- Journalism not about charming governments: Washnigton Post journalist
- A BJP leader had accused the publication of "highly biased" edit policy
- The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos' Amazon
A BJP leader's swipe at Jeff Bezos, cold-shouldered by the government during his India visit earlier this week, has triggered a sharp retort. "Jeff Bezos doesn't tell Washington Post journalists what to write," a senior editor at the publication owned by the Amazon CEO tweeted, in response to a post by BJP leader Vijay Chauthaiwale who has alleged that the newspaper's editorial policy is "highly biased".
"Just to clarify: Jeff Bezos doesn't tell Washington Post journalists what to write. Independent journalism is not about charming governments. But there's no question the work of our correspondents and columnists fits within India's democratic traditions," Eli Lopez tweeted.
Just to clarify: Jeff Bezos doesn't tell Washington Post journalists what to write. Independent journalism is not about charming governments. But there's no question the work of our correspondents and columnists fits within India's democratic traditions. https://t.co/TzrMZoCw69— Eli Lopez (@elopezgross) January 17, 2020
Scoffing at Mr Bezos's "Dynamism. Energy. Democracy. #IndianCentury" post earlier this week, Mr Chauthaiwale - BJP's foreign policy in-charge - had tweeted, "Please tell this to your employees in Washington DC. Otherwise your charm offensive is likely to be waste of time and money.
It was seen as a dig at The Washington Post which has published several articles in recent weeks - viewed as critical of the Narendra Modi government - including on scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the restrictions there as well as the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). On December 13 last year, the US daily published an article under the headline "India's new law may leave millions of Muslims without citizenship". Sources say this and other articles against the citizenship law have deeply upset the government. Washington Post has also been targeted by several BJP leaders and supporters on Twitter.
"I am not opposing Amazon as a company, in fact I am a regular customer... Jeff Bezos should go home tell Washington Post what is his impression about India," Mr Chauthaiwale later told news agency Reuters. "The Washington Post editorial policy is highly biased and agenda driven," he said.
The criticism coincided with Jeff Bezos's India visit that was headlined by a public snub from the government. His announcement of $1 billion investment on his first day in India drew a sarcastic response from Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who said: "It's not as if they are doing a great favour to India." The minister later said his comments had been misunderstood and that "all investment is welcome "as long as it is within the law". The Amazon CEO, whose request for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reportedly rejected a month back, left without meeting any top minister.