The Hindu caught in ‘fake news’ scandal involving Donald Trump

Left inclined media outlet, The Hindu, headquartered in Chennai, is known for its penchant of carrying erroneous reports in India. Just last month we had exposed how The Hindu had lied about a statement by the Indian Government. Later, The Hindu went international and got slammed by the Greek embassy as well for presenting their Minister’s views on demonetisation “out of context”.

Now The Hindu seems to have gone after the big fish, USA President-elect Donald Trump. In the USA, such “digressions” from the truth by media are called “fake news”, and that is what Michael Pillsbury called it. Media reports suggest Pillsbury is an adviser to Trump’s transition team but Pillsbury himself denies being in any such role.

The Hindu had reported Michael Pillsbury as saying:

‘Trump has declined Dalai Lama’s request for a meeting’

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This news item was preceded by a another report based on the same quote, titled: “Is Trump preparing to change the script on Tibet?”. This obviously had larger ramifications for the US-China relationship and Trump’s foreign policy on this tricky aspect.

Pillsbury though quickly took to social media to call out The Hindu:

Soon, both the articles based on the one quote from Pillsbury were taken down by The Hindu.

A Tibetan media outlet reported that the Central Tibetan Administration run site Tibet.net had denied such reports. It mentioned that Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay had responded to the fake news saying:

Pillsbury wrote me an email last night rubbishing the news and said he supports a meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Columnist Rupa Subramanya questioned the editorial team of The Hindu as to whether any clarification was issued by them regarding the two stories which have been taken down:

In this entire saga, it needs to be remembered that The Hindu is a left-leaning newspaper and the two reports which The Hindu published were based solely on the reports in the Chinese media. News such as Trump refusing to meet the Dalai Lama could very well have been planted by the Chinese in their media to create a particular perception about Trump, and it seems only The Hindu played along and re-ran the information, or added its own spice to the story.

Whether The Hindu fell for a Chinese trap, or was it hand-in-glove, or this isn’t an issue of ‘fake news’ at all, will depend on The Hindu’s response, which at the moment, is awaited.


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