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Newslaundry Spreads Fake News on the President’s Puri Visit – Creating Caste Animosity?

Author:
Publication: The True Picture
Date: July 4, 2018
URL:      https://www.thetruepicture.org/newslaundry-spreads-fake-news-presidents-puri-visit-creating-caste-animosity/

Of late, there has been a pattern of using unverified or, at times, outright fake news to create or exacerbate caste faultlines and manufacture animosity. There were instances where some political parties and sections of the media jumped the gun to create a false narrative on caste lines. Now, the portal Newslaundry (which considers itself the antidote to fake news) has been caught spreading a narrative of anti-Dalit bias regarding President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the Puri temple.

Newslaundry ran a piece headlined “The media’s blind eye to President Kovind’s humiliation” with the narrative, ‘Why is Dalit President’s insult by Brahmin priests inside a temple is not a newsworthy story?’

However, the Press Secretary to the President, Mr Ashok Malik categorically denied that such an incident itself ever happened. He called the article as based on a ‘fictional’ incident, stating that the incident that the piece claims to analyse never happened in the first place. Since then the story has been suspended from the portal.

Here is Mr Malik’s tweet.
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Ashok Malik @MalikAshok
More Ashok Malik Retweeted newslaundry
The incident this piece claims to “analyse” never took place. It’s absolutely fictionalAshok Malik added,

newslaundry @newslaundry
'Why is a Dalit president’s insult by Brahmin priests inside a temple not a newsworthy story? Is it because it embarrasses India globally,' asks @scribe_it.
http://bit.ly/2KHNzVG
Show this thread
10:25 AM - 3 Jul 2018
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The tweet from the portal which had plugged the article on twitter and the regret expressed by the portal are below.
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newslaundry @newslaundry
'Why is a Dalit president’s insult by Brahmin priests inside a temple not a newsworthy story? Is it because it embarrasses India globally,' asks @scribe_it.
10:00 AM - 3 Jul 2018
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newslaundry.com
The media's blind eye to President kovind's humiliation: This article has been suspended
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While revoking the story, Newslaundry has said, “Our story was a comment on media reports about President Kovind’s visit to Jagannath temple. Newslaundry is suspending the article till we independently verify the facts.” So, the portal seems to spin narratives before verifying facts as its above claim suggests. Caste is a very sensitive matter in India and one needs to be accurate in reporting or analysing it. But Newslaundry which claims to have a ‘quick fix for fake news epidemic’, putting itself in the role of dishing out advice on how to fight fake news ran a story with a sensational headline based on facts which weren’t even verified.
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newslaundry @newslaundry
Sick of fake news on your social media accounts and WhatsApp? Watch Clothesline for @madhutrehan’s quick fix for fake news epidemic.
Watch: http://youtu.be/TcskRCKuV_I
8:30 AM - 14 Jun 2018
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Previously, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was caught spreading fake news in an apparent attempt to create caste animosity. When the despicable beating of two boys was reported from Maharashtra, instead of condemning the incident, Rahul Gandhi had tried to give a caste colour to the whole incident stating that these Dalit boys were beaten up by ‘Savarna’ people. According to reports, the two minor boys were from a Scheduled Caste community, so this part is accurate. However, the perpetrators were reportedly not ‘Savarna’ at all. You can read the whole story here: Did Rahul Gandhi Lie in His Tweet About Assault on Dalits to Spread Caste Hatred?

In March 2018, news headlines have claimed that For riding horse, upper caste men kill Dalit youth in Gujarat. It had gone viral, creating Dalit vs Upper Caste narrative, only to be revealed that the murder had no caste angle to it, let alone the horse. We had analysed that episode in our article Is The Indian Express Instigating Hate?.
 
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