion.

          • Author
            sputnik 9 years ago

            Yes Raj is known for being a rowdy and that’s why Arnab seemed scared or meek. Arnab behaves like a bully on his News Hour show but this time he ran into a bigger bully.

          • yes but the tactics employed to tackle raj was right. in the news hour, it is arnab who looks like a fool. here he came across as smart and cunning

  22. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rajdeep Sardesai Interview with Raj Thackeray. Questions are similar to Arnab’s interview and Raj even says don’t ask questions like Arnab 🙂

    Raj tells Rajdeep “Yeh Interview Hai Interrogation Nahin hai. Peeche Bait ke Mere Se Baat Karo. Interview mein Awaaz Uchi Nahi Hoti”. He corrects Rajdeep when he uses Bombay 😉

    Rajdeep asks him about him anti North Indian stand and says “Log Kahte Aap Bhaukte Hain” 😉

    • he is threatening sardesai all the time. “peeche ho ke baitho” “haath neeche karo”

    • as usual, nonsense talk. i think sardesai just wanted to have some fun 😉

      • aryan 9 years ago

        Rajdeep and Sagarika to resign as Reliance takes over Network 18

        Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl is likely to resign tomorrow.

        Celebrity TV journalists Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose are likely to resign from CNN-IBN by end of June, as Reliance Industries Ltd is taking over the channel’s holding company, Network 18. They are likely to go on leave from June 1 and resign by June 30, Network 18 officials told In between, they will sell to Reliance Industries their minority shares in the company.

        Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl is likely to resign tomorrow, May 30. He has no immediate investment or entrepreneurial plans in the media, these officials said. This will come after the exit earlier this week of three top executives at Network 18, Sai Kumar, Ajay Chacko and RDS Bawa.

        While Sardesai and Ghose have offers from other media houses, officials denied the rumours doing the rounds in the Delhi media for weeks that they were considering an offer from Focus TV. While Ghose is reliably learnt to be considering offers from other media organisations, Sardesai is considering taking a break for a year to write a book. The duo haven’t had it easy with the management of the channel recently. In February, had reported that the management had asked Ghose to not be critical of Narendra Modi, who was making an ambitious bid for the post of prime minister.

        Reliance Industries Ltd. today said in a press release (.pdf here) that they were putting in Rs. 4,000 crores (around $679 million) in Independent Media Trust for “acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd… including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited… ” In other words, Reliance Industries is effecting a management takeover of Network 18.

        “The acquisition will differentiate Reliance’s 4G business by providing a unique amalgamation at the intersect of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties,” the release said. “This suite includes,,,,,,; the broadcast channels include Colors, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz.”

        The announcement has left Network 18 employees in a state of uncertainty, sources say.

        The Independent Media Trust will use these funds to buy 78% stake in Network18 and 9% stake in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the Open Offers. IMT will make open offers simultaneously to public shareholders to acquire shares of Network18, TV18 and Infomedia Press Limited.

  23. after the “Bal Narendra” comics were rejected by even the kids, bjp has come up with another comics to “expose aap” aap is giving them some real nightmares i must say 😉

  24. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    First Post editor R. Jagannathan endorsing BJP for this election.

    Moderator on asking Muslims to vote for BJP and saying Muslims want to destabilize India.

    You can view all his comments here.

  25. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Indian Elections 2014 – Narendra Modi Vs. Rahul Gandhi from Last Week Tonight. John Oliver used to be one of the correspondents on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Watch from 6:30 to see the “Foxification” of Indian News and Arnab’s clips.

  26. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    This is cool stuff. Using tweets to reveal journalists slants and biases from Newslaundry. Click on each name and see how their tweets are pro/anti someone.

    Political Character in 140 Characters

  27. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    “an article on DNA titled “Mamata Banerjee calls Narendra Modi ‘butcher of Gujarat’; here are 9 myth busters on 2002 post-Godhra riots”. The article, according to the author, “proud Congress supporter” Shehzad Poonawalla, was essentially a nine-point listicle “busting nine myths” about Gujarat “perpetrated by Narendra Modi’s PR machinery”.

    The short piece, written in less than an hour according to Poonawala, is based on several findings by independent commissions and newspaper reports – most of them published in the mid-2000s, just after the riots in 2002. In terms of new and fresh facts, there is very little Poonawalla’s article brings to the table. Which is why it’s odd that it gathered as much traction as it did.

    But it did.

    The story, which was aggressively shared on social media by the usual suspects, however, didn’t survive to see the light of the next day. Clicking on the link of the article now leads to a blank page.

    Expectedly, India’s paragons of free speech raised a huge hue about the platform where all great minds meet – twitter. It was conspiracy theories galore.

    Newslaundry got in touch with the involved parties to get their side (whoever was willing to give one that is). In a telephonic interview with Newslaundry, Poonawala said, “Narendra Modi’s PR machinery took the article down since they’re uncomfortable that every point I made was backed with facts.” To Newslaundry’s enquiry if DNA intimated him before taking the article was taken down, he said, “I got in touch with them in the morning but I don’t grudge them since they are obliged to function within certain constraints and limitations. The person from DNA I was coordinating with for the story, did everything within his capacity to keep the article up but it was beyond him.” Poonawala, however, refused to divulge the name of the person he was in touch with from DNA since it would “compromise” him. He did send us an email though, where he gave a detailed version of his side of the story:

    Right to Free Speech “butchered” by Team Modi…

    Yesterday, I wrote a piece for the DNA (I regularly write for their online portal) called “Between Myths and Truths” that busted 9 myths being perpetrated by Mr Narendra Modi wrt 2002 riots. These 9 myth busters were not my opinions but statements of facts that were culled from institutional records like Supreme Court, NHRC report, etc. (see below) This article was posted at 1pm and within few hours it got over 1000 + shares on facebook, twitter and spread like wild fire, drawing reactions from Modi supporters and his opponents. Even the likes of Sidharth Vardarajan & Shashi Tharoor shared the piece and tweeted about it. DNA, as you can see, itself tweeted about the article three times since it was a Top Story!

    This morning , without notice, the article was forced to be pulled down. Now if you visit the link, it says “The requested page cannot be found”.

    I have been told that Narenda Modi’s team was so rattled that they instantly ordered the pulling down of the article. The article for the first time compiled the myth-busting answers to all of Mr Modi’s perpetrated falsehoods on Gujarat 2002 – how he failed to stop the rioting in 2-3 days as is claimed, how he communalised the air with his speeches, how his police acted in a partisan manner, how he applied for a US visa and was rejected one, how his government scuttled the process of law…

    All I can say, like I said in my piece, this is the defeat of Truth by Falsehoods and whenever Truth becomes a victim to falsehoods, there is just one, long sigh that reverberates in our collective conscience “Hey Ram”!

    Newslaundry’s multiple attempts to get in touch with Kunal Majumdar, Associate Editor (Digital) at Zee Media – who is responsible for DNA’s online content according to his Twitter bio – have proved futile. Majumdar didn’t respond to any of our multiple calls, tweets or email.

    The reaction of the third party involved in the episode, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), varied from person to person. Vineet Goenka, the co-convenor of the BJP’s IT Cell, refused to comment on the matter saying that he was not authorised to. He instead directed me to the party’s spokespersons, Nirmala Sitharaman and Meenakshi Lekhi. Sitharaman claimed ignorance and said, “I have come to Hyderabad to caste my vote – I’m not in the know of what transpired. Meenakshi Lekhi, who seems to be busy fire-fighting Modi’s selfie-gaffe, didn’t take our calls.

    The BJP though, in spite of all its social media-savviness, still appears to be ignorant of the Internet’s grammar. Anything that goes up on the internet stays on the internet. Any move to muzzle it only does the opposite. Here’s the link to a cached copy of the article, saved for posterity.
    Feel free to share it.

    The Article Vanishes

    Here is the article from webarchives.

    Mamata Banerjee calls Narendra Modi ‘butcher of Gujarat’; here are 9 mythbusters on 2002 post-Godhra riots

    • this is a great article. but isnt most of this already known to the ppl? yes the bjp fans will never see the facts. they have been trained to bark like a dog and shout “SIT,SIT” for anything against modi in 2002

  28. i dont understand the ridiculous outrage of bjp fans when modi is questioned of 2002 riots. they wil start barking why no one speaks on kashmir pandits. i want to know why they dont speak on kashmir pandits themselves? why to waste time and shamelessly defend modi for the killings of the ppl? if you are concerned about kahsmir pandts, talk about it all the time and make it a national topic just like liberals/muslims have made 2002 a national topic. accuse/abuse/thrash the killers of kashmir pandits but dont waste time defending murderers like modi.

    • hithere 9 years ago

      Attack is best form of defense. Sometimes your position is not tenable you shift the goalpost. It is true for Modi fans and it is true for Kejriwal fans.

      try this :

      • Chaalu-Chaiwaala 9 years ago

        Bullshit article. Author thinks Kejriwal should have played routine typical politics and stayed in power in Delhi and that his ideologies are not so common amongst munni-shiela generation (as he states). He/she is generalizing thinking that his thinking is what general public thinks.

        • Author
          sputnik 9 years ago

          Agree with you that it is a Bullshit article. I stopped reading after half of it. It is just a anti Kejriwal articled filled with BS anecdotes. Anybody can write a similar anti Modi article filled with BS anecdotes where people are abusing Modi too.

          If anyone is considered messiah it is Modi by Modi fans who are constantly chatting “Modi Modi” and incorporating Modi into religious slogans. For them Modi will come and wave his magic wand and develop India and fix every problem. Its another matter that he could not develop his own state Gujarat and all those claims are just PR.

          And I think a so called Bhagoda who resigns when he cannot pass a LokPal bill that he promised is better than a shameless politician who continued to be the CM despite accusations of being party to murder of thousands.

      • i think the writer is overeading everything about kejriwal. i dont think stepping down in 49 days was the right call by aap but the writer has gone overboard in his imagination.he seems paranoid about him hallucinating about the ‘hidden evils’ from his physique to his quitting delhi cm. it is almost bordering the level of retardedness to claims like he is CIA/pak agent

  29. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Opinion: AAP ahead? What is it looking like after May 16

    One of the defining issues of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is the enigma, hope, confusion and ambiguity, all at the same time centering around the 18-months old party Aam Aadmi Party, born out of the anti corruption movement led by Anna Hazare in Delhi.

    When AAP came out with flying colours in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections, winning in 28 seats and cornering one-third of the votes cast in Delhi, there was an immense surge of hope and possibility for the party across the nation. Lakhs of Indians become members of the party, online and offline. And as the Lok Sabha elections drew closer, thousands started applying for candidature to contest.

    However, first coming to power with the unsolicited support of Congress in Delhi, then leaving power in a huff when the AAP government failed to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi assembly due to the combined onslaught of BJP-Congress, the situation changed drastically.

    There were questions as to why a minority government was being formed in Delhi by AAP with just 28 MLAs in a house of 70, and that too with the support of Congress, which it just dislodged in Dec 4 elections.

    Then questions were raised as to why did AAP relinquish power in 49 days without taking the people into confidence and in a huff even if Congress and BJP were together to defeat its anti-corruption bill.

    Hence, when AAP put up 450+ candidates across India with less than 30 crores in hand as resources, the reactions ranged from a rare wow to a far common cynicism. The party leadership spoke of 100 winning seats while the media opinion polls gave from 3 to 9 seats, none touching the double digit too.

    As we are within the last fortnight of the long drawn nine phases, 45 days elections process, it might be interesting to look at what AAP can realize this time around and what could be its impact in near future.

    In spite of the popular media, print and electronic, focusing largely on the two major parties and allegations of paid media, not all untrue, flying thick across the electoral spectrum, many reports and pictures show that AAP has managed to put at least a million volunteers across the nation to work partially or full time in this period for the party in its first Lok Sabha battle. That is the first success of AAP apart from putting up 450+ candidates, not all coming clean on its own touchstone.

    As things stand on ground today, AAP is sure to cross 15% of votes cast in at least three states: Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, and is expected to cross 6% of votes in three more: Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and there could be a few other surprises too. That makes AAP a national party which by definition in People’s Representation Act should have at least 6% or more votes in at least four states of India. That is the second significant achievement of AAP.

    Next are the seats and the leaders who are expected to win. Even unkind opinion polls give at least 3 seats to AAP in Delhi and the most likely winners are ace historian Raj Mohan Gandhi, journalist Ashish Khetan and Dalit face Rakhi Birla. AAP would like to believe that journalists Jarnail Singh and Ashutosh are also likely to win.

    All media reports show an AAP swing in Punjab, and the likely winning seats are Chandigarh, Sangrur, Gurudaspur and Ludhiana. A few seats in Haryana, specially Faridabad and Karnal or even Hissar may throw surprises in favour of the party.

    In western India, Medha Patkar and Meera Sanyal in Mumbai, and Dr Kanu Kalsariya in Bhavnagar have given a strong fight. There seems to be a good contest delivered by P Uday Kumar in Kanyakumari and the first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary in Haridwar on behalf of AAP, though victory in any of these seats will not come easy. And in Bengaluru, former Infosys CFO Balakrishnan is the most possible winner, if any from Karnataka.

    Hence, forgetting extremes of 3 and 100, a safe informed guess could be 10-12 MPs of AAP going into the Lok Sabha post May 16, and that could have ace journalists, lawyers, social activists and social scientists, all of whom can impact the functioning of and debates within the Lok Sabha eminently. Even 10-12 MPs within 18 months of formation of the party should be considered a great leap forward. And it is futile to debate what could have been if Delhi mistakes were not done by the party of professionals and social workers, with no political experience.

    In every election around the world, a new first-timer party is likely to be evaluated low in opinion polls as neither the pollsters factor a new force in survey, nor do the voters come out vociferously in support of a newbie party though may participate in a silent revolution in its favour, as seen in the Delhi elections which proved all opinion polls wrong.

    A subdued victory of NDA, the most likely scenario, or a khichdi sarkar of the Third Front and Congress together, coupled with at least 4 MPs from Delhi, would catapult the party to gain prominence in Delhi again and be favourites for getting clear majority in the Delhi elections as no party is in a position now to govern Delhi with the current Assembly composition.

    There are elections in Haryana and Maharashtra within September 2014. An AAP surge in Delhi and Punjab in Lok Sabha and beyond will catapult the party to a strong position in Haryana and some position of significance in Maharashtra by the year end.

    The scenario above can be the best possible outcome of its efforts as AAP turns two years come October 2o14, and this itself should b enough. The way ahead for 2015 will come out from the womb of 2014 and its final scenario in politics.

    That AAP cannot be wished away as a national force is proven by the fact that a large number of educated clean professionals, social workers, RTI activists and scholars have come into electoral politics through the AAP route and will remain a force ahead.

    It is also proven by the real politics in the most talked about three seats of the country: Varanasi, Amethi and Rae Barelli.

    BJP puts powerful Smriti Irani in Amethi to break anti-Rahul votes, make him win and Kumar Viswas defeated when Kumar is close to giving real fight. BJP does not put up any strong candidate against Sonia in Rae Barelli where AAP fails to put up a strong candidate even after trying out with Shazia Ilmi and Justice Fakhruddin. Congress gives a return gift by putting strong local MLA Ajay Rai with Muslim, Kolis, Kurmis and rural support to break anti-Modi voters and make Kejriwal defeated and Modi win. It further ensured Muktar Ansari’s support for itself hoping for further polarization of Muslim votes. Interestingly, Muktar was defeated in the last general election in Varanasi by Murli Manohar Joshi of BJP by a mere 17,000 votes, while Ajay Rai came third with more than a lakh votes contesting then on SP ticket.

    This surely is the biggest electoral match fixing of 2014 between Ahmed Patel of Congress and Amit Shah of BJP, indeed!

    Nevertheless, irrespective of whether a gung-ho or subdued BJP comes to power or Third Front with Congress comes to power, a reasonably strong AAP contingent in Lok Sabha, national party status and presence of AAP across India, and it coming to power again in Delhi with increasing presence in Northern and Western India, are necessary as a quality control in Indian politics, keeping aloft the anti corruption banner, and bringing home focus on probity, transparency, opposition to crony capitalism and dynasty rule, et al. It is good for the Indian democracy by all means.


  30. Author
  31. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Paid News: the bills start coming in…

    So chalk one up for the Supreme Court.

    It has just told former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok “Adarsh” Chavan that yes, the Election Commission of India (ECI)can check if you’ve fudged your poll accounts. And that the ECI can disqualify any candidate found to have done so. Even him. The Supreme Court has also told the ECI to conclude its “hearings” into the now notorious ‘Paid News’ case and take a call on the charges against Chavan and others within 45 days. Not much has emerged, though, on the despicable role of the UPA government in colluding with Chavan to undermine the Election Commission.

    Ashok Chavan’s 2009 poll accounts are a joy to read. I found them inspirational when I first got hold of them years ago. I still do. Who else, during his election campaign, could have organised a Salman Khan rally for Rs. 4,440? And another Salman Khan meeting for even less, just Rs. 4,300. In each case, Rs. 1,500 was spent on the “loud speaker” or public address system. Another item read: “rent of the meeting place” – Rs. 500. ( I made a mental note to spend my retirement years in his assembly constituency of Bhokar in Nanded district. No cheaper place exists on earth.

    His frugality extended to media publicity. Chavan placed a mere six newspaper ads at a total cost of Rs. 5,379. The problem: there were 150 pages or more on Chavan in major newspapers. Full pages, many or most of them in colour. Not one of them carrying a single advertisement. Not one of them ever mentioning the name of his outgunned rival candidate Dr. Madhav Kinhalkar. But all of them, so the concerned newspapers insisted, were “news.” Not ads. Not paid for. Just their reading of his achievements and newsworthiness – after he had been Chief Minister of Maharashtra for all of 11 months.

    That was the core of what came to be known as the ‘Paid News’ scandal. Miles of newsprint, recording a veritable Ashoknama, claiming to be news (and therefore not included in anyone’s accounts). Had they been tagged as ads, they would have cost crores of rupees and Chavan would have violated the poll spending limit dozens of times over. (See: And also ( Dr. Kinhalkar complained to the ECI, which got quite interested in what was going on.

    True, The Supreme Court’s verdict does sound a bit of a no-brainer. Of course you’d think the Election Commission had the right to disqualify anyone who fudged his poll accounts. What’s an Election Commission for, if not to strive for purity in the polls? Mr. Chavan didn’t think so. He went to the court complaining that the ECI had no jurisdiction in the matter. All it could do, he argued, was to ensure the candidates submitted accounts. And that on time. The ECI had no business to check if his accounts were fraudulent.

    The Delhi High court to which Chavan went threw out his argument. At this point, the case was being fought by the indefatigable Dr. Kinhalkar and the ECI. The government of India indicated it was on the side of the angels. It would not undermine the ECI, a Constitutional body. Until Chavan went in appeal to the Supreme Court. In low stealth, the government filed a “counter-affidavit” in the apex court. In this, it argued that “the power of the Election Commission to disqualify a person arises only in the event of failure to lodge an account of expenses and not for any other reason, including the correctness or otherwise of such accounts.”.

    Translation: you can drown every column with zeroes so long as you filled them up and submitted the account on time. The ECI cannot disqualify you even if your accounts reek of fraud.

    Appalled by this, seven angry civil society bodies and three former chief election commissioners jumped into the fray. They impleaded themselves into the case.

    If the Supreme Court had accepted Chavan’s argument – that the ECI had no jurisdiction over a candidate’s account – it would mean this: that election expenditures in India are not subject to any scrutiny at all. The body with those powers does not exist. Chavan had argued that such powers lay only with the High Courts. But those are not set up or equipped to monitor elections.

    The Supreme Court did not accept it. It upheld the powers of the ECI to a) to verify the correctness of the candidate’s accounts and b) to order disqualification of candidates found guilty of fudging expenses. That would include the practice of ‘Paid News.’

    So what got trashed with this judgement was not just Ashok Chavan and some expensive lawyering. It was also the UPA government, so willing to undermine the Election Commission. Led by the same Congress party that had tried so desperately to shield Chavan and friends in the Adarsh case as well.

    Now it’s over to the ECI facing a deadline handed to them by the Supreme Court. And with good reason. It puts the brakes on endless lawyering. The ‘Paid News’ case dragged on in the Election Commission for nearly three years. Then for more than a year in the courts. Now it should wind up in a month and a half max.

    Actually, the ECI can wind it up in a week if it wishes to. It’s heard the arguments of both sides for years now. If it does decide to disqualify Chavan – and it’s hard to see it can do anything else – timing matters. It had already disqualified Umlesh Yadav, then sitting MLA from Bisauli in Uttar Pradesh. That was for failing to include a sum of just a few thousand rupees spent on ads, in her election accounts. ( Can we have a different ruling for one whose publicity ran to so many full pages? And, oh yes, Umlesh Yadav and former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda were fellow travellers in Chavan’s appeal in the Supreme Court. He goes, down, they do, too.

    But it’s complicated. Chavan has contested the 2014 elections to Parliament. He might even win. His 2009 win, now in question, was from the Bhokar seat in the Maharashtra assembly. His 2014 result will come before the ECI’s decision on him. If he wins in 2014 and is disqualified for 2009, will he step down? Morally, disqualification at any level should end the farce. But ‘morally’ is conspicuous by its absence in the process thus far.

    When the ‘Paid News’ scam hit the fan, the Press Council of India suo moto set up a sub-committee to probe the matter. The two-member panel of veteran journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and K. Sreenivas Reddy produced a devastating 72-page report on ‘Paid News.’ A brilliant piece of work. However, as Swami Beyondananda once said: “The truth shall set ye free – but first it will piss you off.”

    It did. Media industry reps on the Press Council hacked the guts out of the report. They formed a “full” drafting committee and slashed it to 12 pages. Why name names, they asked. And removed all the names of the papers that had been named and shamed. ( They did not even put up the original report on their website. That happened only when Justice Katju took over as the new chairman of the PCI. Meanwhile, Lokmat, Pudhari, the Maharashtra Times and Deshonnatti, all four newspapers told the ECI the charges of ‘Paid News’ were absurd. Those reams of Chavan hagiography were all news, they argued. And balanced and fair at that. (

    The Supreme Court has handed down a decision of immeasurable importance. A historic judgement that has real meaning for the democratic, electoral process. But the lessons from it are not for Ashok Chavan alone. If Chavan is to be punished, what about the media that made ‘Paid News’ possible? There are lessons for the political class, for parties that have unashamedly used money power at the polls. For the voting public, for a lax administration, for the Election Commission itself.

    But most of all, for a media that sold its soul as readily as it sold its space.


    • Chaalu-Chaiwaala 9 years ago

      bharat maata ki jai !!

      • Chaalu-Chaiwaala 9 years ago

        I wanted to support Prithviraj Chauhan and not Ashok – so I edited the comment. 🙂

  32. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Look at this poll by Headlines Today. If you add the numbers it is 111 percent 😉

  33. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Difference between real media and paid media.

    • aryan 9 years ago

      Good example liked it. I’m getting Times Of India Newspaper daily to my residence and office thinking to change TOI newspaper.

  34. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    ‘Daily Show’ reporter discovers paid news, buys his way into Indian newspaper. Plus an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai.

    This should clear any doubt of paid news. The Millennium Post has taken the article off its website, but here’s a screen shot of it.

    • Author
      sputnik 9 years ago

      Millenium Post’s response to readers about the “Paid News”


      Dear Readers

      23 May 2014, New Delhi

      Favourite FACEBOOK
      Favourite FAVOURITE
      Email EMAIL
      Print PRINT

      Some social media platforms and websites have run a story on an American satire show by Jon Stewart where correspondent Jason Jones reports on a fake news item that he has ‘planted’ in Millennium Post.

      A video grab of the show has a female reporter agreeing to publish a story in the paper if she is paid ‘2,500 bucks’. We would like to clarify here that she is a trainee journalist and not a full-time employee with us. Her words should not be ascribed to us. Nor did we receive payment for any such story.

      It was a lapse on our part to let such a story find its way into one of our entertainment pages.

      Initial investigation shows the story was planted by an Indian journalist claiming to work for a foreign media company who was contacted by the show’s producers. Brennan Shroff, the chief producer of the show, has reportedly said this was simply a joke.

      But journalism is not a joke for us. We will fight back any effort to tarnish our hard-earned image of publishing no half truths through all available legal options. We wish to remind our readers that we will always strive to uphold the highest journalistic standards.

      Daipayan Halder
      Executive Editor

  35. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    This is funny. Looks like Millenium Post is mighty pissed coz The Daily Show showed the truth about them. So they attack Daily Show and Jon Stewart thinking “Attack is the best form of defense”.

    Jon Stewart, America’s biggest news douche

    26 May 2014, New Delhi, Moutussi Acharya

    He gets paid a fat salary to manufacture news on corruption and criminality, because without such fake news his show would have been over long ago.

    There was a time I used to admire Jon Stewart. In fact, that would be putting it mildly. I was a diehard fan of Jon Stewart.

    But the fun has clearly gone out of the funnyman and the sheen has clearly gone off his show. The Emmy-award winning Daily Show has evidently lost its bite, having become repetitive, redundant, regressive, raucous and rabble-rousing and if that is one alliteration too many, well, that is just my way of trying way too hard and being too clever by far.

    Stewart uses a bludgeon when a scalpel would do, a nudge and a poke in your eye when a mere wink would do, a far cry from the witty satire and subtle sarcasm that was once his trademark.

    Now his daily show has to trawl the bottom of the barrel for inspiration and range everywhere from Iran to India to raise a laugh, picking out even more absurd ideas, creating even more ridiculous skits, so he can still prove himself important and relevant in the times of Obama and avoid any real, uncomfortable issues all in favour of a cheap laugh or a snide giggle.

    His trademark twisted smirk today seems more irritating than winning, seeming to say, hooah, I got away with it again this time, keeping my too-cool-for-school, court jester cum pontificating pundit image intact but I also played it safe so there is no costly litigation, diplomatic incident, irate protesters, nasty editorials and ratings decline and I can go home safe in the knowledge that I can live to propagate such self-serving rubbish another day and my fat salary remains intact, so that I can keep my three multi-million dollar houses owned by secret trusts named after my pets and I can still play the gay Gordon in my debonair suits and ties with abandon and with a hey and a ho and a hey nonino, all is right with my world.

    Going by his latest gags, Jon Stewart is running out of ideas. God help him if there are another eight years of the Democrats in Washington, he may be forced to shut shop or reduced to borrowing lines from stand-up comedians, In fact, Jon Stewart is getting a bit ahead of himself, thinking his left-of centre constituency will keep him in business for another eight years, but he may even be offered Jay Leno’s show as a tradeoff for shutting down his own, who knows.

    He is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat but has to pretend to keep some distance and so is forced into manufacturing ridiculous shenanigans to maintain some show of impartiality. Increasingly, his shows have become more and more disingenuous, manipulative, self-righteous and hypocritical. The Emmys still beckon bright but boy does he have to tie himself in knots to get one, and increasingly, the means have become more important than the end. Crude, crass, dumbed down and pandering to the lowest common denominator, his show now caters to the same chattering, twittering class who watch Jay Leno, E Entertainment and all the other late night entertainment that has put America in the top spot in the world for the most number of idiotic shows on the idiot box. The salt on the wound is that unlike the other comedians who are honest in their intention of merely trying to raise a laugh at any cost, Stewart still doesn’t want to get off his grand perch of pretending to save the world and redeem America, while simply catering to a gaggle of genuflecting acolytes.

    Stewart once took on Jim Cramer and his colleagues at CNBC, men who have to make a living in the hard-nosed world of finance instead of faffing about in a TV studio, blaming them for participating in America’s financial collapse and calling their behaviour ‘disingenuous at best and criminal at worst.’

    Today, we can use the same words to describe Jon Stewart’s tactics. He edits, redits and hacks his subjects sound bytes till they lose all rhyme or reason and then mashes them up into a stream of consciousness drivel to suit his diatribe of the day.

    He sent actor Jason Jones to India recently to do an article on ‘paid news’. Instead of any earth-shattering revelations, what does he get you, an inane interview with a humming and hawing Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN which is cleverly edited to show the clueless chap in the poorest light possible.

    Then he goes begging from door to door for a feature to be published on him as a popular journalist and six-times Mr Canada entrant. Supposedly Millennium Post sends a reporter on his request, probably as a courtesy as such mindless items are a staple of our entertainment pages – we are desperate to fill up column space with Kim Kardashian’s booty and photoshopped pecs of Mr Jones scrawny torso, because we are terrified of libel cases if we publish the wrong kind of gossip on Bollywood stars. And Indian readers still salivate at the display of gora log in various states of undress over their morning cuppa, even if it be Mr Jones’ obviously fake and if you pardon me, disgustingly pale and ungroomed abs in these days of bronzed and waxed perfection. The poor reporter from Millennium Post giggles over the ‘Canadian Journalist’ with his phoren accent and charming wit trying to pull a fast one on the gullible Indian public and is then offered up as a prime example of corrupt and unethical Indian journalism! What Stewart forgets to mention is that the poor reporter did not receive a single penny from Jones nor did she ask him for a dime. When he asks her will you write paid news, she asks him in turn in a bewildered voice, ‘If you pay me?’ but the inflection of surprised questioning and disbelief in her voice is ham-handedly edited out so as to show that she is confirming that she will write his article only if he pays her.

    Ironically, he then picks up the newspaper to show her the article, which has already been published! So is he trying to inveigle her into taking a payment for a second article. Why didn’t he pay the poor reporter for the story on camera, she seemed all in a daze at Jones haranguing her and would hardly have caught on. Is there any proof at all that you paid her? If you paid some foxy fixer instead who took you as another clueless American trying to comment on a complex political system and media that you haven’t the faintest idea about, and wanting a bit of self-promotion in the process, well the joke is on you Mr Jones. He took you for a ride, as such amoral middlemen are wont to do. You don’t need to pay $ 2500 to get your PR piece published Mr Jones, Rs 25000 to any PR agency would do. In dollar terms, I guess you can buy space in American newspapers as cheaply. And a rather goofy PR piece is all it really was. If you wanted to ‘expose’ Millennium Post or any other paper by publishing your ape-like bodybuilder pose, shouldn’t you have paid the Millennium Post reporter herself rather than some unnamed third party. And couldn’t you have chosen a slightly more entertaining subject? Canadians are the salt of the earth, but pardon my bluntness, they are not exactly the life of the party.

    I mean you seriously think someone will fall for your stunt of exposing the deep, dark underbelly or the Indian media with a hamhanded article on some Canadian bodybuilder and pollster, or make that shyster, who provides such a cartoonish description of himself that it simply makes him look like a buffoon rather than serve serious purpose. Really, such a newsworthy way to take on corruption in the Indian media. I think the Indian media is safe so long as it doesn’t have unscrupulous actors like Mr Jones and unethical journalists like Jon Stewart to safeguard its morals.

    But that is exactly the point you are missing, Jon stewart will crow with his snarky toothy grin. You are not getting the joke. It was all a bit of harmless fun, so what if we had to indulge in some unethical editing to force our point home, so what if there was no meat to our story and we had to resort to some senseless ruse to make it stand up and be part of the skit to justify the five-star expense of sending our guy all the way to India, so what if we had to bang on a hundred doors and desperately shove $ 2500 into some shady agent’s pocket simply to get our ruse running and get him to con some poor slob of a reporter who would oblige by publishing a ‘scandalous’ story on a Canadian willing to bare his pasty white middle for all the world to giggle at, so what if we had to drag some poor girls name through the muck and ruin her career even though she was completely unaware of the cruel joke we were playing on her just to prove our point, whatsoever it may be, as the means always justifies the end doesn’t it? And always, the end is just a bit of a giggle isn’t it? The audience still guffawed inanely into their after dinner nightcap didn’t they, just as they do at all other drivel we dish out daily, where we pull apart some other poor schmuck who doesn’t have a clue, where we have a good laugh at his expense and go to bed satisfied at a job well done but the poor fellow has to live down the jeers and sneers for ages to come.

    What Jones and Stewart misses in all this was a fact about Indian culture that may not be too predominant in their own circle – Indians are courteous to a point, and they fall over themselves to accommodate foreigners as guests from abroad must be obliged at any cost and made to feel special, so they don’t carry away a wrong idea about our manners or lack thereof. Towards that end, the fixer, the Millennium Post reporter and Rajdeep Sardesai, the busy head of a news channel were all trying to be courteous to a foreign reporter asking for help, all trying to be kind to a clueless American looking for some help in opening doors and gaining insight. But such niceties are lost when you are desperate for ratings in the cutthroat world of American late night television.

    Put your money where your mouth is Jon Stewart. Show us the entire, unedited clip with the lady reporter from Millennium Post, or even Rajdeep Sardesai for that matter, so you don’t have to prove your intellectual superiority over Indian editors by stooping even lower than them. Don’t be such a news douche Jon Stewart, you are no longer the bright light you used to be, you are increasingly irrelevant rather than irreverent, please don’t get reduced to the main player and perhaps the only one in your theatre of the absurd.

    To quote from an article in the Daily Beast, a couple of years ago profiling Stewart, ‘A serious man needs a serious mission, however, and this is suddenly a problem. With Bush gone and the Republican Party in chaos, most of Stewart’s targets have disappeared. Yet rather than pivot with the times and challenge those now in power, Stewart continues to attack the same old enemies, at this point mostly straw men and pipsqueaks. His studio audience loved it, though that isn’t saying much. Stewart’s audience would erupt if he read the phone book, or did his monologue in German, a response that over time is a threat to any man’s soul. During many segments, Stewart’s audience doesn’t laugh so much as cheer, a distinction that would bother most comedians. Stewart keeps them around anyway. Uncritical praise corrupts absolutely. As he becomes more self-righteous, he inevitably becomes less funny. Sanctimony is the death of humor, and also of innovation.’

    ‘No one this earnest can remain an effective satirist,’ said the Daily Beast and Stewart must make up his mind, does he want to preach or does he want entertain, he can’t have his cake and eat it too, as he simply ends up making a sorry spectacle of himself. To paraphrase, he insists his fake news is real. He acts the buffoon but wants people to take him way too seriously and nobody takes anybody as seriously as Jon Stewart takes himself.

    ‘Once journalists who cover business regain their sense of responsibility and start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting,’ Stewart said gravely in the interview to the Daily Beast. ‘I can get back to making fart noises and funny faces.’ But, as the writer commented, ‘It’s too late. The great comedian is gone, maybe forever. Jon Stewart is stuck in lecture mode’. Today, we add to that, he is also stuck in ‘paid news’ mode. He gets paid a multi-million dollar annual salary to manufacture news on corruption and criminality, because without such fake news his show would have been over long ago.


  36. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rajdeep and Sagarika to resign as Reliance takes over Network 18

    Celebrity TV journalists Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose are likely to resign from CNN-IBN by end of June, as Reliance Industries Ltd is taking over the channel’s holding company, Network 18. They are likely to go on leave from June 1 and resign by 30 June, Network 18 officials told In between, they will sell to Reliance Industries their minority shares in the company.

    Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl is likely to resign tomorrow, May 30. He has no immediate investment or entrepreneurial plans in the media, these officials said. This will come after the exit earlier this week of three top executives at Network 18, Sai Kumar, Ajay Chacko and RDS Bawa.

    While Sardesai and Ghose have offers from other media houses, officials denied the rumours doing the rounds in the Delhi media for weeks that they were considering an offer from Focus TV. While Ghose is reliably learnt to be considering offers from other media organisations, Sardesai is considering taking a break for a year to write a book. The duo haven’t had it easy with the management of the channel recently. In February, had reported that the management had asked Ghose to not be critical of Narendra Modi, who was making an ambitious bid for the post of prime minister.

    Reliance Industries Ltd. today said in a press release (.pdf here) that they were putting is Rs. 4,000 crores (around $679 million) in Independent Media Trust to for “for acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd… including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited… ” In other words, Reliance Industries is effecting a management takeover of Network 18.

    “The acquisition will differentiate Reliance’s 4G business by providing a unique amalgamation at the intersect of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties,” the release said. “This suite includes,,,,,,; the broadcast channels include Colors, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz.”

    The announcement has left Network 18 employees in a state of uncertainty, sources say.

    The Independent Media Trust will use these funds to buy 78% stake in Network18 and 9% stake in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the Open Offers. IMT will make open offers simultaneously to public shareholders to acquire shares of Network18, TV18 and Infomedia Press Limited.


  37. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Shameless Arnab totally batting for Smriti Irani and BJP. He completely ignores the false affidavits and does not even say a word. They are bringing in Lincoln, Truman, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and so on from US to show how educational qualifications are not important.

    So lets see what the US does when hiring the Secretary of Department of Education.

    Here is a list of all the individuals who have served as U.S. Secretary of Education. Except for one who had a Bachelors all others had a post graduate degree and some of them even had a PhD.

    “The U.S. Department of Education was established as a cabinet level agency in 1980. Since that time the following individuals have served as U.S. Secretary of Education:

    Shirley M. Hufstedler (1979-1981)
    Terrel H. Bell (1981-1984)
    William J. Bennett (1985-1988)
    Lauro F. Cavazos (1988-1990)
    Lamar Alexander (1991-1993)
    Richard W. Riley (1993-2000)
    Roderick Paige (2001-2005)
    Margaret Spellings (2005-2009)
    Arne Duncan (2009- )”

    Here is Arnab’s video.

  38. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Excellent investigative report on Jindal, media and Coalgate.

    Media wheeling-dealing: Black as coal

  39. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rajdeep Sardesai saying Arvind Kejriwal became victim of Supari journalism at a discussion with Arnab Goswami.

  40. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Tanu Sharma vs India TV

    One of the open secrets of working in journalism entails the atrocious clauses that contract employees have to work under. And these may not apply to the ground staff alone, but anchors and journalists who – one would assume – have greater bargaining powers.

    As the case of India TV anchor Tanu Sharma shows, employers routinely come up with difficult contracts that play havoc with an employee’s decision to quit should he or she want to.

    This is an excerpt of the contract that Tanu had to sign with India TV to get a job there. It pretty much does away with her right to quit when she wants to, and binds her to pay a rather hefty penalty if she does.

    Ironically, when her services were finally terminated, it was on the basis of an SMS she sent, says the HR of the channel. Presumably, she has not been made to pay the penalty so far.


    On June 22, late at night, tweets started appearing about a news anchor trying to commit suicide after accusing her employers of harassment.

    twitter-1-status-tanu-sharma-newslaundry twitter-2-tanu-sharma-newslaundry

    You could have almost believed that this was a Twitter rumour floated by people who have lots of time on hand. Yet, by this time, the identity of the news anchor had been revealed. About an hour before attempting suicide, Tanu wrote a Facebook post naming some senior colleagues she held responsible. She also stated that working at India TV had been nothing short of a nightmare for her. “I’m tired of being brave. Tired of fighting against all odds”, she wrote.

    We decided to speak to her to understand what had led her to take such a serious step.

    Tanu, who is 31 years old, was a news anchor with India TV till last week. According to her, she took daily harassment she suffered at India TV in her stride. She said she took it as part of newsroom politics, and let it go. But things reached a tipping point on Sunday, June 22. Which is when she attempted to commit suicide by consuming rat poison at the India TV headquarters in Noida Sector 85.

    We went and met her at Noida’s Kailash hospital, where she was admitted immediately after the incident. The allegations she makes — if proved in a court of law — point to the pressures and harassment many young journalists, especially women, face in the media industry.

    Tanu said, “I joined India TV in February this year (2014) and things started to turn sour within a month.” Tanu reported to Senior Executive Editor, Anita Sharma on a daily basis, although her immediate superior and head of department (HoD) was Senior Executive Editor, M N Prasad.

    According to Tanu, Sharma repeatedly humiliated her in front of her colleagues and belittled her on every occasion. “She’d find faults with everything, from the way I looked, to the clothes I wore, to my hairstyle. I was told I’m not glamorous enough and that I didn’t know how to carry myself.” Tanu added that she still can’t understand why the channel hired her in the first place.

    This is not Tanu’s first job though. She has been a TV journalist for 12 years and has previously worked with Zee News, P7 News and Sahara Samay. She says she accepted the constant ticking off as part of adjusting to the culture of a new workplace. At no point, however, did she find the criticism constructive. “Anita Sharma would constantly criticise my voice and say it’s too harsh but no one in the newsroom complained. In fact, I routinely gave voiceovers for special features – why would they let me do so if my voice was so bad?”

    Within a few days of her joining India TV, Tanu alleges that Sharma had hinted that she would like to send her “somewhere out” to “meet” people. “I asked whether it was for an interview or a byte but she never responded clearly. She kept telling me that she would like to send me out for some other reasons and once, when I insisted, stated that I could earn extra money if I agreed”, says Tanu.

    We spoke to journalist Sunanda Dixit, who has been in the television news industry for more than a decade before she quit to teach at Indraprastha University. According to her, it is common for the senior management to coax junior female reporters or anchors to “socialise” with politicians and bureaucrats for favours. “The practice is rampant in the TV industry. Although I personally never faced this problem, one knew of such things happening. While nobody is so crude as to tell you to sleep with people for favours, the intent is understood.” Dixit’s last job was at IBN 7.

    TK Rajalakshmi, President of Indian Women’s Press Corps, says she is not surprised by Tanu’s allegations and such practices are often projected as harmless networking. Tanu insists that her senior colleagues had ulterior motives and since she showed no interest in their offer, they made life difficult for her. Her HoD stopped responding to her calls when she tried to speak to him about the problems she was having with Sharma. “On one occasion he told me that we could meet outside [the office] to discuss the issue. I wasn’t keen on that and gave up hope of redress”, she says.

    Tanu says the harassment continued and she was kept off air for no apparent reason during the general elections. “I was routinely embarrassed for the clothes I wore for the bulletin, even though it is the channel that provides and approves the wardrobe. I even sought an appointment with our Managing Director Ritu Dhawan, who is married to Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma, since she had hired me but never got an appointment.”

    “Leaving the job was not an option since I didn’t have the money to pay them on resigning.” The India TV contract clearly states that a presenter does not have “any right to terminate” the three-year agreement. It binds its employees to pay six months of their salary to the channel in case they want to resign. Normally, full-time employees are expected to serve a notice period varying one to three months on resigning, failing which the employee is expected to pay the company a certain amount. However, several companies enforce much tougher clauses on contract employees. But even so, payment of a six-month salary is unheard of.

    India TV’s contract, of which Newslaundry has a copy, also mentions that the channel spends Rs 26.40 lakh on a presenter annually as part of the presenter’s “brand building expense”. This, it states, is an“estimated” and “very conservative” amount. This staggering, and rather exaggerated, expense could be used by the company as a justification for the negative covenant in the contract.

    Tanu also added that she underwent severe depression and loss of confidence working in the TV channel. “I used to cry every day and broke down finally. As a final resort I messaged MN Prasad simply saying that ‘I am resigning’.”

    Tanu claims that Prasad said he’d discuss the issue, but he made no effort to call her or hear her out. While standard procedure across organisations need an employee to submit a formal resignation letter, Tanu claims that Prasad treated her one-line SMS as a formal resignation and asked her to leave without giving her a notice period or taking an exit interview.This is rather surprising considering the contract does not allow the employee to terminate his/her services.

    “The HR acted more or less like a puppet in the hands of the management and I was told to leave”, she says. Dejected with the way she was treated Tanu attempted suicide.

    Rahul Khanna, Chief Manager – HR and Legal at India TV, did not explain why the six-month salary termination clause was added to the contract. However, he says that Tanu was given warnings by the HR department. Her first warning was given when she was laughing on-air during a live news bulletin while presenting serious news. Her second warning was when she left the studio and newsroom while on duty, went to the cafeteria and put her phone on silent. According to Rahul, “Due to non-availability of anchor, the channel had to give a breaking news without an anchor on just graphics.”

    Regarding the SMS resignation, he says it was confirmed with her by her immediate senior and then forwarded to HR. “During her service she never made any complaint of harassment or even shared it with any colleague.”

    This is India TV’s official response to us.

    Last week, anchor Tanu Sharma had a minor disagreement with her seniors in the newsroom, followed which she sent a sms to her departmental head saying that she is resigning. Her decision was confirmed with her. Thereafter, her decision to resign communicated by her through sms and confirmed by her, was forwarded to HR. HR proceeded to accept her resignation. They also informed her by mail that her decision to resign has been accepted, and she should meet them for relieving formalities. She came to the office and submitted her I-card, etc. and the matter was amicably closed. On Sunday morning she started sending some very demeaning and vicious messages to her seniors and in one message threatened to harm herself. As soon as it came to our knowledge HR and admin considered it and found it appropriate and necessary to report the matter to the police immediately. We also requested them to immediately send their people to her house to verify and ensure that no harm comes to her. In the meanwhile she stood on the road outside the building and tried to consume something, security and HR staff strived to stop her, and rushed her to the nearby hospital immediately. Doctors have informed us that she is safe and have advised that she needs psychiatric counseling.

    The two people she has named are senior and very respected people in the organization. She has caused immense mental harassment to them and to their families.

    The allegations Tanu has made against her senior colleagues will need to be proven in court. Yet, there can be no excuse for the anti-labour clause in the organisation’s contract that forces its employees to pay a hefty amount on quitting. For now, the Noida police has taken cognisance of the case and filed a First Information Report against Anita Sharma and MN Prasad under Sections 306, 511 and 504. Tanu will be recording her statement in front of a lady investigation officer today.

    It is noteworthy that according to the Vishaka guidelines, sexual harassment includes “demand or request for sexual favours”. Any innuendo that seeks to outrage the modesty of a woman, like Tanu has claimed happened in her case where she was expected to “meet” influential people, comes under the purview of Vishaka guidelines.

    Meanwhile, the media, which had shown much alacrity in reporting the Tejpal case, has remained silent on Tanu’s attempt to commit suicide. While the Tejpal case made it to the front page and primetime news for at least a week, Tanu’s case was relegated to the back pages of newspapers and was forgotten by the second day of her attempt to suicide. Even as papers like The Indian Express and The Times of India reported on the case, the news reports don’t go beyond quoting from Tanu’s Facebook note. The only support her case seems to have found in the media is in the Indian Women’s Press Corps — which has urged women to wear black ribbons today to protest harassment of women at workplace.

    Whether Tanu’s allegations are true or not, they do need to be discussed and investigated by the media. Till this is done, no one will know who has been wronged – India TV or Tanu. And if indeed Tanu has been a victim of harassment, it is media reportage and focus on this incident that will ensure that companies are more careful about the way they treat employees.


Leave a reply

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?