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Headlines Today's slanderous show making allegations about Somnath Bharti was hardly the first they have gone after AAP leaders with "mistakes". Here are two times when they have interviewed "AAP leaders" slandering the party. The glitch? Both of them are BJP.

BJP leaders passed off as AAP on Headlines Today
BJP leaders passed off as AAP on Headlines Today

Neither VK Malhotra nor Sanjay Kaul belong to AAP, and it would be rather tough to make this mistake. considering that random people can't manifest out of thin air on a talk show, and they actually are invited. The few times I got invited at least, the content of the talk show and the stand I would represent was discussed briefly. I can't imagine a talk show blindly inviting people without knowing about political leanings, simply because they at least pretend to show all sides of a controversy or debate. Of course, when Aam Aadmi Party supporters protested, it was an "inadvertent error".

This would still be believable, if the channel weren't littered with such mistakes. For example, a permanent Narendra Modi advertisement next to a show slandering an AAP Leader Somnath Bharti for selling porn sites with "experts" on internet fraud like Madhu Kishwar talking about how even if pornography were legal, it isn't respectable. And allegations of a "scam" except, even the person who exposed the supposed scam, Conrad Longmore says no suits were filed against Topsites or Somnath Bharti by anyone for scamming them. I dare Rahul Kanwal to make the same claim about Bag It Today - a sister business of their channel, that incidentally checks all the "scam" markers - unsolicited emails, unsolicited phone calls, fraudulent offers that turn out to have hidden expenses, non delivery of items paid for and no refunds... only more bogus gift certificates that don't get delivered either. And there are abundant complaints and consumer cases for cheating. Bag It Today has the honor of 179 reviews on mouthshut.com and a single star rating. That's a pretty big consensus.

A show that incidentally proved about as much as the "sting" operation they had broadcast that alleged that AAP leaders took money to protest against people without any money actually changing hands. When the sting was exposed to be doctored, Headlines Today conveniently found a new controversy to ride and didn't notice that expose.

But this also fits a similar impersonation earlier on India Today, the news magazine website affiliated with this channel, where they published an article slandering Aam Aadmi Party by one of its founders, Shanti Bhushan that echoed the BJP propagated myth of Aam Aadmi Party's origins. Except, Shanti Bhushan NEVER WROTE THAT ARTICLE and sent them a legal notice over it. They took off the article, but I kept a copy here. It is written impersonating Shanti and you can read it for yourself to see if such a thing could have been published in "error".

 

At the outset Rakesh claims to have bailed out a scam-tainted senior army officer with his reputation management skills on social media, although he would never reveal the identity of the said officer. Listen to Rakesh making the claim on camera to have provided such services to many clients: “… humne kai logon ke ORM kiye hain  … jaise humare Google pe kisi ka galat naam aa gaya ki bhai ismein ye corruption hai funs gaya kaam … ye iss officer ne chori kiye hain … usko saaf karne ka kaam jo hai wo humne kiya … usko saaf karne ka kaam jo hai wo humne kiya hai … (… we have done ORM [online reputation management] for many people … for example, we have a fellow whose name was earning flak on Google for involving in a particular corruption case … his work gets stuck … this officer has done this thefts … we did this name cleaning job for him … ).”

When Cobrapost reporter asks how they would manage to secure fan following for Netaji, Agam Panwar has this to reveal: “Saari ki saari aati hai iss madhyam se … mujhe pata hai … main kyonki … politicians ka bhi kar chuka hoon … past mein toh mujhe pata hai aapko exactly kya chahiye … kyonki ek toh BJP ke spokesperson hai Sanjay Kaul …. unka maine hi kiya hai … Facebook pe saara aap jaake dekhiyega (All following comes through this medium only … I know … because I have done it for politicians as well … in the past … so I know it what exactly you need … there is this BJP spokesperson Sanjay Kaul … it was I who did it for him … you can visit Facebook and see it yourself).” Now Kaul has a good number of following in the digital world, claims Panwar.

To defeat our opponent in this ORM war, Panwar wants work on in a proactive mode so that if anything unpleasant happens we can give a befitting reply to our competitor. Panwar promises us to deliver one lakh likes by November: “Toh November tak itne hi kar lete hain … itne kar lete hain (Then … by November we will do this much).”

Panwar makes another shocking but interesting claim: “Main aapko clear bata raha hoon … maine dono terah se kaam kiye hain … politicians ke liye … even maine toh CBI aur Raw walon ka kaam kiya hai (I am telling you clearly … I have done both kinds of work … for politicians … even, I have done this work for CBI and RAW officers …). ” Using his ORM skills Panwar claims he helped a scam-tainted senior RAW clear his name from the Internet.  The officer is back with the external intelligence arm of the Indian Government. Then there is a CBI officer and a chief minister of Punjab and how they mastermind a scam, and how he helped the officer redeem his image.

Their operations would remain untraceable. Look what he claims: “Google pe baap bhi nahi dhoondh sakta … mere yahan proxy code lage hue hain … jab jab hum kaam karte hain toh location change hote rehta hai unki har ek ghante mein (Nobody even among the experts can find it out on Google … I have put in place proxy codes … so when we are working the location of the codes keeps on changing).”

Panwar will destroy the reputation of our political opponent on social media: “Dekho Sir mujhe bas ye pata hai ki mujhe koi news milegi … uska positive negative karna aata hai … agar aap kahoge iska image barbad kar de kar doonga … aur wo bhi image bacha ke humari … (You see Sir … I know only this much that if I get some news I can make positive or negative out of it … and if you ask me to destroy the image of this man [our opponent], I will do it … that too keeping our image clean).”