Indian Media Goes Berserk
It must be the monsoon...
The typically tabloidish Indian media has outdone themselves this week. In a breathtaking feat of hysterical non-research and low-brow conjecture, big brother India trips, not once, but twice over its own forked tongue.
One of our savvy readers pointed out that some outfit called "News Insight" reported that Nepal was to be governed by the UN for one year. www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno. That's a good one; the UN can't even govern themselves much less a sovereign nation. This report was way off the mark. When actual persons with actual brains were asked about this proposed takeover in Washington, the response showed a predictable annoyance with shoddy reporting: "As a State Department official I am unaware of any such proposal from the United States to the UN. (Also) A Nepali diplomat in Washington speaking on condition of anonymity said, "I have no idea" when asked about the purported proposal." Who ever these idiots at "News Insight" claim to be, they show a fundamental lack of journalistic ethics and standards.
UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was in Nepal this week and wasted no time in playing down the UN takeover rumor. "Neither us nor anybody is needed, (the) UN believes that the Nepalese are capable of developing the necessary process which would allow them to achieve peaceful resolution, which we all wish to see," said Brahimi. http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=6a3Va2maxamal&folder=aHaoamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20050715
He however added, "If our help is requested, we can't say no."
According to his assessment, the situation in Nepal was not "as bad as it can be." He requested, "Please do something, work together now when the situation is not too bad."
Brahimi also said, "UN will continue to take a keen interest in the situation in Nepal and stay closely engaged. It will remain available to provide its assistance in whatever form it may be needed."He said that none of those with whom he held meetings here has talked to him about possible UN mediation in Nepal. "Nobody has spoken in that (mediation) fully exact term," said Brahimi responding journalists' question in a press conference in at UN House today.
So, in our second feat of Indian media foolishness, the Indian press refuses to let go of the "News Insight" fallacy even as it is personally refuted by the UN envoy and the State Department. The Hindustan Times, hearing only what it wants to hear, comes out with: UN WILLING TO HELP NEPAL SOLVE CONFLICT NOW http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1431756,000500020003.htm Focusing on taking Brahimi's quotes out of context to create an air of impending UN takeover in Nepal, quite a different story emerges:
"Please do something to solve the problems now. If allowed to slide, it may really be difficult to resolve," "A solution is needed immediately," "If our help is required, then we can't say no."
At the same time, our old friends at India's "Telegraph" chime in with the same out-of-context banter. They use sound-bites to full effect: “One does not need to tell the people of Nepal that they are facing a very serious crisis,” and “A solution is needed urgently." http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050716/asp/foreign/story_4997313.asp The Telegraph continues to paint its picture by inferring that the situation is so dire that Brahimi could only make his statements as "a parting shot."
What gives India? Blogdai surmises that a free and democratic press in India simply means a license to make-up stories and editorialize factual statements. Anyway, why not make up stories about Nepal? The average Indian reader could care less about what goes on in Nepal, much less the accuracy of reporting on same, right?
Blogdai guesses that our brave friends at the Hindustan Times were so concerned about Nepal's imminent collapse into anarchy that they forgot to mention that they were one of the first newspapers to break the news of the new $28.5 million upgrade to India's embassy in Kathmandu. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1430489,000500020003.htm. Sounds more like an Indian take-over to me.
Update, July 18: The UN is, once again, is light-years behind the news curve; they just now came out with their version of the above story. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=15057&Cr=nepal&Cr1= With quick, time-critical analysis of the situation, the UN shows us all that it's better to be late than never with a story. My, wouldn't they just do a fine job of running Nepal? Rumor has it that the UN, after much deliberation, is about to make a startling announcement condemning atrocities committed during World War I. Stay tuned..