Thursday, September 2, 2010

How To Plant Idiotic Stories and Those Who Let Them

Imagine my shock and surprise when I saw 'Breaking News' on Express TV just before 7pm tonight that the entire sordid cricket spot-fixing saga had been one big fraud engineered by the Indian intelligence agency RAW in collusion with the Indian International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar, the News Of The World newspaper, and RAW's paid agent Mazhar Majeed, who according to this report, received 50,000 pounds from the intelligence agency to enact the drama.

This was just before the three blasts in Lahore today which have killed some 28 people so far, so the story sort of got buried for a little while. But it was repeated again in the 8 o' clock and 9 o' clock news and even sort of referenced in Mubasher Lucman's programme at 8 o' clock, where some unknown "analyst" (identified as one of Daily Express' editors) claimed he had been saying from the start what everyone now knows, that the whole scandal had been manufactured to ruin Pakistan cricket. I was later told that Aaj TV had also run the same story aggressively.

There was one little problem with this expose, however: it cited no sources. In the 'Breaking News' just before 8pm, Express TV claimed the source to be "a British newspaper" without naming it. In the 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock news, the source had become "media reports." This vagueness (if there is such a earth-shattering story, wouldn't it make sense to tell viewers who managed the scoop?) and the fact that neither Geo nor any other channel had run the report (as far as I know) of course immediately set the bullshit alarm off. So I decided to follow up and see where this news had originated from.

Not quite "a British newspaper"

It didn't take much to be honest. A simple Google search revealed the only source: the rag known as The Daily Mail. No, not the right-wing mainstream UK newspaper (no great repository of truth itself), but the purveyor of all conspiracy theories headquartered in Islamabad which pretends to be a global paper and which is a favourite of Zaid Hamid acolytes like Ahmed Quraishi. Although fronted by a man known as Makhdoom Babar Sultan, here's a hint to what it's actually about: most of its op-ed writers are retired faujis and its focus seems plainly to be crude propaganda about India. No points for guessing who's probably behind it.

The funniest part of the whole episode is that apparently Aaj TV even ran the logo of the actual UK Daily Mail along with its story and Express TV were so taken in by the name of the source (as well as probably its ambiguous logo that has two upright lions in it that make it look vaguely British empire) that they just assumed the source was "a British newspaper." So much for fact checking at Aaj or Express TV!

The two lions are a nice touch

But more troubling is the fact that once Express TV figured out that the sensational news was not coming from the UK's established media, it continued carrying the story as something credible and simply started calling its source "media reports." Which of course means jack-all, especially considering the background of this rag. Here is the actual story in the paper which you can read and judge for yourself. One word to the wise: don't believe any of the bylines. I doubt any of these people actually exist.

This set me off wondering if this push for planted and obviously libelous stories was some new game by 'the boys'. Although why they should be interested in something as petty as saving the arses of Pakistani cricketers is quite beyond me. Perhaps some of 'the boys' believe it to be part of the 'national interest'? This led me to this story, which was printed in The Nation today as well as in the Urdu daily Express and apparently a number of other papers, although not in Dawn, the Express Tribune or The News (at least not in Karachi, I am not certain about the Islamabad or Lahore editions).

The story in The Nation printed as a box on the front page under the teasing headline "Is there an Indian connection?" claims to be from a reporter called Ashraf Javed. My sources have confirmed that the story actually arrived fully written directly from 'the boys' themselves. (So not only are some papers willing to publish planted stories verbatim, some like The Nation will also provide their own bylines for pre-written pieces.)

If there were any doubt before, we now know for sure how much credibility Express TV and Aaj TV and Express and The Nation have. But what in God's name are our psy-ops warriors up to?


karachikhatmal said...

fascinating stuff...

and so intriguing as well...

did ahmed mukhtar go to the generals and said "right, you guys won't let me do shit, at least save my sala FFS"

Raza said...

Well Geo/Jang can't run it because of the Bhatti story. They'll really feel they're missing out though, especially because of this priceless fucking sentence:

"These investigations indicate that pre-set drama reveals that ICC chief and its members, The News of the World and notorious Indian intelligence agency RAW were the mastermind behind all this planned mess with special focus on putting the career of new teenage pace sensation of Pakistan Muhammad Aamir at stake who emerging as main threat to the batsmen across the world in the coming years."

Anonymous said...

In the last few days i've heard suggestions of new names for the country, including Akhtar Shah's excellent "Kangladesh" but also "Fixistan" and "Beyghairatistan". After reading this though, and having heard Talat Hussain and even Kashif Abbasi propound the conspiracy theory, I think "Lalaland" will do just fine.

Anonymous said...

Pyala's people why you always see any news with the eyes of Geo tv?
I am sharing my personal experience. On the very first day when I saw this flashing news on every channel. I surely assumed it as a propaganda against our team. My cousin was siting beside me and I said to him: 'Now let's wait and watch which news channels show news in favor of our team and which go against them by creating silly investigation reports and try to take so called EXCLUSIVE interviews. Which I was indirectly really meant of Geo Tv.
On the other day at 10'O clock Kamran Khan was sitting and I laughed what he said, to quote him "Pakistan players ki ye news ek mah pehle he pakistan kay sab se zyada parha jane waley akhbar Jang ne break ki thi" lol.
And once again Geo favored the negative aspect of the story. On the other day when Express News showed that this all news is pre planned by RAW and the news of the world which is yes true as there is not a single evidence proved against them and that video, pictures are fake. Very soon all the public which were in first against our team and protesting, came in favor of them just because it shows the relationship and trust among Express News and viewers. Now Geo is surely once again ashamed of their selves lol.
@Cpyala: I really like all the posts posted by you people but you favoring all times to Geo tv doesn't make any sense being a professional.

Anonymous said...

PTV also ran this in there Khabarnama.

Anonymous said...

I have been a regular follower of this blog as I personally think you represent a fair picture of Pakistan. I am as you might think, Indian and have a general concern of what happens in Pakistan. I have never been tempted to post my comment here before as I don't know much about your country except what I read in places like here.

Today I am compelled to write something as there is a limit to what one can take. I am not offended nor angry by the claims of mainstream Pakistan media ( our media is no vastly different to leave out sensation but I am sure they verify their sources before pointing out a theory like this ). But, my concern is this... How long can you comfort yourself believing in lies? I mean seriously, Pakistan is a nation which is suffering from the vast destruction of floods, suicide bombings taking place in midst of this chaos, leaders who are incapable of handling crisis, and to top it all off, Cricket scandal.

And if you think RAW is behind all your ills, then well, all I can say is good luck. We have our share of problems too but except for where it was found out ( terrorist attacks 26/11 ) , we don't blame Pakistan for everything nor do we keep talking about attacking it in our evening talk shows...oops sorry took too much space here.....Cheers Srikanth

Unknown said...



I first caught the whiff of this conspiracy theory plant !!!!

I was ahead of everybody; whilst y'all were tearing up over the News of the World BS-ing, I was already cool over how I expected these a-holes to behave.

And yes, I get that the news that you're writing on is that this BS showed up on TV, but I had already caught out the conspiracy theory on the Daily Express website.

Some credit here for being ahead of the curve folks?

And @ Srikanth, we don't believe this BS bro, which is why so many of us gather around this website and I'm glad to have you here.

Ritwam said...

Thanks for unearthing the conspiracy theory..

I as an Indian (& there are hundreds like me here in India ) who were pained to see the terrible episode unearth on TV..There are huge fans of Pakistan Cricket team in India..Its time PCB took tough decisions. There is huge talent in Pakistan which must be groomed rather than continuing with the same black sheeps..Hoping the new Pakistani Cricketers would emulate the likes of Imran Khan & Zaheer Abbas, who command such great esteem..

Anonymous said...

and the undercover reporter of NOTW was also a Pakistani

and he does have broken some big stories

may be our intelligence agencies can take a lesson or two from him!

Omar Owais said...

I think NFP wrote something about this 'newspaper' and in response some 'reporter' from this 'paper' wrote (on the paper's website), that NFP had recieved some $60,000from the CIA to 'defame Pakistan'.

This is crazy. If our mainstream news channels actually did take this idiotic story from this equally idiotic newspaper, then God help us.

Actually, has anyone noticed how zaid hamid and his brigade after being sidelined recently is trying to make a comeback??

Magnum said...

daily mail??
Ha ha ha. These balls of Zaid surely are audicious. But then, that's exactly what makes them so much fun.

$60,000?? LOL!! Wonder what NFP's doing slogging it away at Dawn. There was a time when ppl used to call him a KGB man. so I think being accused of being CIA is an improvment.

And why shouldn't Zaid Hamid and co. go after him. He has almost single handedly crushed their delusions. Zaid just couldn't recover from the bashing he got from the likes of NFP and (another "CIA agent"), Fasi Zaka.

And et tu, Cafe Pyala. You RAW people, you ...

nofixedadderess said...

I know majority of ppl in Pakistan( the educated ones for sure) dont really believe in this theory ; however, for channels to keep braodcasting it, I wonder how many ppl actually wished it was true...wonder how many actually want to ...... I am sure the story was planted by one of the 'boys' because match fixing fiasco runs much deeper than and much earlier than these 3 people. PCB, Politicans, BCCI,and just a few years back ,quite a lot of Indian players HAVE TO BE involved in this muck or Salim Mallick/Azhar would not have escaped jail time (and Akram wouldnt have a played a single game after 2000).
All that would come out of this would be prob banning Asif and Kamran for good, 5years suspension for Amir and Butt and thats it.No-one is going to follow the leads to their logical conclusion because that will be too much for the cricket establishments of both India and Pakistan to handle( in Pakistan's case, political too!)
Sorry to sound racist and I dont mean it as some sort of colonial hangover but the subcontinent has fucked cricket up for good.

Their problems/malady might be different but both the nations are in denial about them.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny!! Pls let add my 2 paisa masala perspective. Other day I was asked abt Indo-Pak relationship. I surmised thus(as in a Bollywood plot) "Assume Pakistani public to be a beautiful young talented damsel that has two rival suitors. One is an ex BF the local Khaki hero and other is wannabe India hero. While khaki is the local heart throb, India is long lost love.. and is now that higher income foreign bound doctor. Both are trying to vow her. In this add some true Bollywood masala, WH & CIA plays the stern yet comical father and local Pakistani political parties are the beaten down,submissive, always confused mother to our heroin. Parents want her to select khaki munda yet heart in heart she knows that doctor would be father to her children. What can the poor damsel do? Her friend, the Pakistani press media can be ludicrous at times. She going nuts with stress. A hopeless situation with many twist and turns yet to come, how will she finally manage to hook up with her destiny? No right questions, only left ideas"

Unknown said...

Anon 8:33AM. Keep your condescending attitude to yourself.

Please don't try to assume that Pakistan is pining in it's heart for a hero. Even in your sad, sad analogies try and remember you are dealing with three dimensional human beings. If humans pine first and formost for anything, it's a better life. When Myanmarese and Bangladeshi refugees stop crossing into Pakistan, then come back.

Faisal.K said...

Lets see if the b.s can stand up in court first?

its one thing to allege another to try...but why bother the boys are already fried by all of us.

Rick M said...

@ Anon 8:33: Have to agree with TLW. Very sorry analogy. And it runs on and on like Kate Winslet's Titanic too.

Honestly, apart from one media group crying itself hoarse for better relations, there are hardly many people who would think of India as often as you seem to believe. There is no love affair AT ALL. Just a desire that peace in our times will suit us all.

Unknown said...

Thanks Rick M.

I forgot about Aman Ki Asha. Is Jang group doing anything on it beyond pasting a banner on their website?

Rama Ratnam said...

The problem with planting baseless stories (with fictitious bylines that look authentic) is that it divides public opinion. The more nutty stories there are, the more people are divided. As a result there is no clear push, from the public, to get to the truth.

It is bad enough that the Daily Express publishes such rank conspiracy theories, but it was not helpful to hear the Pakistan High Commissioner in London say something similar.

Any one who enjoys cricket anywhere in the world, including Indians, felt a palpable wrench at seeing a young man like Amir caught up in this sorry mess. He is bowler of such talent, with such great promise. What all of us want is for such a thing to never happen again. PCB has a lot to do, and the Pakistani public has an obligation to bring back a great team from the wilderness by pushing for reforms. These sorry antics in the media do not help.

And if the Indians are involved in sabotaging Pakistani cricket, for whatever reason, then let that come out too. But not this way, not by faking bylines, and providing unattributable sources. This is distasteful.

larat333 said...

As an outsider, I am curious to know as to how much is the daily circulation of these 'controversial' publications. Are these popular? I know for fact the Dawn is most popular English daily in Pakistan -which is very good to know.

Buy NRG said...

It is a very good story.There is a significant contingent that believes the cotton industry was behind the push to outlaw hemp because it provided competition with them, which is at worst plausible.

spsyed said...

What is the real hidden untold news story behind the cricket spot-fixing headlines? Cricket agent Mazhar Majeed, 36, remains only a front man, a sideshow or fig-leaf. Majeed was greedy and stupid. But the real match-spot fixer-recruiter got away with millions. The mastermind tempted and coerced sportsmen with free five-star dinners and top luxury cars for days in Dubai. Crime pays criminals who hide their ill-gotten gains, evade taxes, launder money, and mock justice. Investigative journalism and law enforcement are dead. This was a tip of the iceberg. Spot and match fixing remains as old as the games, and it will never end. So, who knows the manipulative mastermind match fixer who made millions from this reported, and many other unreported global scams? Law enforcement agencies failed to trace, trap, investigate and make the masterminds face the music in the UK. The shameless fraudster feels no regrets as he and his beneficiaries enjoy the fruits of their crimes and scams in the UK and abroad. The mastermind mocks British law enforcement and judicial system. Can you name the mastermind? Contact the author of this brief when there is need trace the fugitive, and uncover the complete untold news behind the headlines...