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August 17, 2006

Fauxtography Proven: Indian Crew Aids Man In Self-Immolation Suicide To Get The Footage

No, this isn't Hezbollywood. And it's not the Western MSM. But it is highly illustrative of the sensationalistic, ethically-dubious media culture in many parts of the world.

The West has a mature media culture. (Well... "mature" is a relative term.) Much of the rest of the world has an immature media culture, not having taken on the status of a "profession" with enforced ethical guidelines and so forth.

Yes, the Western MSM is pretty damn biased, and pretty damn sloppy and irresponsible. But in much of the rest of the world -- particularly the Islamic world -- the dominant media culture is of a Wild West nature that would make William Randolph Hearst turn six shades of white from the deep jaundice of the Yellow Journalism on display.

And these are the sort of people the media credulously subcontracts coverage of major world events to, and presents their reportage and photographs as if they have been carefully vetted for accuracy.

Anyway:

A group of Indian television journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news, police said.

The man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the eastern state of Bihar on August 15, India's Independence Day.

Footage of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the man as Manoj Mishra.

"We have seized footage clearly showing a group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable substance - which we later verified to be diesel - to the victim," acting Gaya police chief P K Sinha said by telephone.

Mishra, who worked as a delivery man, was upset over what he said was a large sum of money owed to him by a state-run dairy farm whose milk he transported to customers, police said.

"We have prepared charges for abetment against the journalists. There were five to six of them who were conspirators in this suicide attempt which is a criminal offence," Sinha said, adding that arrests were expected shortly.

India is growing, maturing, pluralistic liberal democracy.

Few of the countries of the Islamic world are. Even Turkey, a fairly mature democracy as regards the Islamic world, has a wildly sensationalistic press. Jim Geraghty, who's over there and knows Turkish reporters, said it's like "the New York Post plus DebkaFile plus Krugman plus Coulter." And that's not the tabloid press; that's the whole of the media mentality.

And yet the MSM denies, denies, denies it may have a problem.

Thanks to CraigC.


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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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