Wednesday, July 02, 2008


It is not everyday that I laugh out loud reading the news. But I did just that while reading the various news reports in the Indian media about the fictitious Nazi officer Johann Bach, a hoax created by the Pen Pricks.

What was more amusing than the hoax itself was the embellishments that the venerable mediapeople added to the story.

The Telegraph had a slick diagram showing the supposed movements of Bach (see below), calling it the "Odyssey" (Clicking the link doesnt lead to a valid page? Hmmm).

(Re picture above: If the Yemen passage was "unconfirmed", does it mean that everything else was confirmed?)

The Indian Express "airlifted"the guy to Berlin after his arrest ("airlifted" is one of the pet words of the newsmedia, a category of words that deserves a post of its own).

The Deccan Herald added ignorance to its own stupidity by calling out Bach in its headline as a "top Nazi colonel" (anyone slightly familiar with military institutions would wonder - how can one be a top colonel?).

As the Pen Pricks put it:

No confirming facts
No editorial rigor
No editorial tact
Just point a gun, jerk the trigger

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