To Believe it or Not? What Harsha Bhogle’s Stand Against PTI News Tells Us

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle recently called out news agency PTI for misrepresenting what he said.

4 min read

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?" is a popular quote that challenges the idea of perception and observation. However, sometimes there is someone who hears the sound.

Like in this case, it was Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle who recently called out the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) for using a cropped video to change the meaning of his statements.

Bhogle was seen talking about how cricketers can adapt to the three different formats of the game. This is where he brings up the example of former captain Virat Kohli. However, the video ends just before he could mention that how Kohli is adept at playing across situations.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle recently called out news agency PTI for misrepresenting what he said.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: X (formerly Twitter)/Screenshot)


But what's the problem? The point that the commentator used Kohli simply for an example can be missed entirely and people might get the impression that the former was criticising the latter's batting tactics.

However, this is not the only time media organisations have been called out for misquoting public figures. Team WebQoof looks at some of the examples through the course of this story.

But First, What Happened With Harsha Bhogle?

The commentator was speaking at a summit in Mumbai when he was questioned about the different cricketing formats and players. He took the example of Kohli and said that if he is playing test cricket for India, he is not supposed to get out.

"Now, he goes to play for RCB, for India; beyond a certain point, it might actually been the interest of the side for him to get out. How do you reconcile to the fact that I am one of the greatest who have played the game but actually at this stage, it’s in the team’s interest that I get out because the person who is coming in will probably hit 20 of 6 balls. Virat Kohli is an extreme example."
Harsha Bhogle, Indian cricket commentator

However, soon after this video was shared, Bhogle said that the video was cropped and does not include the point where he mentioned that Kohli is capable of playing across situations.

Following this, Bhogle shared 48 seconds-long video on his official X account. After mentioning "Virat Kohli is an extreme example", he continued by saying, "It may actually not be appropriate because he has the skills to play across situations."

Now, the problem here is the last line. If it is not included, it appears to be that Bhogle was criticising Kohli's batting tactics. However, when the last line is included, it is clear that the commentator was just giving an example. The context here is what's important.

The Shashi Tharoor & Times of India Saga

On 2 September 2023, Times of India (TOI) shared a report claiming that Member of Parliament (MP) Shashi Tharoor said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should not be projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

This created a lot of buzz on social media platforms, and soon, Tharoor on his official X handle said that he had never made such a comment. Tharoor mentioned that when he was asked about whether Gandhi should be projected as the PM candidate, he pointed to the INDIA bloc and said that the alliance's focus was on the issues.

He categorically denied making such a statement about Gandhi.

On 3 September 2023, Tharoor shared a correction added by TOI regretting the error of attributing the quote to the former.

  • An archive of the article can be seen here.

    (Source: The Economic Times/Screenshot)

Was PM Modi Chief Contender for Nobel Peace Prize?

Several media organisations attributed a quote to Asle Toje, who served as the vice-chair of the 2022 Norwegian Nobel Committee, claiming that he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chief contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

These reports went extremely viral on the social media platforms, where users, too, shared them speculating if PM Modi was declared as the chief contender.


However, soon after the statement went viral, several fact-checking organisations including The Quint's WebQoof debunked the viral claim as there was no evidence to back it.

While Toje had applauded PM Modi's efforts towards established peace, there was no information available to support the claim that he did mention the latter as the chief contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Zee News Misattributed Sonia Gandhi’s Statements

In July 2022, a video of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was shared mentioning that Gandhi recently said that she is former PM Indira Gandhi's daughter-in-law and is not afraid of anyone.

The video was claimed to be taken before Gandhi was entering the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in connection with the National Herald money laundering case.

Zee News not only aired a clip but also shared a Hindi article with a similar claim (archive here).

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle recently called out news agency PTI for misrepresenting what he said.

An archive can be seen here.

(Source: Zee News/screenshot)

But here's the twist. The statement was actually old. The remarks were made outside the Parliament in 2015 by Gandhi over the charges against her in the National Herald case.

The problem with the claim was that it, too, tried to change the context of the original statement. This was also a case of misattributing an older statement to a recent incident.

Misinformation and fake news travels faster than the truth and the ease with which it travels makes it difficult to debunk them in real time. Therefore, it becomes even more important for media organisations to check facts before publishing any piece of viral content and ensuring that they don't end up becoming the source of misinformation.


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