Is slamming PM, government ‘yellow journalism’?

The Washington Post newspaper has put in print just about everything that an ordinary Indian thinks about prime minister Manmohan Singh as he presides majestically over scam after earth (and space) shattering scam:

“An honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat (who) has slowly given way to a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government.”

The people quoted by the paper (including the historian Ramachandra Guha and the PM’s ex-media advisor Sanjaya Baru) have called him a “tragic figure”—fatally handicapped by timidity, complacency and intellectually dishonesty—who has transformed himself from an object of respect to one of ridicule, and is in danger of going down in history as a “failure”.

Not surprisingly, for a government which thought Time magazine did not have the right to call Manmohan Singh an “underachiever”, there are calls for an apology from the Washington Post. Ambika Soni, the information and broadcasting minister who was once part of Sanjay Gandhi‘s charmed circle, has called Washington Post‘s reporting “yellow journalism”.

“We have our apprehension to a foreign daily publishing something baseless on our prime minister… This is what we call as yellow journalism,” Soni said.

“How can a US daily take the matter such lightly and publish something regarding the prime minister of another country. I will speak to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and government officials and definitely do something over this issue,” she added.

Really? Is this yellow journalism or legitimate journalism?

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38 Responses to “Is slamming PM, government ‘yellow journalism’?”

  1. Suresh Panje Says:

    To call a spade, a spade is no crime. And it said that Truth often hurts. As such the piece featured by the Washington Post with comments of Ramachandra Guha should be taken in the right spirit. Well, I don’t mean to say the Yankees are saints and perfectionists. In fact, the Americans are the root cause for over 90 percent of the maladies faced by our present day world. Yes on every front right from geo-political, economy, social, ethical and practically every entity under the sun. And our own Manmohan Singh, who prior to 1990 was deemed to be one with leftist ideology steered the nation’s destiny under the late P V Narasimha Rao by declaring the ‘Open Economy’ and since then he exposed himself to be a stooge of western powers such as the World Bank, IMF and the corporates owned by the white skinned people.
    Be it as a Finance Minister or the two innings (of which he is still batting in one) as Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh had never been assertive. Evident are the manner in which he reads out the prepared speeches.
    So let us fact the fact and be done with it.
    Suresh Panje
    New Delhi

  2. Bk chowla Says:

    I feel very sorry for Ambika Soni.
    Why is congress blind to the fact that every blogger,everyone onTwitter has been saying what has written?This country has been made a laughing stock of by MMS.
    But,why does it not occur anyone,including WP to hod Sona also responsible ?

  3. asha Says:

    If only our own MSM had done this calling the bluff of MMS long back, we would still have some self respect left as a country…but alas the MSM was busy tarnishing Namo for his “Wrong doings in Gujarat”….

    On a lighter note, DigVijay Singh will come up with irrefutable proof that the Washnigton Post article was a handiwork of RSS and our MSM will go to town with it..

  4. N.Krishnamurthy Says:

    Journalism and NEWS are what people want to hide. Others are Exhibitionism! Washington Post has reported RIGHTLY what the coterie and trusted lieutinents want to hide about the Primr Minister. If you call this yellow journalism, some thing wrong in the eyes of the beholder. Perhaps jaundiced eye!

  5. the colonel Says:

    what has been written in TWP is true.

    He came into our lives and was the change we needed.

    We made him victorious in 2009.

    then it happened…………………………… the let down.

    the end

  6. Rastrakoota Says:

    This came pretty quick on churumuri! Voting for option 4 makes better sense than 2 isn’t it? The dogs a la Manish,jaya and Ambika must be doing night outs preparing their rsponses. Good luck!!

  7. Deepak Says:

    As usual Congress considers anything thats against it as yellow journalism. Interestingly, its the pro-Congress types like Ramchandra Guha and Sanjay Barua who have made all the negative comments. This reflects a very dangerous situation for the Congress, its hold in the media is slowly slipping.

  8. Melanie Says:

    Calling a spade a spade is not yellow journalism!!

  9. Anonymous Guy Says:

    The folks in power in India are used to bullying and getting their way in our slave culture be they right or wrong. It is a comical sight when they try their tactics on Western institutions are financially immune to the blackmail and have slightly higher standards than their Indian counterparts.

    Let the respected, incorruptible, highly deserving, thoroughly competent I&B minister ban The Washington Post or threaten to cut off ads. That is the only method our politicians know of when dealing with the press. What difference will it make? How many people in India subscribe to the post?

  10. M Says:

    At the root of this is the attempt by US Business Interest to force Indian Govt to open up FDI in Retail and Insurance. I’m not sure of the impact of western retail in India (for our retailers as already unscrupulous) but American style insurance is a big fraud. People lost lifetime savings during the last Market Crash. Saving in the form of 401K and such other plans are actually invested in the market. This is what is being forced upon India.

    That I disagree and wish MMSto go away is another issue. But letting my opinion be used as a ruse to force their way into our home is another thing.

  11. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Ambikammana vaakyarachaneyalli bahaLa thappugaLu ive. Trying to do something “over” the issue, she will give the Post a chance to guffaw.

    We want all the benefits of globalisation, but we cannot stand it when a phorin paper criticises the PM. Don’t Indian papers too publish stuff that is not quite favorable to the U. S.?

  12. Panduranga Says:

    Sardarji, MadamjI,her ladkaji not to speak of other G’s like manish G, DiggyG , RenukaG nad other G’s deseve to be sent to hell !!

  13. Vicharak Says:

    If WashPo report is termed Yellow Journalism then most Indian media, especially English tv news channels, will also qualify for similar honour as they are always ready to sensationalise Gujarat 2002 riot and malign its CM, by picking on any story or statement without bothering to check if it is right or wrong, authentic or fake.

  14. Gundaa Says:

    I have been telling everybody that this man is nowhere near as good as he is being portrayed by indian media.
    He is the worst thing that could happen to india at this time. People say he is good but do they have any idea what is political and economic beliefs are? He is an economist, but no one knows the school of thought he subscribes to. In india these shameless people have a lame excuse by saying they want to help poor people. This shameless person cannot even talk and bring people together. This waste of a person survives because of parties like BJP, Deve Gowda etc..

  15. Deepak Says:

    ‘We’ didn’t make him victorious in 2009. Congress won because of regional satraps like YSR, MK, Gehlot and Raj Thackerey. And he won because the BJP shot itself in the nether regions and conceded game, set and match to Madam. Mannu cannot even win a municipal election, from where will he get a win for his party?

  16. greyhame Says:

    You pose the question simplistically and without context, “Is slamming PM, government ‘yellow journalism’?”
    It is not just a matter of slamming the PM and government. The writer presents rehashed views from other magazines, twitter and elsewhere and runs that in a leading foreign publication which becomes an event in itself. That fact is yellow journalism. The writer has done no original work, and has passed of sentiments of the people he is acquainted with, without any efforts to present the view of the people on the other side of the political spectrum.

    Now all we need is for Times to catch hold of this story and quote Time, Indepedent and WaPo and we will have another event. What a travesty of journalism – a cascading cycle of rehashed sourcing, each becoming an event in itself!

  17. Sanjeeva Says:

    Does not Ambika Soni watch “The Week that was not” telecast by CNN IBN and “The Great Indian Tamasha” by NDTV!

  18. the colonel Says:

    dear deepak,

    check 2004 and then check 2009 and then check what you believe is an authority on recent events from 2003.

    i stand by my statement.

  19. DailyBread Says:


    >Don’t Indian papers too publish stuff that is not quite favorable to the U. S.?

    Gurugale, I heard that Churumuri got a call from Whitehouse demanding an apology for that Obama cover. Is it true?



    >The writer presents rehashed views from other magazines, twitter and elsewhere
    >The writer has done no original work,
    >and has passed of sentiments of the people he is acquainted with, >without any efforts to present the view of the people on the other side of the political spectrum.

    This looks like a typical modus operandi of the entire Delhi based padma awarded, padma aspiring media. Exhibit A : Todays Newspapers, Exhibit B: Todays Prime Time discussions on TV Exhibit C: Magazines available on the nearest news stand. Exhibit D: Their wise digital droppings on social media & blogs.

    >That fact is yellow journalism.

    And we don’t want look at volumenous evidence avialable in our own backyard and call out the folks who are indulging in nasty practices.

  20. induramesh Says:

    We donnt like what the Washington Post says. It works as long as the Indian Media, especially the electronic media kowtowes to the
    Congress and makes hate BJP their Mantra. At least now, let them realise what the world thinks of MMS, sonia and Rahul.

  21. harkol Says:

    All these fossils of Emergency & crony-socialist era have tried their best to pull India back to 1970s and 1980s.

    China, which had lesser GDP than India in 1970s, borrowed good portions of communism and good portions of capitalism and is today 4 times the size of Indian GDP!

    Congies borrowed worst of Communism and worst of Capitalism. They tried to mimic Soviets between 50-80s. Failed. Now they Mimic Russia – giving whole new meaning to crony capitalism.

    Now, we are left with arrogant psycho-pants of the yore, who can’t do any good for nation, but can’t take any criticism.

  22. change Says:

    how can he do like this . how can they do like this.
    ambika soni thought it was like signing papers in US and to publish it that she made hampi a unesco heritage!

    modern self called fathers of globalization like NRN TATA etc forgot that criticism will also flow globally along with investment.
    if 10 capitalists will embrace and wet you 1000 communists will be behind to destroy you.

    alla pakdalle thorium noo looti maadbitnalla baddimaga ambani.

  23. george varuggheese Says:

    A bureaucrat who thinks that the British had done good job in India with respect to good governance and who works for a party that has become a family business, cannot be anything else.

  24. narayana, narayana! Says:

    Well. MMS is ‘universally’ recognized as a failure now.

  25. Deepak Says:

    Colonel sa’b – didn’t get your point!!?? What to check!!? Results of previous elections??

    I still maintain that national issues don’t drive elections any more (since 1999) and that state issues decide election results. Congress won in 2004 and 2009 because of anti-incumbency against BJP in states and because of arrogance of BJP. It is definitely not due to Sonia or Manmohan.

  26. Chidu22 Says:

    What does the flippant 4th option ‘ke farak painda’? doing here. Has it replaced the equivalent of it in kannada or english?. Shameful!

  27. the colonel Says:

    dear deepak

    “I still maintain that national issues don’t drive elections any more (since 1999)”

    you are right there.

  28. Deepak Says:

    @the colonel
    Thanks :)
    Same way, its also clear if BJP wins next time, it wont be because of any central leader – not Jaitley, not Sushma, not Advani and definitely not Gadkari, but it will because of state leaders like Narendra Modi, Raman Singh, Shivraj Chauhan, Uma Bharati and Vasundhara Raje

  29. asha Says:


    Spot on….this coming from KP who has written some scathing pieces on the punjabification of Indian culture

  30. kris Says:

    Why should we let a foreigner or people with anti-Congress agenda act like experts on MMS? And, why Churumuri wants us to read this garbage and comment on it?

  31. Deepak Says:

    Why does the Media love Congress so much? Answer is here:

  32. Sanjeeva Says:

    @Deepak, Alas! I wish you (we) were able to name somebody from our state also. Not a single soul in the horizon (in any party for that matter). Sad…..

  33. DailyBread Says:

    kris Saar,

    >Why should we let a foreigner

    lol, with this kind of understanding of Congress culture, Simple Sir & Sanjay Jha will fire you from your well paid job in TeamCongress. Now, get ready to join Jagdish Tytler’s team…….

  34. Sanjeev Shukla Says:

    Read the clarifications now given by Washington Post, and you will understand it was bad and deep yellow journalism.
    Baru was misquoted, Guha was quoted without context or permission, and Goldman Sachs has denied giving any quote at all!

    It is not criticism that is the issue here, but journalism. And that stinks.

  35. Deepak Says:

    Hey you forgot Yeddy, the strong leader, man of the masses! He will create a wave ……..that will sweep away the BJP from Karnataka.

  36. Anitha Says:

    The entire media is either sold out to Congress party or find it utterly convenient to remain silent on issues which affect the party and the first family of the party.

    That is the reason why when someone reports truth about them, the rest of the media jump in and start claiming things like yellow journalism etc.

    Here is one instance where our local media remained completely silent on an issue which they should have investigated and brought out the truth.

    I owe this to a blog called Media Crooks and this is taken from there.. lest someone accuse me of plagiarism and shut down the voice rather than debating about it!!

    “When Kishore Samrite, an ex-MLA of Samajwadi Party, filed a case in the Allahabad HC against Rahul Gandhi for alleged abduction of a woman named Sukanya there wasn’t a whisper on any of our TV channels. The HC dismissed the case after Sukanya was reportedly produced in court and slapped a fine of Rs.50 lakhs on Samrite. The case is now in the SC. Surprisingly CBI, which investigated the case, has stated to SC such a woman doesn’t exist. Strange, isn’t it? The Allahabad HC dismissed the case after the woman was reportedly produced in court and now CBI claims in SC the woman doesn’t exist. Never mind. Did you hear any of this on any TV news channel? Did you hear any of it when Samrite actually filed the case in the Allahabad HC? Nothing! When the HC dismissed the case and slapped a penalty, Headlines Today only reported the dismissal and the penalty but not any details about the case. Now imagine if some member from BJP or TMC or AIADMK or BJD were involved in the case instead of RG. You can then imagine the case would be on TV 24X7 for all these past 6 years without let up. ”

    So now the question is ” Is writing the truth about PM and government yellow journalism?”

  37. Suresh Panje Says:

    Dear Ms. Anitha,
    The media is in the grips of vested interests and these entities control the powers-that-be. Around two months ago, there was an instance of police firing on poor tribals who were protesting against forced acquisition of their land for the steel project in Odisha. Over 70 tribals were brutually killed. There were visuals and pathetic statements of the tribals. This particular news item was all set to be flashed across the country when there was a call from the top brass to withhold this particular story since it involved JIndals who in turn must have sounded the major TV channels (in which the Reliance group has maximum stakes) to black out the news.
    When Mr. Justice Venkatachaliah headed the Committee to review the Constitution, a frequent visitor to the secretariat of his office was a permanent representative of Reliance (a south Indian) based in Delhi. He had an office functioning from Le Meredian where the cost of daily occupation must have been in the range of rupees 10,000 over 12 years ago. As such whether it is the ruling party or the opposition, they are all the birds of the same feather who are at the beck and call of these industrialists (read media barons) so as to suit their needs.
    All said and done, as for the case filed by Samrite, I wish to add that we have the Ministry of Law and Justice which in fact reflects the adage WHERE LAW BEGINS, JUSTICE ENDS.

  38. N.Krishnamurthy Says:

    White is the colour of peace. The colour Red is the symbol of danger, green – envy, blue(s) – lethargy, pink-blush, yellow – journalism. Only black represents the character of these politicians. But no color to describe hedonism and debauchery!

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