Is Imran Khan victim of a media vendetta?

May 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, Express Tribune

Writing for Express Tribune‘s ‘Media Watchdog’ blog, Corporate Solicitor Zain Umar claims that the newspaper has a ‘Goebbel’s vendetta’ against Imran Khan. After equating The Express Tribune to the Nazi propaganda minister in the very first sentence, he goes on lambast the newspaper for allegedly “publishing literally anything against Imran Khan” while “not a single write up of his is devoid of barbed shafts aimed at Imran Khan”. This is an increasingly common claim – that Imran Khan and PTI are the victims of media bias. But is this true?

It’s certainly not true for Express Tribune‘s official Blogs where it took no effort to find pieces by multiple authors who support Imran Khan and believe PTI will be a formidable force in the next elections.

News reports in Express Tribune also include positive pieces about PTI, including some that uncritically quote Imran Khan about his party’s own exceptionalism. There are even multimedia shows about PTI.

Even editorials on Imran Khan are balanced, neither supporting nor opposing. It’s hard to consider lines like, “he will have to be taken seriously and his party’s electoral fortunes will most probably be far better than they have been in the past” as a ‘Goebbel’s vendetta’. So why do Zain Umar and many others like him believe that the media is targeting Imran Khan?

According to Imran Khan, the reason is Jews.

For those who do not understand Urdu, please allow me to explain. In this clip, Wajahat S Khan asks Imran Khan whether “the honeymoon is over” between the media and PTI since it seems that he is no longer dominating front pages as he did last year. Imran Khan begins to reply that he is fighting against two governments – the national government and the provincial government, both of which have large advertising budgets. Wajahat clarifies that he’s not talking about advertising, he’s talking about news stories. Imran Khan then replies that the problem is that the ‘Jewish lobby’ controls the global media. Wajahat reacts in disbelief, telling Imran Khan, “Don’t go there…” which shocks the PTI Chairman who doesn’t understand how someone can’t believe that the world’s media – including, apparently, The News (Jang Group), which Wajahat is holding in his hand – is part of a Jewish conspiracy against him.

Like most conspiracy theories, this one, too is made from fantasy and not fact. There may be some Jews who own some media groups in the world (Israel, for example), but there are also many Christians (The New York Times) and Muslims (The News/Jang) as well as people of many other religions as well. The fear that Imran Khan is the victim of a ‘Goebbel’s vendetta’ by the editors of Express Tribune is similarly fictitious, as is clear from the fact that the paper has regularly published pieces that were favourable to PTI and Imran Khan. Mr Umar can relax.

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