Media Passes of LKA rebuked to Sonia as Apology

via http://media-critics.blogspot.com/2011/02/media-twist-advanis-regret.html published on February 18, 2011

This entry into media watch is pertaining to the  L. K . Advanis so called “apology” to Sonia Gandhi on the issue of Black Money

Indian express in their report L K Advani says sorry to Sonia for Swiss account insult writes

    Senior BJP leader L K Advani has apologised to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a party-appointed taskforce report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks.

    This had led Sonia Gandhi to write a letter to Advani denying the allegation.

    Sources said Gandhi had said neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts.

    In his reply to the Congress President’s letter, Advani expressed regret that Rajiv and Sonia’s name were mentioned in the report.

    Advani, however, also stated in his reply that the Gandhis should have denied this publicly when there were murmurs that names of her family members could figure in the report.

    Advani said the name of her family members would not have then figured in the taskforce report.

TOI published exactly same news under the report Advani says sorry to Sonia on Swiss bank account issue. Perhaps for first time in history TOI and IE carried news which matches word to word

As expected NDTV goes overboard in their report Advani apologises to Sonia for black money allegations

    Senior BJP leader L K Advani has apologised to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a party-appointed task force report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks.

    Sources said in the letter, Gandhi had said that neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts.
    In his reply to the Congress President’s letter, Advani expressed regret about her name and that of her late husband being mentioned in the task force report.
    However, Advani also stated in his reply that the Gandhis should have denied this publicly when there were murmurs that names of her family members could figure in the report.

    Advani said had she done so, the name of her family members would not have figured in the task force.

NDTV’s Group editor Barkha Dutt even speculated about unrest in BJP due to this issue. Not sure where she got her info or was it a figment of her fertile imagination

    Grumblings and rumblings within BJP over Advani’s apology to sonia gandhi. belief that it weakens the party’s black money campaign..

Of all the Media Houses, IBN has given a more balanced report. They in their report Black money charge: Advani regrets hurting Sonia writes

    In the letter Advani said that it would have been better if she (Sonia) had clarified on the black money issue earlier. Then the BJP task force would not have made the allegations, he wrote in the letter. Advani also regretted any hurt caused to Sonia.

    A BJP task force letter written by Advani at the BJP’s national executive at Guwahati had alleged that Sonia and her husband Rajiv Gandhi held foreign bank accounts.

    In response, Sonia wrote a letter denying that she or any one from her family had any such accounts.

    The BJP has been demanding that the names of those with money stashed abroad be made public.

    However, Congress sources told CNN-IBN that Advani has not apologised to Sonia.

Lets start the analysis keeping in background the fact that the budget session of parliament is slated to start Feb 21 and congress will again be cornered for JPC on 2G scam. Also, lets the be reminded of PM’s press conference fiasco.

Lets start with the basic issue is apology same as regret?

The difference between apology and regret is important. For example, in Australia, the Prime Minister,John Howard has refused to apologise to the Aboriginal but he has expressed regret. In the downing of US surveillance aircraft in China, the US president, George W. Bush has expressed deep regret but has refused to apologise, despite the Chinese government demanding it.

What is the difference? The definition of the the word apology includes an admission of error or wrongdoing on one’s part.  Regret is not an admission of wrongdoing!

So it means that LKA has not admitted that the inclusion of name of Sonias family was an wrongdoing!

Now lets check the context in which “regret” was used

    In the letter Advani said that it would have been better if she (Sonia) had clarified on the black money issue earlier. Then the BJP task force would not have made the allegations, he wrote in the letter. Advani also regretted any hurt caused to Sonia.

India Blooms News Service reports

    Then the BJP task force would not have made such allegations, he wrote.
    Advani also regretted if Sonia was hurt.

So even the usage of regret was for the hurt it may have caused. In fact on the issue of black money, LKA seems to have rapped on her knuckles of Sonia for not publicly clarifying this issue.  Also, IBN has quoted congress sources denying LKA has apologized!

It is also interesting to note that how media is attributing news about Sonia to sources (thus by implication not sure or to be denied later)

    Sources said Gandhi had said neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts.

While reporting on LKA’s letter was carried as as if they have LKA letter with them(not attributed to source). In such case, one would be tempted to ask why is the letter not published in totality?

Lastly, if you would notice source of all this news is PTI (NDTV-PTI, TOI-PTI, IE-Agencies) while IBN is attributing the source to its own correspondents. This may be the reason why IBN report is different from all others.

Now BJP has released the actual letter which was send to Sonia Gandhi and as expected Media was twisting the facts out of context.  As you would notice from the letter, LKA has said

    On my return from Kolkatta last night I found your letter dated 15 February awaiting me.

    I am happy that you have categorically denied the reports alluded to in the Task Force’s report on Black Money.  If these had been denied earlier, I am sure the Task Force would have factored in, the denial in its report.  Even so, I deeply regret the distress caused to you.

Only Indian media is capable of twisting a rebuke from a senior politician like LKA into an apology!

SHAME ON INDIAN MEDIA

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