Thursday, December 16, 2010

Deceit in black and white

The Pakistani daily, The News, tends not to impress, as far as its quality of journalism is concerned - misleading headlines, inane opinion-pieces etc.. Here, however, is an example where the editorial had a bare-faced lie within it.

It had to do with Germany's Angela Merkel who stated, on 11 Dec 2010, that terrorism cannot be used to solve political problems.

The News, in its editorial "Merkel’s hard line" ( reported this and offered its own interpretation.

> Now, we have Chancellor Merkel of Germany being
> uncharacteristically forthright - whilst on a
> visit to India - and saying to us that ‘...terror
> cannot be a means to solve political problems’. The
> implication, unstated but there in the subtext, is
> that we (Pakistan) are for whatever reason a state that
> sponsors or supports terrorism, and there can be no other
> interpretation of Merkel’s statement.

This logic is strange, of course, but a journalist is free to choose to propagate his or her own opinion.

And again:

> The Merkel visit to India is only tangentially
> about delivering a smack round the head to ourselves
> - what it is mostly about is trade.

Except, of course, that Angela Merkel was not in India - these remarks were made in Berlin.

Some other which confirm this are:

1. The German foreign office website announcing the Indian Prime Minister's upcoming meeting with Ms. Merkel in Berlin

2. The official German website, containing the full text of Ms. Merkel's speech (in German)

3. An Indian newspaper, The Hindu, reporting on the meeting

This then is the quality of the editorial in The News - unfortunately, anything written with plenty of praise of the fatherland and its wronged sons and corresponding contempt for the traditional enemy will be lapped up by the masses.

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