A national agency that’s magic!
Abracadabra! National news agency Bernama pulled out the ‘sorry’ word from its magician’s hat and plonked it into the Isma-Marina story.
Filing the wire story on Marina Mahathir’s lawsuit settlement today, Bernama said:
“Isma deputy president Aminuddin Yahaya when reading out the terms of regret said that Isma was sorry if the distributed article and pamphlets had caused any problems or given negative impact and wrong perception of Marina as a liberal and anti-Islam.”
Isma on the other hand says, ‘Kes saman fitnah Marina selesai, tiada permohonan maaf direkod’ – i.e. how the relevant article headline was framed in Ismaweb.
Below is the statement read out by Aminuddin in front of the judge. It does not contain the words “pohon/mohon maaf”.
Click to enlarge
“In tears” … laying it thick and the Dapsters lapping it up
The Bernama article is ‘Comango: Marina’s suit against Isma settled‘.
Sourcing from Bernama, FMT has the headline ‘Marina in tears after Isma apologises for article’ and the standfirst saying, “Both parties agree to settle case after Isma deputy president apologises in court.”
FMT twice emphasized “apologises” in the headline and standfirst alone. It also shoveled heaps of melodrama with the first three words in its headline saying “Marina in tears”.
When Bernama should have gone to town with Saifuddin’s “sorry”, it didn’t
FMT had credited Bernama with a story byline. Hence a part of the responsibility for how the FMT extrapolation turned out, i.e. “Marina in tears”, “Isma apologises (repeatedly)”, must be borne by the national news agency as the source material.
While Bernama had inserted a non-existent sorry into the Marina vs Isma report, the national news agency on the other neglected to use the word ‘sorry’ in the headline of its Khalid Ibrahim vs Saifuddin Nasution story – when it really should have.
The Khalid court case would have been best titled ‘Saifuddin Nasution apologises for defaming Khalid Ibrahim’. In this instance particularly, when Bernama really should have used the ‘sorry’ word prominently, it did not.
Instead the Bernama copy, with its headline ‘Abdul Khalid’s suit against Saifuddin Nasution settled‘ is too non-committal. Such a bland headline fails to convey the political import (importance and impact) of the court judgment with regard to the unconscionable Kajang Move or in the evangelista terminology – “oooooh, Pakatan is so evil and wicked”.
Perception-wise, the judgment on the Khalid case is actually very advantageous and favourable to BN.
But the opposition sneakily spun it into “mutual apology” and thus blunted with great success any political benefits that the BN would have expected to gain in the court of public opinion over the affirmation of Khalid’s innocence, and Saifuddin-and-PKR’s guilt as pemfitnah tegar.
Compare the contrived emotionalism of the oppo press coverage on Marina – she’s reduced to tears and feels vindicated by the “apology” (sic) she got from Isma for allegedly “defaming” her.
It is more apt that the vindication of Khalid – a victim of the vilest fitnah by the oppo politicians – be highlighted most pointedly. But Bernama failed to do that.
Not only did the government media make nothing of it, Bernama even downplayed Khalid’s victory in court. PKR’s guilt is watered down in the Bernama report which is really too brief to explain the many, many charges of libel laid at the party’s door.
If this is the comparative approach that’s being adopted by media belonging to both sides of the political divide, then you can easily predict what will happen.
It’s clear that the pro-oppo media are fighting hard for a regime change.
It equally clear that the media belonging to the government and ruling parties are washing their hands like Pontius Pilate while some are ‘scissors’ing and sabotaging, and yet others secretly hoping too that the regime will topple.