GOSSIP ALERT: The Nation Stoops to Reporting Gossip

Jan 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: The Nation

Gossip Alert

The Nation is well known for it’s right-wing politics and sympathy for conspiracy theories. But this week, The Nation has both stooped to a new low by reporting gossip of a type that is more typically used to create controversy and attention for film stars and cricketers.

The issue in question is whether or not President Zardari possibly met with Sharifuddin Pirzada. An article published in today’s ‘Politics’ section gives away the topic as pure gossip by actually posing the title as a question: ‘Zardari seeks Pirzada’s counselling?’

Let’s look at the facts present in The Nation’s article:

1) The reporter claims that “Presidential spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, has categorically denied the meeting.”

2) “Sources close to Sharifuddin Pirzada did not say anything about his meeting with the President.”

3) “Sources close to Sharifuddin Pirzada…confirmed that he was in the Federal Capital on Wednesday.”

These are all the facts that are presented. Everything else comes from some unidentified ‘source.’ Actually, nothing is known about this source at all to judge the merit of his claims. That The Nation even published the title as a question implies that there is some doubt about the truth of the claim.

The problem with this article in The Nation is not that it is necessarily wrong that the President met with Pirzada. The problem is that The Nation has no way of knowing if it is true. They published an article that is so poorly researched that even they felt it necessary to make the headline a question in case they were found to be wrong!

I have no way of knowing if the President has met with Mr. Pirzada. In fact, I would not be terribly surprised if this was true. Although The Nation tries to slander the name of Mr. Pirzada by saying he was “top legal aide of…General (Retd) Prevez Musharraf,” they fail to report to their readers that Mr. Pirzada has actually been advising leaders since he was Honorary Secretary to Jinnah. Why did they not say, “Advisor to Quaid-i-Azam?” Maybe there is some reason not to respect Mr. Pirzada, but The Nation certainly has not given any reason in its very poor article.

The Nation claims to be “the most credible of English Newspapers in Paksitan,” but they continue to destroy any last remaining credibility they might have with very poor reporting such as this. Perhaps The Nation is better suited to the title, “the largest gossip paper in Pakistan.”

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