Kamran Khan’s Contempt For Objectivity

Apr 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Geo TV

Geo TV‘s Kamran Khan could not have expected what happened when he invited Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira as his guest on Wednesday to discuss the possible outcomes of contempt charges against the Prime Minister.

For our dear readers who do not understand Urdu, please allow me to offer an explanation. This clip begins with Kamran Khan asking the Information Minister for his views on whether the Supreme Court would acquit the Prime Minister. But Minister Kaira had something he wanted to say first.

My views later, but let’s first discuss the initial 18 minutes of your programme. The way you conducted your show – aiming at PM’s sons, family, his character – you have already declared him a convict, and are asking me this question after giving your opinion.

You are giving your opinion first and then asking me about my views, knowing that it’s not the anchor’s right to give his or her opinion first. Your right is asking questions. You already created a mindset in your audience – a biased mindset, that is – before even asking me my views.

You also showed a few clips from Chief Justice speeches in the beginning that were “assumptive”. – “If”, “In-case”, “this could happen”, “about to be give verdict” etc. You didn’t say anything, and yet you said a lot of things. In all your conversation, you kept the thrust on showing that he is a sinner and verdict has already been declared against him. Is this all not an influence on the court that is going to decide tomorrow? Is this not an attempt to bias the court?

The way you talked about my PM, I listened with a lot of patience. I listened to you for 18 mins defaming my party leader and the PM and I didn’t say a word so please let me speak. PM is appearing in front of the court tomorrow and you lay special emphasis on this when you said that “this has become a habit of the PM” and that “I will not accept this decision” even though the PM never once said this. I am completely negating your statement and saying that PM never said anything like that. He has always said, “I respect the court”. His lawyer inside the court mentioned that whatever you decide here will be implemented upon to the fullest.

The way you thrust forward your views is similar to bending facts and distorting them. You build up your opinion in front of viewers and this is a very unacceptable. We go and fight our cases in the courts; we don’t fight with the courts.

Kaira’s complaint about Kamran Khan’s behaviour may seem like the frustrations of a PPP Minister, but they might also be familiar to another high profile figure who is anything but a jiyala. Five years ago, Kamran Khan was playing the same role of media creating a biased mindset in the audience only this time his target was not the PM, but Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry himself.

We have noted several times the importance of media acting responsibly and not attempting to influence the outcome of a case or to create a biased mindset in the public before the Court has made its decisions. Opposition supporters may be enjoying the media’s keeping the PM in their sights today, but the PPP won’t be the party in power forever. And when the tables turn, well, just ask the Chief Justice…

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