An editor of a leading news magazine called Indian Express, “the voice of big business”. There’s also the alleged sponsorship by Mukesh Ambani. The pro-corporate anti-poor agenda is apparent in all Indian Express reportage – from the “educational” full page spread on BT-Brinjal, malicious and sometimes arguably false reporting on the Maoists, biased bullshit on the nuclear liability issue, and social sector spending by the State labeled “nanny state” and “dole” – pejorative terminology that has no place outside of the opinion pages, certainly not in headlines.
In the ongoing smear campaign against Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan – this report shows Express’ less than subtle manipulation.
The headline, “Blow to Bhushans: CD talk with Mulayam genuine, say forensics” makes it appear that the report is uncontested. What the hell does “forensics” mean? Were the two labs where Prashant Bhushan sent the conversation for analysis using the voodoo board for analysis? The accurate headline would have been to name the lab, CFSL or even more accurate would have to say “Government Lab”.
In the copy, every time government sources are quoted, their statements are written as statement of fact.
The controversial CD containing purported conversation between eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan and political leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh does not seem to have been tampered with and there is continuity in the conversation, police sources said.
Sources quoting the report said the CD does not seem to have been tampered with and there is continuity in the conversation.
“Recorded conversation is in continuity, no abrupt change in speech signal has been detected,” the sources said.
Compare with how Prashant Bhushan’s statement is treated. When quoting Prashant, words are lifted from sentences and put in quotes such as “doctored”, which in conjunction with “he claimed” undercuts the credibility of his statement
Bhushan’s son and lawyer Prashant had claimed that the disc was “doctored” using 2006 conversations of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh and was intended to influence judgements in 2G and Amar Singh tape cases besides derailing the joint committee proceedings.
He had claimed that the forensic analysis done by US expert George Papcun and Hyderabad-based Truth Labs had shown that the CD has “multiple gaps and signs of electronic editing at very very critical places”.
Also the report happily leaves out the damning fact that in the two recordings – the recording with the purported conversation with Shanti Bhushan and Amar Singh, and the recording from 2006 – entire sections have been lifted e.g., a line, ring tone – saying only that there are “multiple gaps and editing at critical places”.
However the 33 odd comments on this story show that the reader doesn’t place much credence on the government lab report and sees this as a smear campaign. Even so no one is arguing that the members of the “civil society” are above scrutiny – but the investigation must be done properly, those charged given an opportunity and adequate space to explain, and some skepticism on the timing and series of charges that are materializing out of nowhere.
Also read this post: Is Indian Express now pro-establishment paper