Top lies spread by Mainstream Media – January 2015

Partly on public demand and partly thanks to our Indian Mainstream Media’s untiring dedication to publish fiction under the garb of News, I thought of making this a monthly feature. I would like to thank all those in the media who continue to fearlessly write Imaginary stories, without giving two hoots to facts.

In the course of the month, thanks to our articles, we managed to expose “source” based Pakistani propaganda by a journalist, made Firstpost delete an article and made NDTV anchor Ravish Kumar secretly update the lies he posted on NDTV. Read to find out how:

1. 2nd January 2015, Praveen Swami in The Indian Express: Doubts mount over India’s claims of destroying ‘terror boat’ from Pakistan

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This has been one of the most debated topics this year. In fact I wrote an entire post dissecting each and every claim of Praveen Swami. I havent received any convincing rebuttal for the same. You can read the above post and decide, how much is the truth, how much is lies, how much is conjecture and how much is Pakistani Propaganda.

2. 7th January 2015, The Telegraph, and subsequently all Indian Media: First new antibiotic in 30 years discovered in major breakthrough

The problem here is only limited to the claim that no new antibiotic was discovered for 30 years on this planet!. Thanks to @ARangarajan1972, Contributing editor of Newslaundry, I realised that there were many antibiotics discovered in the past few years. As per the Journal of American Chemical society, “a New Class of Non-β-lactam Inhibitors” was discovered in February last year. And a Japanese team discovered a new antibiotic effective against MSRA just in December 2014. @ARangarajan1972 has posted further links here.

3. 23rd January 2015, Firstpost by Sandipan Sharma : Padma Award to Ramdev is wrong: He’s a business tycoon, thanks to blind faith

Its amazing how the same class of lies which was featured in our year-ender post for Lies of 2014, ends up in this list to. Once again a reporter has used data available on a fraudulent site which clearly says it has no links to Baba Ramdev, and used this data to malign Ramdev. The report claimed Ramdev Baba had cures for “premature ejaculation” and other such weird ailments. A detailed report was done by us here. (Firstpost eventually had to delete the post thanks to our report)

4. 27th January 2015, Firstpost: Republic blunder: Modi govt ad omits ‘Socialist, Secular’ from Constitution preamble

We had a separate story on this entire issue, when some people on social media raised the above point, but I was surprised to see Firstpost tow the same line, even after numerous people had shared the truth. Firstpost claimed that the Modi Government, “made a glaring error” by “removing the words socialist and secular” from the Preamble of the Constitution. It tried to give it a communal tone by further saying that “the fact that the word ‘secular’ has been omitted is significant” and tried to link this with controversial remarks by Hindutva leaders and Ghar Wapsi campaign.

The fact is, the Indian Government merely chose the original, unamended Preamble. This is still available online. This makes it clear that nobody from the Government “removed” anything.

5. 28th January 2015: Ravish Kumar NDTV: I Am Not a Super-Journalist, Says Ravish Kumar

The post you see in the above link, is an edited version, which Ravish was forced to update surreptitiously, After I exposed his lies in this post. He made “Sub-Inspector” Nirmal Singh, into “ACP” Nirmal Singh, to discredit Kiran Bedi from the Indira Gandhi car towing incident. And then he distorted “PM House” to “PMO” to further trivialise the incident. Both these wilful lies were later rectified once above post went viral. Please read the post for details on how he used these two lies to further his agenda.

6. 29th January 2015: Siddharth Varadarajan NDTV: How PM has Sidelined Sushma Swaraj Again

This piece referred to the replacing of Sujatha Singh by S Jaishankar as India’s foreign secretary. Varadarajan claimed that Sushma Swaraj was sidelined and “was not party to Jaishankar’s appointment“.  Sushma Swaraj had to resort to twitter to clarify the position:

Varadarajan’s assertion that Sushma was “sidelined” and was “arguably the least empowered External Affairs Minister” also was based on this claim by him: “Sushma is not a member of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet“. While it is true that Sushma is not on the said committee, Varadarajan has very slyly used this truth to deceive the reader. The only reason Sushma is not part of the committee is because Modi reconstituted the committee way back in June 2014. Earlier this committee comprised of the PM along with the concerned minister (in this case Sushma), but now, it comprised only of the PM and the Home Minister. By this duplicitous logic, one can claim ALL ministers were “sidelined” and thus were “one of the least empowered” ministers ever.

7. 31st January 2015: Times of India and CNN IBN: EC raid at Naresh Balyan’s residence, more than 5,000 liquor bottles seized

Times of India was the first to report this news, via their Tweets and Facebook status that the Election Commission had raided the house of Naresh Balyan, AAP candidate in Delhi Assembly elections, and found more than 5000 liquor bottles. There was outrage on Twitter for almost 2 hours, after which Times of India, itself issued a correction denying the earlier report that this raid had not been conducted in any AAP leader’s house. Later Aaj Tak had a report that the EC had filed a case against “Unknown Persons” as it had no evidence to link this raid to any AAP leader. We reported about this here. (EDIT: On 3rd February Times of India reported that the cops had indeed found proof that the liquor bottles were related to AAP candidate Naresh Balyan. But we believe, that on 31st January neither the cops nor Times of India had any proof to hold AAP responsible, hence it was a “lie” on that day)


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