journalist 2     The figures they pluck from the air! Channel 4’s John Snow in the run up to CHOGM interviewed the affable Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, and in his ignoble hurry to trip him up, tripped himself up, with a figure of 12000 disappeared in Sri Lanka since the year 2009!

The figure was not substantiated by a jot, and not sourced — but coming from Channel 4 this is fairly standard practice. But yet, 12000 disappeared – after the war was over?!

The enormity of the canard boggles the mind. These people are nothing short of criminals. John Snow if he can malign a country in this way without feeling the need to substantiate what he says with an infinitesimal jot of evidence, is obviously of a criminal mindset as the charges he makes sets him up as a direct agent for seeking to maliciously prosecute key persons in the higher echelon of the Sri Lankan Establishment.

Being accessory to malicious prosecution is a crime — but also the man would be guilty of all kinds of libel.

But yet, having stated that, it has to be added that the biggest crime that John Snow commits in the interview is none of the above but the one against stand-up comedians.

This is beyond comic — that a man on an accessible free to air television channel calling himself a broadcast journalist, thinks that he could quote a figure of 12000 disappeared since the end of the war, without seeing the need to name at least a reasonable sampling of these disappeared people or their kith and kin!

This is not a murky period in time when due to the fog of war, there can be no real details of such disappearances, if such allegations were real. But then John Snow is on a roll in his program.

His line is that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be shaking hands with 50 leaders of countries or more because CHOGM is being held in Sri Lanka. Obviously there seems to be tremendous envy here, but that is only incidental.

He says that the Sri Lankan Head of State should not be allowed to shake hands with so many leaders as he stands accused of many crimes against humanity! He is talking about a President of a country who has not been charged in any court of law in any part of the world least of all a world court, for any kind of human rights violations.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner too despite all her prejudices has only called for an internal investigation into the last phase of the war so-called, yet she too has not said in any way that the President is guilty of any kind of war crimes.

Yet, Snow, the comic John Snow, has the cojones to ask Kamalesh Sharma whether he is accessory to allowing the President of Sri Lanka, accused he says of ‘crimes against humanity’, to shake hands with so many world leaders.

This is the standard of British broadcast journalism. That all this comes from the land that was embroiled in the News of the World phone hacking scandal, comes as no surprise.

Channel 4 represents the other side of the News of the World coin. This is tacky, lurid pants-on-fire journalism that’s not fact checked, not sourced or corroborated. It is journalism on the far side of the moon.

In sum it is pure fiction, nothing more. These people in Channel 4 really should have been accredited to CHOGM in some other category as they obviously are not journalists, but then if the British government says they are broadcasters we are all willing to accept that with a big laugh.

Obviously the British have redefined journalism but then again, after the phone hacking scandal and the paparazzi journalism there, anything is not only possible, but anything is to be expected in that quarter.

But to butcher the fundamentals of journalistic practice in this way is a crime against journalism and journalists — though the hyperbole shouldn’t be used to state that in fact it is a crime of sorts against humanity! (Daily News)

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