Well, in all likelihood, ace ‘journalist’ (who is actually an abusive troll) Swati Chaturvedi working with the leftist propaganda website, ‘The Wire’ is fine and won’t be needing a visit to the shrink any time soon. However, such good news mustn’t necessarily dissuade her from purging quite a few ‘authoritative’ sources from her ensemble of sources. Her track record at predicting political outcomes has been abysmal, to say the least, and that can point to only two possibilities – Either her sources aren’t anywhere as reliable as she thinks they are or she is making up sources to feign political connections that don’t exist. Let’s take a look at some of her recent articles where her predictions have been spectacularly bombed by…Time. Results. Hard Facts.
Recently, on May 3rd 2018, she wrote an opinion piece in NDTV headlined ‘Karnataka Exposes An Amit Shah Off His Game – So Far‘. The piece was peppered with inputs from her sources, some of whom even claimed Karnataka elections involved ‘huge personal stakes for Shah as a section of the BJP and RSS wants him replaced as party chief by either Rajnath Singh or Gadkari‘. As it turns out, on May 12th, Amit Shah was so far off his game that BJP polled its best ever state assembly vote share percentage of 36.2%, even beating its 2008 performance of 33.86%. With the impressive ‘off his game’ show by Amit Shah, BJP captured 104 seats and came up tops as the single largest in Karnataka. Luckily, Shah survived Swati’s sources and is still nowhere close to being replaced as party chief.
Karnataka was not the only time when she asked the question out loud – ‘Is Amit Shah losing the electoral plot?‘. In a DailyO article written on 9th September 2016, she made a statement ‘At the moment UP is open but the BJP is no longer the frontrunner Shah had told Modi confidently that it was‘. On 11th March 2017, surprisingly, BJP was the frontrunner by a long shot and scored 312 out of 403 seats in UP.
On 8th August 2016, in a DailyO piece, Swati, based on her reliable sources, kindly informed us ‘Mayawati has got an unexpected bounce and the Dalits are consolidating totally behind her‘. Mayawati got 19 seats in the subsequent UP assembly elections, down by 61 seats, and Dalits seemed to have abandoned her.
Granted, predicting electoral outcomes is always dicey and even seasoned psephologists get it wrong time and again. How about spinning tales on organizational shake ups? On 7th April 2018, Swati Chaturvedi lent her credence to this Wire article, where she talked about the allocation of the Union finance ministry while Arun Jaitley recovered from his kidney transplant operation. She boldly predicted ‘No other minister will get temporary charge’. It gets better. She actually said ‘Authoritative sources say that Modi will keep the critical finance portfolio with himself and no other minister will get temporary charge‘. Mind you, this time she had ‘authoritative sources’. On May 14th, 2018, a cabinet reshuffle was announced and Piyush Goyal got the additional temporary charge of the Finance Ministry. That was an authoritative dismissal of Swati’s sources. One wonders if Modi did the reshuffle just to discredit her.
That was not the only time when she has been way off the mark. In the past, she has claimed ‘Ajit Doval’s head as NSA might roll’ and Suresh Joshi, number two in RSS would quit. Both are still firmly ensconced in their positions.
It’s not just predictions about the BJP that she gets wrong. On 18th July 2016, Swati bravely stuck her neck out and said ‘Sidhu is going to join AAP to be its Punjab CM face‘. She went on to say ‘well-placed sources indicate that it’s going to be a segue into the AAP for him’. On January 17th, 2017, Sidhu chose not to pay heed to Swati’s ‘well placed’ sources and joined the Congress calling himself a lifelong congressman.
When she is not attributing random claims to either fictitious or clueless sources, and on the off-chance that she decides to write something original, as luck would have it, she either gets accused of plagiarism (for an article talking about journalistic ethics, no less) or gets called out for blatant lies and fabrications.
When she is not busy making a mockery of herself and the profession of journalism, she either features in eminent lists where she is accused of running extortion rackets, as per reports, has a meltdown at the thought of regulation, uses dead children to tweet insensitive rubbish, and also gets summoned in criminal defamation cases.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s sheer bad luck that Swati’s sources feed her diametrically opposite information about major events consistently. At some point, editors and readers must question the quality of sources that journalists claim to have while putting out articles. In Swati’s case, her sources are probably much worse than she imagines. Or, her sources are imaginary, and the editors at NDTV, DailO, The Wire and the likes are deliberately indulging her and passing off her page three gossip columns as viable political commentary. Either way, Readers deserve better.