Officers on the fifth floor of a two-floor hotel: How Arnab's 'intelligence sources' let him down

Even the Pakistan media picked up his gaffe.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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Last week on Republic, Arnab Goswami's primetime show revolved around a "big split" in the Taliban. Goswami claimed the Taliban had "broken up" because its cofounder, Mullah Biradar, had refused to work with the Haqqani network, a terrorist network "fuelled" by Pakistan's ISI.

As part of the programme, Goswami claimed that officers of the Pakistani army were staying on the fifth floor of the Serena hotel in Kabul. He cited "intelligence sources" for his claim. No one should question his sources, Goswami thundered, while also detailing "what the officers had for dinner".

One of the panelists on the show, PTI spokesperson Abdul Samad Yakoob, did ask Goswami about his sources. Goswami, as is his wont, didn't take kindly to being challenged. He said, "You go and check today...on the fifth floor of the Serena hotel, I am telling you, please check, fifth floor of the Serena hotel in Kabul, how many Pakistani army officers are there?"

A day later, Yakoob returned to Republic and told Goswami that he had checked with his sources to find that the Serena hotel had only two floors, not five.

Goswami's response was to laugh. "This is the level of work you do...it's hilarious," he said. "So, you know that they're in the Serena hotel. You called the hotel and you confirmed it. I played a trick on you and said the fifth floor."

Ah yes, "a trick", that common journalistic tool while holding debates on current affairs. On his part, Yakoob merely replied that he had checked the information on Google.

Unsurprisingly, Goswami was trolled on social media. Pakistani media picked it up too, such as Dawn, which noted that the "bellicose anchor's claim was quickly exposed".

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