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Media War: Its Arnab Vs Siddharth


Hyderabad: The media war between TimesNow and the The Wire has intensified with both the media houses making allegations and counter allegations. Last week TheWire founder Editor and former Editor The Hindu Siddharth Varadarajan serving a cease and desist notice to the Times News Network alleging that Arnab Goswami and TimesNow had vilified his and The Wire on air and on social media networks like Twitter.

Following are the sequence of events that led to war between Arnab and Siddharth, according to a storypublished by the Newslaundry.

1) On February 17, Arnab Goswami asks BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra to show the video of JNUSU PresidentKanhaiya Kumar allegedly raising azaadi slogans. “Show the video,” Goswami says to Patra about seven times.

2) On February 19, India Today along with forensic experts analyses the same video, which was also doing the rounds on social media, and reports that it was doctored video.

3) On the same day, The Wire carried an article calling out Arnab Goswami of Times Now, among others channels, for misleading viewers by playing the doctored video.

4) By the evening, Times Now hits back. An immediate clarification and apology is demanded from Varadarajan.

5) The Wire puts out a note at the end of the article saying that “Arnab Goswami has clarified that a BJP spokesman, Sambit Patra, sought to play the clip on his iPad during a debate.” It removes Times Now’s name from the article.

6) The next day, February 20, The Wire publishes another story criticising Arnab Goswami for giving wrong information. It says that it now had proof that Times Now did air the video and that it had removed the channels reference from the article because it trusted Goswami’s word.

7) The Wire has sendt a legal cease and desist notice to Times Network for its “unacceptable and unprofessional conduct” and demands a public apology within 48 hours.

It’s been well over 48 hours and Times Now hasn’t apologised publicly. In a phone conversation with Newslaundry, Varadarajan told us that he has reserved the right to take action. “If they repeat the allegations, we will take action.” He added that the channel and the anchor ought to apologise to The Wire. Times Now have not responded to The Wire’s notice yet. We reached out to the channels’ editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and asked him what he thought of the notice.

We also asked him if the channel would take down the Newshour video that has Patra playing the doctored clipping now that there are doubts around it. Goswami has not responded to our queries.

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