If you had logged on to Twitter sometime this afternoon, you would have been greeted with the trend “Newslaundry Exposed”.
Here’s what happened. On April 10, ABP News reported that coronavirus infections would have crossed 8.20 lakh in India by April 15 had there been no nationwide lockdown. #JaiHoModi
They attributed this figure to an ICMR study. In its the same day, the health ministry said there was no such study conducted by the ICMR. Newslaundry did a on this.
A day after all of this, Lav Agrawal, joint secretary in the health ministry, did a flip-flop of sorts. He said: “If we hadn’t taken any action, the cumulative growth rate may have been 41 percent growth. By April 15, we would have reported 8.2 lakh cases.” He repeated that there was no ICMR study and this was the health ministry’s own “statistical growth rate-based analysis”.
We highly recommend you read that examines the flip-flop and the odd 41 percent growth projection offered by the ministry.
A good three days later, some ABP News anchors woke up to Agrawal’s April 11 press conference and claimed that they had been vindicated. And that NEWSLAUNDRY HAD BEEN EXPOSED.
Except, of course, they chose to ignore that Agarwal repeatedly said there was no ICMR study. Studying the health ministry projection is, of course, too much to expect from the stables of ABP News, which brought us this scintillating report this morning.
And then came the copy-paste attack.
One thing we can’t accuse them of is originality.
There’s a lot that can be said about this episode but we’ll stick to the basics.
There is way more fun you can have with our name. Dirty laundry? Seriously?
This is probably the first time a news network has celebrated being wrong about a story so publicly. On Twitter.
Some top ABP News anchors have very real comprehension issues. What part of “there is no ICMR study” did they not get?
The desperation to get a stamp of approval for their reporting from the government is seriously disturbing.
But, hey, it’s not their fault. It’s the model that’s broken. News media depends on government ads and events with Modiji as chief guest to make money. So, you really can’t blame them for this behaviour.
The only thing that CAN change this state of affairs, is YOU, the reader, viewer, news consumer. Unless YOU step up and pay for news, a large section of TV news professionals will continue to shill for the government of the day. TRP wins, advertisers win, YOU lose.
Pay to keep news free. Subscribe to Newslaundry. It’s really that simple.