Sunday, June 18, 2017

News Laundry scrubs out Zee News's hypocrisy... and its own!

In a video clip posted on YouTube on May 5, News Laundry (of Madhu Trehan) lampoons Zee News for its hypocrisy in preaching against "media-corporate, media-politician nexus" while practising exactly the opposite.

“The teeny-tiny problem with the show was that it was being aired on, umm, Zee News, by, errr, (Sudhir) Chaudhary,” says the text accompanying the video clip produced by Aaditya Rakheja of News Laundry.

I can see quite well “the teeny-tiny problem” with Zee News pointed out by the News Laundry.

However, I can also see another "teeny-tiny problem" with the issue that News Laundry has highlighted, but deliberately omitted to mention, namely that all mass media companies -- and not just Zee News -- are neck deep in corrupt media-corporate-politician nexus.

Abhinandan Sekhri alias 'Nikku' of News Laundry, for example, is one of the oldest associates I know of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Sekhri is the founding trustee along with Arvind Kejriwal of the latter's NGO called Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF).

His association with Kejriwal goes back earlier than 2008 when I had started to work with Kejriwal and his team. So I know him personally.

I have never known Sekhri doing any worthwhile journalism, but I recently found myself sitting through an interview he had done with his old pal, Chief Minister Kejriwal, on the occasion of the unveiling of Pran Kurup's book.

That interview was remarkable for Sekhri’s pusillanimity and Kejriwal's brusqueness.

Sekhri did not do a very good job of sounding intellectual and 'politically' mature without asking, of course, the obvious questions of his old friend -- such as 'How far have you gone in pushing forward the investigation and prosecution of various scams perpetrated by the Sheila Dikshit government?'.

(That was Kejriwal's campaign promise. Remember? And has come back to haunt the AAP Supremo.)

Sekhri (and News Laundry) has also been understandably silent on the Rs 200 crore PWD scam  -- not to mention fund-raising scam (illegal payments made to AAP by Mukesh Kumar and Hem Prakash), medicine and ambulance procurement scam and other scams -- of the government led by his old buddy Kejriwal.

It's rather interesting that a news outlet run by the brother of Sekhri's employer at News Laundry has recently carried the sleazy details of Kejriwal's PWD scam in which chief minister's brother-in-law Surendra Bansal has also been involved.

The pot calling the kettle black, News Laundry?

While calling into question the trustworthiness of Zee News' reportage, the holier-than-thou News Laundry failed to mention the fake news purveyed by a number of supposedly "sober" media outlets. 

For instance, I recently posted a blog that talks about a fake news about a "coup" in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) peddled by the Wire, NDTV, the Quint, Janta ka Reporter, The Deccan Post, and India Herald. 

Prannoy Roy of NDTV, of course, has had long association with Kejriwal too, often reflected in things like removing an inconvenient story from the "independent" news channel's website.

(Shouldn't someone see the "media-politician nexus" here, involving media outlets like News Laundry and NDTV?)

Even news agencies like ANI have been getting into the act, filing stories such as the one discussed here that can't be deemed anything but fake news.

So News Laundry's arrogation to itself the role of 'launderer' of Zee News without looking at itself and the rest of the mass media is no less hypocritical and dishonest than the latter's preaching of media morality. 

The following web links have been used in this article in the order of occurrence.


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