ThePrint, the web portal run by former The Indian Express chief editor Shekhar Gupta, has falsely attributed Nirmala Sitharaman, which, according to her, she never said. “Is this parody? If not and if serious, this is calumny. The quotes attributed to me are not mine,” tweeted finance minister, with the link of the ThePrint story.
Is this parody? If not and if serious, this is calumny. The quotes attributed to me are not mine. https://t.co/f7CtNxTdX3
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) February 15, 2020
In the story under ‘Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government’ section, by ThePrint team, in which as per the story Haima Deshpande and Rohini Swamy contributed, ThePrint wrote that Finance Minister “snubbed” eminent people of industry in a meet in Mumbai.
After Sitharaman pointed out that she never said anything like that, the media portal removed the story and wrote a clarification- “Sitharaman snubs industry captains in Mumbai’ — Until further verification, we are holding back this item from our feature ‘Pre-Truth’.”
On Twitter, the media organization issued apology and wrote, “We have noted your tweet and take it most seriously. We are getting all the details re-checked right away and assure you of our commitment to accuracy and fairness.”
Although, ThePrint has removed the story, we are published parts of it here. The whole story can be read from the link below.
As per ThePrint story, “At a post-Budget interaction with the captains of industry in Mumbai last week, she (finance minister) was confronted with probing questions on the rationale and impact of the continuance of the long-term capital gains tax as also the abolition of the dividend distribution tax. At one point, she snubbed an eminent participant, who is known as the doyen of investment banking in India, saying, “I have done everything for you. What more do you want now?”
“I don’t understand Bombay people. We have done everything but it is still 4.3 per cent (growth rate in the third quarter of this fiscal). What have you done?” added the story.
ThePrint and Shekhar Gupta are well known for this kind of journalism, where reporters quote “sources” to solidify their own claims. When Mr Gupta was Editor in Chief of The Indian Express, the organization excelled in falsely attributing quotes to various people, and create story out of thin air with the help of “sources’ and “quotes”.
The organization became infamous for coup story, in which the organization run a story claiming that Army’s battalion moved from quarters to take over the leadership of the country when anti-corruption movement was at its peak.
Moreover, accusing General VK Singh of treason, the report by The Indian Express claimed that two “sizeable army units” had moved towards Raisina Hills in January 2012. The story further claimed, “Lookouts confirmed the movement of what looked like a sizeable unit. It was soon identified as an entire unit of Mechanised Infantry, with its Russian-made Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), carried on 48 tank transporters. The movement was towards the capital, which was odd.”
In February last year, General VK Singh ripped apart the then Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta over the 2012 story on the fake coup that was recently debunked by a Sunday Guardian report.
Mocking Shekhar Gupta as Couptaji, the minister took a dig at the age-old tradition of projecting the Prime Minister and Army chief in a face-off, as he posted, “When Mr Coupta was recruited by the powers-behind-the-scenes to cleverly imply I was planning a coup, their objective was to not only spook the good Doctor (Dr. Manmohan Singh) and his Italian handler (Sonia Gandhi), it was also the time honoured tactic that had been in vogue to set Nehru versus Thimayya, Shastri versus Chaudhuri, or Indira Gandhi versus Manekshaw. However, earlier these were usually just whispers… which was damaging enough.”
When Mr Gupta was with The Indian Express, he used to do the same with help of “sources” and falsely attributed “quotes”, and now he is doing it in ThePrint too, where he is Editor-in-chief, like the previous organization.