Taking a cue from Donald Trump’s wisest decision of banning CNN correspondent Jim Acosta from the White House, the Donald Trumps of the Pakistani journalism have banned Jim Acosta of the cabinet – Fawad Chaudhry, alias Honest Chaudhry – from entering press clubs across the country.
“You can’t enter our press clubs and eat the subsidized meal from clubs’ café,” said one of the Donald Trumps of the Pakistani press clubs in a social media footage shot at pre-dawn hours of a chilly night of February 2019.
The reason for stopping Mr Chaudhry from entering press clubs was not explained by the president of the (most) press(ed) club of Pakistan.
Unanimous sources, who are available to every reporter anywhere, anytime and free of cost, helped us to divulge the untold reasons for the minister punishment.
“As you know that Faraad Chaudhry is very honest in his comment on media, so his predictions about the bleak future of the print media and bad quality journalism did not go well with broken, beaten and bruised journalists, and that’s why press clubs have decided to mute his voice,” said the source, without seeking anonymity. The source even pleaded this seasoned scribe to publish their name, caste and phone number but as per prevailing reporting traditions of the day, no name can be published as a source of the story.
Earlier, the White House suspended the press pass of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta on November 8 last after he had an exchange of words with President Trump during a news conference.
Mr Acosta wanted to know from Mr Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern US border. When the CNN reporter tried to ask another question, Mr Trump said, “That’s enough!” and a staffer tried to take the microphone from Mr Acosta.
A similar situation should have happened, had Mr Chaudhry met a delegation of the journalists who wanted to see him asking for his intervention to get their salaries released and sackings delayed, if not scrapped. Despite a scheduled meeting with them, the minister refused to see them after putting them on wait for over two hours outside his office.
The source said the delegation awaiting a meeting with the minister was asked about refreshment, and most of them ordered tea and pakora which were never delivered despite the passage of time.
“The non-delivery of tea and pakora worsened the matters, bringing minister-journalists relations to the point of no return.
The minister was, however, unaware of the consequences. Now, whenever he tried to enter the press club, the gatekeeper will not allow him into the club.
“Oh, I’ll never miss the food of the club canteen,” said the smiling minister at a talk show later in the evening. The same refrain he said to so many anchors.
The press clubs’ decision is doing the round in the whole world.
The White House was first to comment.
“We’re greatly thankful to both Fawad Chaudhry and Press Clubs for stabbing each other. Fawad Chaudhry deserves our full support for his war on journalism and press clubs for following our tradition of not tolerating hostile ministers,” said a US intern, according to our imaginary sources.
President Trump in a tweet (addressing Fawad Chaudhry) said: “You’re not fake. You’re doing good service to journalism. Down with fake news.”