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Hamid Mir and lying journalists – Najam Sethi

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Najam Sethi skewers Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi and possibly Talat Hussain for deliberate lying on Baitullah Mehsud’s involvement.

He states that while there existed evidence to the contrary, these anchors deliberately aired programs after Benazir Bhutto’s assassination which aimed to absolve him from the murder.

Role of “media groups” like Geo TV and AAJ TV

What is interesting is that the anchors who fall into the category outlined are precisely the ones who are the most highly paid by Geo and AAJ TV.

And coincidentally these two channels are the ones who air VOA (Voice of America) programs.

The same channels pay excessively to anchors who have been known to lie in the media.

Is it possible that they are being paid (way beyond reasonable cost) for these programs ? If so, this practice is reminiscent of the use of Jamaat-e-Islami printing presses by the USIS (United States Information Service) to print material which was then burned by the USIS. If so, this would be a “legal” way to overpay for “services”.

In addition Geo TV is seriously intertwined with Indian interests with it’s promotion of Indian media programming and their business linkages with India.

Does this limit Geo TV from targeting India in it’s programs – if they fear retaliation via hostile renegotiation of business deals in the future ?

Here is a list of anchors who have practiced deceptive journalism:

Talat Hussain
Talat Hussain of AAJ TV is responsible for raising the “writ of government” issue prior to the crackdown on Lal Masjid. Every night he railed against the government for NOT acting against the militants. Soon after the operation he became the most prominent critic of the crackdown. Despite information to the contrary, he continued to sow doubt about the events that took place.

Very little attention was paid to the FATA MNAs who went to Lal Masjid to “negotiate”, but instead brayed into the megaphone that “dattay raho”.

Essentially these few media anchors were able to twist the outrage against criminals into a sympathetic portrayal of the wrong government acting against a right gun-toting militant outfit holding small children as hostages in a mosque built on illegally occupied land (takeover of a public library). The vociferousness EVERY NIGHT for weeks was a damage control exercise, designed to ensure no support develops for the crackdown against the militants, and instead to sow doubts in the minds of the people about the culpability of the criminals.

Hamid Mir
Hamid Mir’s predilection for the Taliban is well known to viewers, and his efforts to boost Baitullah Mehsud beyond his role as a criminal will be remembered.

Hamid Mir has reportedly transferred his family to London. While it is true that the journalists operate in difficult circumstances and Hamid Mir HAS done some good reporting as well, however it would not be inconceivable to see Hamid Mir leave the country if outrage develops against his actions (which led to a delay in dealing with killers of our citizens by momentarily sowing the seeds of doubt in our people’s minds).

Dr. Shahid Masood
Dr. Shahid Masood is notorious for taking things to extreme. And he has done some good reporting as well – most notably at the time of atrocities by the U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan in the early days following 9/11. However Dr. Shahid Masood is also responsible for waging a psychological campaign of depressing the public with his series on TV (which was publicized as DVDs as well) on the “End of Times”. An apocalyptic vision which was designed to sow the seeds of self-doubt in the minds of the public and to paint a vision of dismal depression. What is especially odd about his series is his use of non-Islamic sources (mainly the Christian and Jewish sources) for his arguments.

Dr. Shahid Masood violated the norms of honest journalism when he published a prominent piece in the Urdu Jang newspaper (part of Geo TV) describing the “events” at the President House at the time of Musharraf’s resignation. Much was made of the wordplay and snide commentary in that article, since it was reported as an “eyewitness” observation.

Filing of false stories

It turns out this article was a complete concoction and this was revealed MONTHS later. Researching news items covering this episode, it seems Iftikhar Ahmed of “Jawabdeyh” on Geo TV had interviewed Dr. Shahid Masood after his departure as head of PTV (and prior to his rejoining Geo TV). In this interview, Iftikhar Ahmed challenges Dr. Shahid Masood about his false reporting.

It turns out Geo had CENSORED this program. Which led the (probably one of the better TV journalists) Iftikhar Ahmed to tender his resignation.

Eventually the situation seems to have resolved. I am not sure if the episode aired on TV in it’s complete form or not, but it is available on the internet (above).

Kamran Khan also aired a segment about the interview and reported that Dr. Shahid Masood could not be contacted for comment.

Now this same Dr. Shahid Masood is back on Geo TV with his own minor (and in contrast to his earlier programs, pretty boring) program.

The question is, what compels Geo TV to retain a journalist who has not only demonstrated bad judgment in his reporting, but may have reported with malafide intentions designed to create a perception in the public that is contrary to the truth.

How does Geo TV justify his continued presence on TV ? What compels Geo to impose a lying journalist on the Pakistani public ?

The complete videos for Dr. Shahid Masood interview on “Jawabdeh” as well as Kamran Khan coverage is given below.

1/3 Hamid Mir and lying journalists – Najam Sethi – Aug 8, 2009
2/3 Hamid Mir and lying journalists – Najam Sethi – Aug 8, 2009
3/3 Hamid Mir and lying journalists – Najam Sethi – Aug 8, 2009

The complete “Jawabdeh” interview of Dr. Shahid Masood:

Jawab Deh – 23 November 2008

Kamran Khan reporting on Jawabdeh interview of Dr. Shahid Masood:

GEO Dr. Shahid Masood worst liar and biggest opportunist is proven retard

Jawabdeh host Iftikhar Ahmed’s resignation on Geo censorship:

“Jawabdeh” host Iftikhar Ahmed resigns as GEO refuses to show Shaid Masood interview.

Extensive set of comments about the controversy:
Dr. Shahid Masood exposed in Jawabdeh, story of lifafah journalists, and Salman Taseer’s letters to Shahbaz Sharif…..

Shahid Masood, a Journalist or a pack of lies?
Shahid Masood article in Jang on resignation of Musharraf

It gets worse for Dr. Shahid Masood

Dr. Shahid Masood claimed in this column in Jang (a day after Musharraf’s resignation) that he was present in the same room that Musharraf gave his resignation speech in. This again, has been proved a lie by a serving member of the President’s House staff who called in. The official visitor’s list does not include Dr. Shahid Masood’s name as he had been stopped at the reception. Additionally, Hassan Kazmi who is a senior producer of Samaa TV and was actually part of Samaa TV’s broadcast team at the venue and an eye-witness to the entire event, also confirms that Dr. Shahid Masood’s article in Jang was a bundle of lies.

Geo TV Jawabdeh host Iftikhar Ahmed resigns in protest

Geo ‘Jawabdeh’ host Iftikhar Ahmed resigns in protest

Monday, November 17, 2008
Geo ‘Jawabdeh’ host Iftikhar Ahmed resigns in protest

LAHORE: Iftikhar Ahmed, the host of Geo TV show ‘Jawabdeh’, resigned on Sunday after the channel administration refused to air an interview with former Pakistan Television managing director Shahid Masood. The interview was recorded last week and was being advertised in the group’s The News and Jang newspapers. On Sunday, the Geo TV administration seized the original recording and declined to run it. Iftikhar Ahmed told Aaj Kal he was being pressured to censor parts of the interview but he did not compromise on principles and resigned. aaj kal report


5 Responses

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  1. I knew talat during the lal mosque operation. this man should be lynched.


    May 13, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  2. shahid masood, talat hussain, hamid mir, are anti state. ban AAJ and GEO.


    May 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  3. why not journalist or media organisations take notice of such people or all are of same block


    May 14, 2010 at 5:41 am

  4. question:
    why not journalist or media organisations take notice of such people or all are of same block

    Media organization are owned by corporate entities. It is a great fallacy that somehow “media” is something altruistic.

    However, what IS valuable is the manpower in these media outfits – and that they can move from one to the other channel.

    So while there are Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi and Talat Hussain on the one hand, you have better journalists who try to keep in the middle (to a degree).

    In addition some of these change their views sometimes as well.

    But there is a fair share of journalists from the print media (being an illiterate country print media has historically remained economically starved – resuilting in weaker manpower).

    Change will come to TV news channels with generational turnover – as younger journalists emerge, and as there is competition.

    Fortunately Musharraf and Sheikh Rashid managed to launch a large number of channels and this has allowed viewership to move from one to the other.

    Sometimes a TV news channel will start to change direction – that direction too however may not come from Hamid Mir saying something else, but from the arrival of new anchors in that TV channel from other channels.

    So rather than a change in thinking of the individual journalists, we may see a change due to changing of manpower at these organizations.

    Some of that has happened. Previously there only used to be anti-Musharraf anchors – but over last 1-2 years some of the pro-Musharraf anchors at smaller channels have migrated to bigger channels.

    This is the way the channels are “changing”.


    May 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

  5. hamid mir is famous for switching sides. his mere motto is defame the army n earn dollars. exploiting the politician as if he has reached to the limits of wisdom….will be exposed one day

    ahmer khan

    June 24, 2011 at 8:18 am

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