In India, NDTV is fondly known as the channel that has a long history of spreading unconscionable and shameless lies. The channel has over the years managed to accomplish massive feats. From financial frauds, peddling the Pakistan agenda, undermining India, spreading lies to even endangering lives during the 26/11 terror attack. But little did we know that NDTV has another feather on its cap – getting mocked internationally in an American TV show ‘The Newsroom’ in 2012.
A video went viral where, in Season 1, Episode 4 of ‘The Newsroom’, which was aired in 2012, a segment on ‘Spreading Lies’ featured NDTV. The video was shared by Advocate J Sai Deepak on Twitter.
In the segment of this episode, Will McAnoy played by Jeff Daniels, who is the anchor and managing editor of News Night, a show on the fictional ‘Atlantic Cable News’ channel, is presenting the news where he talks about how lies are spread halfway across the world before the truth has the time to put its boots on.
While speaking about lies that travel half the world, he brings up an NDTV article from 2010 when then-President Obama was set to visit Mumbai, India to hold talks with Indian Prime Minister to bolster trade ties. He says that such trips typically cost 5$ million per day. Then, the anchor quotes an NDTV article that quoted anonymous sources in the Maharashtra government saying that the trip was to cost $200 million per day.
The episode then mocks how the American media ran with this story without even trying to find out what the reality was despite the White House issuing a statement that the news was false.
Being named and mocked on an American TV show like The Newsroom is a feat that most thought even NDTV, with its terrible reputation could not achieve, however, it seems to have done the impossible.
To be fair to NDTV, though, the story which was originally published by NDTV in 2010 was a PTI agency feed.
The PTI feed said:
“The huge amount of around $200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit,” a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit said.
About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President. Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already here for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments”.
However, this news was categorically denied by US officials at the time. But as is the nature of fake-news outlet NDTV, the US response was never added to the article in question.
The Newsroom is an American television political drama series created and principally written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012, and concluded on December 14, 2014, consisting of 25 episodes over three seasons, with 52 to 73 minute long episodes.
The series chronicles behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel. It features an ensemble cast including Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy who, together with his staff, sets out to put on a news show “in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements”. Other cast members include Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston. The American TV show won several awards.