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India Today group spins Shourie interview with Karan Thapar

In his much talked about interview with Karan Thapar, Arun Shourie has made many critical observations of the Modi Government’s performance in the past 11 months. We had already analysed them here. While most of the remarks aren’t very scathing, the media coverage on this shows it as if Shourie has attacked the Government and Modi with his full fury. India Today, whose channel conducted the interview, is primarily responsible for blowing  things out of proportion, and accusing Shourie of saying things he never said. Take a look at some of these cases:

1. India Today claims Shourie said this:

Then, in the transcript, the word “Trimurti” doesn’t even appear.

In the video, after around 34 minutes, Shourie names the three people, saying they work as a team. Karan Thapar then interjects him saying “This Trimurti….” to which Shourie says “Trimurti, big word” and continues his sentence.

So firstly, “Trimurti” is Karan Thapar’s phrase, not of Shourie. Yet this has been attributed to Shourie at multiple places by India Today, very mischievously, and often in quotes. Secondly, this phrase has been completely omitted from the transcripts. Neither they have shown Karan Thapar’s first usage of this word, nor have they shown Shourie’s reaction. So there is a doubt that even the transcript, which should be a word for word reproduction, is not accurate.

2. In this piece titled “10 things Shourie said”, India Today says Shourie said “Keeping Sushma Swaraj on the margins is wrong.

According to their own transcript, Shourie did not say such a thing. He said he doesn’t know if Swaraj is on the margins, but if yes, it doesn’t bode well.

Untitled

One can partly blame Shourie here too, but India Today paraphrased it in a way, so as to show Arun Shourie also feels Sushma Swaraj is on the margins, when actually he said he doesn’t know. 

3. India Today said Shourie made this comment on the “Rs 10 lac suit”

Once again the transcript has no mention of a “Rs 10 lac suit”, but just a monogrammed suit. The video of the interview too corroborates this. Still, India Today insists at multiple places that Shourie said “Rs 10 lac suit”. While the misrepresentation is minor, it gives away the impression that Shourie was attacking the alleged price of the suit.

Compared to our usual Media shenanigans, these might be minor transgressions, but when repeatedly things are misquoted and transcripts are found to be inaccurate, then questions surface.

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