Thursday, 3 July 2008


Hi guys, we thank all of you for dropping by and taking time to comment...
We've been running this blog as an underground forum for critiquing the media in Goa for more than a year now. Your comments will keep the fire going...
Starting now, we're running the first of the three part series on how the media manipulates news. How the media houses manipulated the information we had furnished in the Perus Narkp pressnote we provided, to pass it off as their own, attributing it to 'sources'.
This is a malaise in most investigations conducted by the media. While in a lot of cases hiding a source is necessary, this licence is often abused by the media to peddle spurious reports.
If you guys can, just think back, re-read/watch the media coverage of the Scarlett Keeling or Arushi murder over the last few weeks. Analyse what the media has said in the light of 'Nazi-gate'... Think back how the media regularly covers these police encounters stories or those 'terrorists apprehended on the eve of independence or republic day' stories. We've been there guys.
It never happens like the cops tell it.
Siddharth Vardharajan rightly calls it poppy cock. Over the next three parts we have decided to dish our pricks awards to the media houses which fell for this Johann Bach con. The harder they bit, the more prick points they get... So, here goes fellas...

3 pricks out of 10
To their credit, the Deccan Herald stuck to the press note. It did not deviate from the ‘facts’ mentioned in it. Looks like they approached this story the old school way... The kind of way journalism that used to be done in the times when the internet was non existent and phones were a luxury. There was no effort on part of the DH to even contact the local authorities to verify the details mentioned in the press note. This, inspite of the fact that DH is a paper headquartered in Karnataka, the state where ‘Bach’ was apprehended according to our Perus Narkp press note. The distance between Khanapur and Bangalore is not much. And yet no efforts were made by them to check up facts on this story. The newspaper is a household name in Karnataka did real bad no that front.

9 pricks out of 10
The Calcutta Telegraph appeared to go schizophrenic once we made the prank public. The newspaper almost bungee-jumped into the story with a striking graphic charting Bach’s journey across the globe, before he landed in Goa. This is the newspaper, which has lied the most. They added such fibs to the already fake press note, its not funny. Allow us to present a few examples.
1) The press note we had sent, never did mention that Bach escaped from Bardez, Goa to Khanapur, Karnataka in a taxi. Telegraph made this up.
2) We never said that the German Chancellor’s Core (the damn thing does not exist) had contacted the Intelligence Bureau saying that it wanted to trace an Argentinian passport holder. Telegraph made up this fact too.
3) Our press note did not mention that Bach -- an old German, had told an Israeli tourist couple at a rave party to having liquidated Jews. Telegraph made up this fact too.
4) Telegraph also claims that Bach was arrested at Anmod ghat, a fact not mentioned in the note we had circulated.They created this fact.
5) The world map graphic mentioned nations like Canada, Argentina, Bulgaria and Yemen as some of the places which Bach traveled in after his escape from Berlin. That’s fine, cause that’s we said in our Perus Narkp press note. Now alongside Yemen, Telegraph guys have put in the word ‘unconfirmed’ in brackets, to convey the impression to the readers that ‘phew… man we’ve confirmed Bach’s presence in all other countries except, Yemen… hope you guys don’t mind his yet-to-be-confirmed Yemen’s stint. We tried, but could not ascertain it'.
The bloody liars. Telegraph has without a doubt fibbed its readers the most. These guys have actually attributed this story to sources, another blatant lie. How can these sources explain a sequence of events with such graphic details, when the event itself hasn’t happened?
This isn’t a news story fellas, this reads like a ‘lulla’by filed by Telegraph’s Anil Budur Lulla. Kya Lulla bhai, itna imagination hai to script writer bano yaar, journalist nahin.
We have another bone to pick with the Telegraph over its follow-up.
After promising to apologise to its readers, if they got the facts in the case wrong, the newspapers follow up is very misleading. The follow up is another pack of lies. In a hasty cover-up, Telegraph lies through its teeth when it says that the press note carries a group photo of Johann Bach with other young SS officers. Guys, you’ve seen the copy of the press note in the last post right?
You’ve seen the picture we’ve sent. The one with the old gramp…
So what pic are these guys talking about? Telegraph claims that it had received information from sources in the Intelligence Bureau about the Bach operation, before they filed the story? So where were the quotes? Where were the details? They have blamed the Intelligence guys for not providing them with the right information.
But what’s important is that these guys have not admitted that it was a mistake. They have not apolologised to their readers for furnishing them with rubbish to read. Instead what Telegraph has done is source a long barreled gun and fire it all the way from Calcutta from the shoulders of one R Auradkar (Inspector General, Northern Range) who says this. “Auradkar, however, said he would not like to dismiss the news stories as the result of a rumour or a prank, as suggested in certain blogspots.”
The dumbasses at Telegraph.
Although they’ve been caught with their pants down, all they seem to be doing is covering their rear, when it’s their exposed nuts and bolt that they should be worried out. To be noted guys... although the newspaper maintains a ‘could-be-hoax-maybe-true’ line, they have deleted the page, which carried the original story from their archives. What’s that police investigation dictum guys, ‘A criminal always returns to the crime scene’. Telegraph did just that and tried to wipe out their prints off the cookie jar.

5 pricks out of 10
The two papers have carried this story on pretty identical lines and have attributed the information to 'sources'. In fact the writer Iftikhar Gilani has pre supposed that the German intelligence agencies had tied up with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). In the press note we had only stated that it was the Ministry of Home Affairs folks from the Government of India, who were on the case. Guess it’s quite likely, that a Pakistani newspaperman would shout ‘RAW’, even when he scoops up a spoonful of uncooked rajma-chawal from a food stall behind the Raisini Road Press Club of India office. Another fake detail, which the writer Gilani mentions in his story, is that the ‘Bach’ would be flown to Mumbai, before being taken to Germany. We never said, but seems like his sources did ;)

7 pricks out of 10
The editorials staffers in this newspaper need a good thorough spanking. When their bluff was called by penpricks. These guys at the New Indian Express called us ‘mischief mongers’. But we’ve been called a lot of things, by a lot of people and institutions, we glad accept this brickbat, as a compliment to our expose. The NIE in its initial story claimed that after it received the information about ‘Bach’, it cross checked and verified the information from their sources. They also claim that us pricks had also sent the same press note to the authorities at the same time. We would like to clarify here that we had sent the press note only to journalists and media houses. There is no truth the comment made by NIE that we had also tipped off the cops about the ‘Bach’ capture. But heart of hearts, maybe NIE had wished we had done that. Now we have one question to ask the NIE chaps here. If these guys had taken to pains to verify and cross check facts. Why did they not quote anyone on this story. Not single guy has been quoted, who’s admitted to the incident. The only chappie they’ve quoted is Superintendent of Police Hemant Nimbalkar who categorically says, he does not know about any such incident. There are more questions to be asked about the NIE coverage? Where did they source the information about Bach being in the German government’s 'most wanted list'? Has this been said on the basis of an official document? Where is it? If some authority has told them this, then why haven’t they quoted the authority? What’s the need for being so secretive about a ‘most wanted list’? Aren’t such lists public information? India’s Central Bureau of Information has its most wanted list available online for all to see? So where did NIE source this information from? Tell us guys? Looks like its the NIE which is mischief mongering in this case… It is these guys who have virtually manufactured facts to suit their ends. Ok now for another loophole in the NIE story? How can these guys claim that ‘Bach’ announced his intentions to sell his piano through an AD? Its not in mentioned the press note? So where did this ad part come from? An ad in an English daily? Fertile boy… as fertile as the black soil of Khanapur. Another point to be made. These fibbers at NIE also claimed that their sources told them that Perus Narkp had passed on the Bach lead to the Interpol which in turn passed on the information to the MHA, government of India? Oh really? Sources again… NIE sources are like Frederick Forsythe, Colin Forbes, Leon Uris, Jack Higgins all rolled into one. Rich very, very rich imagination.

2 pricks out of 10
Frankly we expected worse from Times of India. But looks like they came off pretty well. Initially they must have been shell-shocked when they realized that they missed the story. Thankfully there was an element of restraint in the way they reported the affair, quoting the release consistently. These guys also got Karnataka home minister on record, who claimed he did not know about the incident.

5 and a half pricks out of 10
For The Asian Age, it took two bylines to churn out three paragraphs of pure fiction. And we have a problem with Messrs Bhaskar Hegde and Naushad Bijapur. Come on guys, you could have atleast credited our Perus Narkp press note. All these two chaps appear to have done is glean info from the press note and credit it to their sources in the intelligence... Damn you guys… Jis thali se khaoge usi mein chedd…. Apart from creating a chase drama, there’s another interesting element in the copy. Like the Calcutta Telegraph, The Asian Age too mentions that Bach was arrested at Anmod… Where the f…. does this Anmod come in from guys? Sure its on the way to Belgaum from Goa, but its not mentioned in the press note… Why are they obsessed with Anmod then?
(Coming up next, a close look at the coverage by Indian Express, and other national media followed the stories which appeared in Goan newspapers)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God bless you, guys :)

4 July 2008 at 15:03  
Blogger The Transmitter said...

Pen Pricks, take a bow. Yes, what you've done is phenomenal... As a consumer of this indian media, I'm really really disppointed and hope they do learn a lesson. I'm more saddened by the stupidity of Telegraph. When I was in Bengal, I always preferred TT over TOI, AA, Stateman etc, and their credibility-factor was higher being from ABP stable. Not anymore. They didn't just made a fool of themselves like others, they did it in the most ridiculous way... Sigh...

4 July 2008 at 21:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that...and here's to many more such expose.

4 July 2008 at 21:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Work. Bro. Keep it going. I like the visual in pen pricks awards. OUCH....

4 July 2008 at 22:36  
Anonymous Ajit said...

You did a great job of exposing these charlatans and know nothing morons.
I came across this story from google which led me to Times of India. When I checked it and also from other newspapers, I felt there is something wrong with this.
For one thing, Perus Narkp sounds distinctly un Germanic Name. Secondly I have never heard that Concentration Camp these "reports" are mentioning.
Thirdly, they say he is 88 and a major in SS. But World War ended 63 years earlier. That means he can be only 25 at that time. Does anyone become a major so early?

It turns out these corporate and government hacks are dumber than I thought. They would swallow anything no matter how outrageous.

I am glad you exposed these scoundrels.

Can anyone imagine how many "Terrorism" stories these liars manufactured and Published?

I for one, no longer reads these "News Papers" let alone trusting them. They are hardly even "newspapers" they are more like Corporate Press Releases.

If I inspect them (reading is too strong a word) it is only to check out what are today's Lying Points and what are these Liars upto.

5 July 2008 at 04:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not forget Kannada newspapers who also made fool of themselves by publishing inflated reports. Most of them had it on the first page! Some raised concerns about Khanapur forest being used by foreigners etc etc. None of them checked with police.

5 July 2008 at 07:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Nazi gate was a nice prank, caught a lot of guys with their pants down. But you are being a drag, and in sheer poor taste, trying to analyze and opinionate on the response of each newspaper to your release. Guys you have worked in Goa newspapers, and certainly your track records weren't impeccable. All journos work under pressure to deliver, sometimes take risks, and blunder. So quit throwing stones.....

6 July 2008 at 23:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for exposing The Telegraph, Calcutta. They are creating story and putting their hypothesis on the fact for long times. I have written man times to them after seeing just opposite reporting on same story on two consequtive date after finding that their hypothesis has gone horibly wrong. But they did not publish my letters. it is understanble to me.

Their only aim to keep WB CM on the above of any critisim. So they blame to CPIM party for all wrongdoing and praise CM for every so-called good happening. But every layman in WB knows that Budda is involved all decision taken by party and government.

7 July 2008 at 09:52  
Blogger pratap said...

V all must have observed the recent advertisents of NIE. The puchline goes like this-"100% steel, No Gas". Now v can safely say that "100 gas, no steel".


7 July 2008 at 16:17  
Blogger Sweekar said...

Everyone works under pressure in these demanding times, but that's no excuse for shear incompetence.

7 July 2008 at 16:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


how about a couple of links of stuff you guys have done (as journalists -if you've ever really been there, done that (!) - and not over-zealous do-gooders)? just to see if you're as darn good as you want everybody else to be.

that said, this does bring to the fore certain, er, shortcomings of the media!


8 July 2008 at 00:15  
Blogger Ashish Raval said...

Lol. I just broke hell laughing after reading the story. When i saw it in Rediff the first time, i thought wait wait wait wtf a nazi criminal is doing in India !! the next word was impossible something was wrong. But when i saw several websites reporting it i thought god please dont dont let it turn out a big hoax or else these guys will not be able to sh** around anywhere for several months to come.

Anyway great job guys, i loved it.
Hats Off.. ;)

8 July 2008 at 04:07  
Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

I don't know why my comment was not approved the first time around, but here , I post it again:


Call me biased -- I used to work for The Telegraph and still freelance for them -- but it hit hard to see this newspaper, which I still think is one of the best English broadsheets in the country, being duped like this and then vilified on the net.

But I must point one thing out -- this report was filed by a correspondent. Sitting in Bangalore. The newspaper's production centre is in Calcutta. Of course they place some trust in their correspondent (who is a senior Bangalore journalist) who has done well in the past and whose word they perhaps have no reason to doubt. Admittedly, they did try to add colour to the story with their graphic and all, which was also probably asked for by the correspondent, but do news editors routinely cross-check stories filed by outstation correspondents? In my experience, they don't. Also, the fact that Lulla is the one-man show in Bangalore, without a bureau or a bureau chief, might count in this case. I think.

So the point I would like to make is: do not take ONE CORRESPONDENT's attitude, mistakes, achievments to be those of the entire newspaper's. If the Times of India was restrained in their reporting, it means the GUY WHO FILED THE STORY was restrained, and kudos to him. Tomorrow he may move to the Hindustan Times, and his attributes will have nothing to do with TOI.

Please note, i'm not trying to absolve The Telegraph of all blame, just saying that when you point fingers and say 'telegraph did this' and 'telegraph said that' it might be wiser to say 'this correspondent said this or that'.

8 July 2008 at 11:22  
Blogger g3 said...

You guys are just brilliant! :D

8 July 2008 at 14:44  
Blogger The Transmitter said...

@the marauder's map:
What a great argument! So you mean to say ther's nothing like editorial policies and responsibilities from a respected media organisation like TT? It's all the correspondent's fault? Like the Standup Comedian's in reality show? "Any comment made by the participant is his own, not the channel's" kind of thing?? It was not an opinion column, it was a piece of news... If Lulla or whoever is the only person in B'lore without any bureau etc, that's TT's fault. If Lulla is shit that's TT's fault cause they recruited the shit. I buy TT or TOI or Hindu not some Mr. XYZ's comments. It is TT's responsibility what get's printed and there's no reason why they should not be criticized...

8 July 2008 at 20:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hilarious, have done an exdellent job. Huliyar

8 July 2008 at 23:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha the asses at Telegraph have been caught with their pants down. It had to happen someday as the people who run the show there don't have any reporting experience and have little common sense. It no longer is the same paper as it was under MJ Akbar. The guys who came after Akbar are morons who think their world starts and ends with Bengal.

9 July 2008 at 19:50  

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