Senior scribe Vinod Dua delivered the biggest fake news of the year, craftily editing out a part of the interview with Nitin Gadkari where the Union minister had blamed the UPA for stalled projects
Who doesn’t know Vinod Dua? A senior journalist with a clear left-of-centre bias, and an alleged sexual predator. But what’s shocking in this day and age of fact-checking that the fact-checkers gave Dua’s blatant fake news a miss. Yes, there's another feather in Dua’s crown: he can cut, copy and paste an interview as long as it serves his political goals.
We are talking about an interview where Union road and water minister Nitin Gadkari gave to the little-known HW News on December 21. Dua claimed in episode seven of his video blog, titled The Vinod Dua Show, that Gadkari rebelled against his own government. How? Well, let’s give you a ball-by-ball account of the fake news of the year.
Dua’s edited truth
Gadkari: When I took charge of the ministry, we had 403 stalled projects in our department.
Interviewer: Yes, sir.
Gadkari: Those were stalled. Some of them (projects) turned into NPAs (non-performing assets), some were on verge of being turned into NPAs. The situation was serious. Then we decided to restart them. One thing I would accept: the government’s responsibility was 75% for this.”
Immediately, after this, Dua is seen giving his editorial input, saying, “It is clear that a voice of dissent has started to grow within the BJP. Till now it was Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Arun Shourie who rebelled. Now even leaders associated with the RSS (BJP’s ideological mentor) are saying that if you have to win the next general election, you can’t win only on the back of pradhan sevak Narendra Modi and his rallies. You have to bring Gadkari to the fore. This is the signal Gadkari himself gave to my colleague Akhilesh Bhargava."
The unedited truth
Going by Dua’s crafty spin, anyone would believe that Gadkari, one of the top-performing ministers of the Modi sarkar, who is also liked by the Opposition, has finally rebelled. But has he? The answer lies in the unedited detail.
Interviewer: Sir, when projects got stuck in legal tangles and NPAs became a reality, how did you revive the sector?
Gadkari: When I took charge of the ministry, we had 403 stalled projects in our department. Some of them turned into NPAs (non-performing assets), some were on the verge of being turned into NPAs. The situation was serious. Then we decided to restart them. One thing I want to accept: the government’s responsibility was 75% for this.”
That is where Dua inserted his ‘rebellion’ spin, hiding from the viewers what Gadkari went to say after that. What did Gadkari say?
Gadkari: No environment clearance came during the previous regime of the UPA (Congress-led United Progressive Alliance). How can someone start work without environment clearance? The work order was given when land acquisition was just 5% and no land was acquired. Encroachments were not removed, none were shifted, but people took up projects. The problems stem from this...”
Essentially, while Gadkari was blaming the non-issuance of environmental clearance or lack of land acquisition during the UPA era as the reason for stalled projects, Dua chose to edit that. How would Gadkari be shown to have ‘rebelled’ against Modi if he is seen blaming the Congress-led UPA?
PS: According to Cambridge dictionary, this is the definition of fake news: “False stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke.” Seems, in Vinod Dua, we have found one of its leading proponents, and he was certainly not joking.
Dua's bizarre clarification
Finding himself caught in his own web of lies, HW News blamed the reporter rather than acknowledging the massive editorial mischief by Dua. The website said in a statement, "HW News Network on 20th December 2018 had aired the 7th Episode of Vinod Dua which carried a clipping of an interview with Road Transport &Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari. That clip was erroneously sent incomplete to Mr Dua, based on which Mr. Vinod Dua conveyed his comments. Mr Dua sends his anchor links from Delhi and insertions of clips and graphics etc is done in Mumbai.
"Hence, as corrective measure we have pulled down the episode and will reload the corrected version very soon. We would like to point out that we continue to air the entire interview with Mr. Nitin Gadkari on all our channel platforms."
Clarification: The Vinod Dua Show – Episode 7 - https://t.co/lcpNqzSMPm— Vinod Dua (@VinodDua7) December 23, 2018
Dua has not found it important to issue even an apology for what was a clear effort to misguide the readers/viewers by peddling fake news.
Last Updated Dec 24, 2018, 2:00 PM IST