A Sting In Their Tales

This was a year of sting operations and exposés, from match-fixing to pilfering ministers and extorting journalists.

Media Stings

The media was busy this year with a surfeit of exposés. Clocking in an enviable exposé a quarter. Some shook up the system, some resulted in a few laughs, some resulted in a little egg on the media face and others were simply forgotten as the next exposé made an appearance. Here’s the list of sting ops which the media were busy with this year.

Operation Dhritrashtra – The exposé by India TodayAaj Tak claimed that Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid had siphoned away money from his trust – the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust – which is supposed to assist disabled people. If that in itself was not enough, Khurshid held a press conference where he decided to show us his wild side. He also gave us “guttersnipes” and of course the famous “ink and blood” comment which has gone down in the year’s Quotable Quotes. India Today, despite legal action by the Khurshids, has refused to apologise for the sting op and stands by it. Kudos.

If you want to know more about Operation Dhritarashtra – http://www.newslaundry.com/2012/10/old-habits-die-hard/

And here’s Deepak Sharma telling us how he got this story.


India TV cricket betting sting – We know, we know, India TV has as much credibility as Sheila Dikshit currently has on protecting Delhi’s women. But six umpires did admit on camera to be willing to fix matches for money. And these were all ICC umpires from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The sting op resulted in the umpires who were caught on camera being suspended, but despite cricket being the national obsession, the story seems to have died down without a trace. Read the story here (http://www.indiatvnews.com/sports/cricket/icc-umpires-caught-camera-willing-to-fix-matches-india-tv-stings-6618.html).

IBN-Cobrapost Sting – At the outset let us tell you that we had unanimously dubbed this sting Bollywood’s most boring secret (http://www.newslaundry.com/2012/07/bollywoods-most-boring-secret/). While IBN called it The Real Dirty Picture and publicised it on Twitter, the reality turned out to be a damp squib. Call it our immunity to controversies and scandals, somehow the presence of black money in Bollywood was neither new nor did it really bother viewers that much. Now if it was Karan Johar talking of how he got Dawood to invest in Student of the Year, THAT would be news. Actually, how he got anybody to invest in that would have been news.

Zee-Jindal – Now this is the sting-op which had caught the media with a rotten egg omelette on its face. What we saw in the Zee-Jindal sting did make an otherwise self-righteous media pause for a moment. Journalists who moonlight as extortionists now? That demands some tough answers. Congress MP Navin Jindal unveiled a sting operation done by Jindal Steel and Power Limited on Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor and Business Head of Zee News and Sameer Ahluwalia, Editor and Business Head of Zee Business who were allegedly asking JSPL for money to stop negative reports on Jindal related to the coal scam. While the cases and counter-cases continue, the coal scam is no longer news and we haven’t seen any sting operations in a while. Of course the Jindal counter sting op also managed to rake up enough dirt on Jindal and his company’s operations. But sadly for Zee, while other media had rallied around the Aaj Tak Group during Operation Dhritrashtra, no one bought Zee’s story that they’d been hoodwinked by Naveen. Currently, Subhash Chandra is out on anticipatory bail and the two editors got to be guests of Tihar jail. Not the best of times for Zee.

Naveen Jindal spoke to Madhu Trehan about the whole saga: http://www.newslaundry.com/2012/11/nl-interviews-naveen-jindal/

Here’s everything you wanted to know about the Zee-Jindal counter sting op


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Image By- Abhishek Verma

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