May 3, 2010 - Porn    36 Comments

How to "Fatima-Bhutto-ize" a news story

So one national newspaper published a story on Pakistan’s porn industry and all hell broke loose, at least on twitter. Everyone had an opinion about the article. Some thought it was pure fiction and some thought that the text was politically incorrect. Some called it masala journalism and some said that it is not journalism at all. In short, the report was thoroughly discussed, something that the perhaps both the writer and editor aimed for and achieved.

One commenter on the newspaper did not agree with the article and he said:

I think this article is a fake, as a connoisseur of porn I would have seen some of the porn that they claim to have made. The quality of Pakistani porn does not reflect the kind of technological advancements the writer has mentioned. It is a sad day when a national news paper lies about porn, isn’t anything sacred anymore!
Another commenter had issues with the English of the article. The writer has used the phrase “loud smile” somewhere in the text and she only wanted to ask the writer of this article one thing:
What, sir, is a ‘loud smile’?
The writer has not responded till the last time I checked.

Like every other discussion in the country the debate turned to religion and of course Taliban. There were some puritanical hearts who lamented the fact that while people are obsessed with Talibaan they are ignoring a bigger threat to the sanctity of Pakistani society – porn.

Dishoom on twitter was shocked and awed by the news. According to him, he “religiously googled” about the porn in Pakistan but failed. He searched for “Andheri Raat”, one of the best sellers according to the news report, but even that did not yield desired results. Now he has been appealing to all and sundry to help him find the porn mentioned in that news report. His exact words:

APPEAL: Please tell us where we can find this Pakistani Porn, which is being reported in our national dailies or someone please refer me to this supposed website and blog. Google search has failed me.

Naheed Mustafa thought that the article was in bad taste and said, “Pakistani porn industry sound like high school drama club!” She marveled how the writer can talk about the supposed professionalism of the industry when he quoted one of the actresses that she was raped, sold and eventually ended in porn industry. She also wondered which editor Okayed the report.

The writer was not too happy with people doubting his investigative skills, so he responded with:

Duty of a reporter is always to tell readers what is going on in the society. We raise problems to the point of discussion. It is the job of the authorities to find out where it is going on. We are not bound to disclose exact location of either Taliban or those who are running porn industry….You can find movies mentioned in the article in Rambo Plaza….

Personally, I have no major issues with the story, other than the fact there is no Rambo Plaza in Karachi (I think the writer wanted to mention Rainbow Centre). If the story is correct and the writer did interview some people for it, he should have come up with better fake names, after all, a director named “Tina” can only invite ridicule. I think the writer had seen too many 70s and 80s Bollywood movies where vamp was always named either Mona or Tina and was inspired by it. The writer also got a bit carried away and blurred the line between fact and fiction. One cannot even blame the poor soul for it. If Fatima Bhutto can be praised all over the world for passing pure conjecture as memoirs he thought he could get away with it as well. He is guilty of Fatima Bhutto-izing the story at best.


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  • Wow, that article was terribly written. And there is no Rambo Plaza in KHI now that I recall.

    “Fatima Bhutto-izing” is a new term. It made me laugh. Good job, Tazeen.

  • kiya karey tazeen…if fatima bhutto chose to publish her grocery list , it would have been a best seller (with William Dalrymple declaring if anyone was to write this it had to be her 😉

    so now we have to suffer investigative journalism that is something sangeeta churned out a decade ago (I think the journalist has rehashed Society Girl’s script)

  • Maybe Rambo Plaza is a secret place which the writer invented… or perhaps it’s a place in his neighborhood. or maybe he really did mean Rainbow center.

    I actually don’t doubt the authenticity of the writer, he just reported what the ‘directors’ told him and collaborated that with asking around his those movies existed.

    I do think it’s a good effort in that it inspires debate. After all isn’t that the true motive behind journalism.

    One thing I’m sure off, is that the sales for the Pakistani porn industry is going to go through the roof.

  • Mehreen,
    I gotta admit, I wrote the whole post because I wanted Fatima Bhuttoization to catch on …


    Sirf Sangeeta naheen, madam Sageeta kahain aap. By the way, Society girl sounds like fun. I need to watch it sometime soon.

  • Ah! And I thought “here is the much awaited rant on Fatima Bhutto” :P~

    Fawad Ali’s article is pretty cliched.Just in case it is true.. Oh well, for the lack of a better cinema, propagating porn could just save the day :/.

  • Ugly Shoelace

    Errr, at the end of the day, it is a dig at Fatima Bhutto. Cannot rant because I have not really read her book, just excerpts. And as I have no intention of reading her book, you will have to make do with chotee motee indirect insults.

  • The title of the blog is totally misleading. Or maybe you sweetly made a dig at Fatima Bhutto.

    I haven’t read Songs of Blood and Sword so don’t know the style and tone of the book or the facts represented in there.

    As for the porn industry, I don’t think ‘porn industry’ exists in Pakistan because from industry one think of a known, organized and professional business that generate huge profits. Like US has a 10 billion $ porn industry. But yes, prostitution does exist in an innovative forms if that’s what the writer meant.

  • lol that the RAINBOW PLAZA they referring to

  • Thank you for posting this! I find you blog VERY interesting!!

    Common Cents

    ps. Link Exchange???

  • Tazeen bibi,

    get ready to be sued by Fatima Bhutto. I am sure she has google alert and must now be consulting her lawyers.

  • Indeed, I focused on the wrong aspects of the story, but if I were the reporter my focus of the story would have shifted immediately to the exploitation of women in the sex sector (both prostitution and/or adult film making).

    I guess, we can give the poor soul some time to respond to the criticism. I don’t know who he is, or what he has done before. However, I’m assuming that he is naive and hopefully, unlike Fatima Bhutto, might respond positively to the criticism.


  • I am amazed Tazeen that you are considering a rumor to be a news story. Poor him didn’t even know how to spell Rainbow Center and you expect us to believe his piece was authentic.

    Would it be overly critical of me to say that by publishing it on your blog you have “Fatima Bhutto-ized” this incredulous story?

  • lousy. looked as if the writer was trying to recover from a hangover.

  • Tazeen Tazeen.. where do you find these stories 🙂 Its kind of funny yet disturbing…. your rantings are as usual somewhat bizarre and bringing fabo (i just made it up) in it did not really connect somehow.

    I read the article just for the heck of it and it was such a silly piece and tons of nonsense remarks. I could not even figure out why this horrible writer was allowed to publish. The story is awful, and seems like its his dirty day dreaming and stupid illiterate thoughts more than anything…I mean what the heck..Why do you think the writer was allowed to print this fake / fiction kind of thing to mislead people on a national paper? I mean why? What is really the intention here? Please enlight us with your bright thoughts 🙂

  • you are the winner TJ 😀

    Tribune has long list of errors. They are the people who can make Shoaib Malik as Shahid Malik, converting indian angarkha into kurta, hyperlinking news with AAJ TV shows……bhayee yeh KGS kay bachon ka Paper hai. I agree with Naheed Mustafa comment that its a total high school drama.

    Rambo Plaza…..imagine the lack of info…..karachi ka bacha bacha janta hai xxx movie kahan se milti hai. Loser reporter.

    And to be honest, its one of the cheapest stunt to gain controversy, increase web traffic. It’s exactly like a film heroin doing item numbers, cheap flicks to gain initial publicity.

  • Oh yess one important thing….I lurveeeeee the post title…….fit hai

  • Only difference between you and them is that they tried to fatima bhutto-ize a story and now you asif zardari-ized their story. You got comments as well. Well Done!

  • I second ‘Kashif’ and ‘aTii’.
    Writing this post is more like wasting some blog space.

  • Why people are so reluctant about accepting the fact that there is something true in this story. May be the writer is not aware of Rainbow center in Karachi, may be he got this story from someonelse but if it is true or false is something very different. People invests in publishing porn magazines in Pakistan, it gives them huge profit with less efforts so what’s the problem with porn productions in a country with such an economical crisis. I couldn’t understand this.

  • Aniqa,

    I cannot speak for others but I have no issues with people producing porn or watching porn. I have issues with bad journalism though. The piece was badly written, with half baked quotes. How can an industry be professional if it is exploiting girls who were raped and sold and then ended up in porn. It sounded like a fantasy that the reporter had about this story.

    If a reporter who is writing an expose about an activity in Karachi does not know about Rainbow Centre, he should commit harakari or at least hand over his resignation to the editor. The editor was also high on something who did not catch the blunder. In addition, the tone of the report is very chaskaybaz. The story’s direction should have changed the minute the reporter found out about exploitation but he went on to write about camera equipment and cost of production.

    As someone who has been part of the business, I just find it all in extreme bad taste.

    I hope I made my intentions clear.

  • The writer wasn’t even sure of which gentry he is exactly talking about, the kind of girls he was talking about neither seemed to be belonging to either good families nor the other one’s ….and yes agreed with dishoom that if it was such a BIG HIT than m sure it must have circulated alot and thus would have ended up atleast somewhere in google.

  • So this is the dangerous blog!!!!!

  • It does not appear to be hard to find pakistani porn on the internet. Well, I didn’t feel like putting on a computer condom to actually click those links, but searching for pakistani xxx with safe search turned off yielded many hits.

    I realize that this is not the point of your post, either.

    Hey, the captcha is synyed, which is close to sinned, which is funny. This is why I comment. To be amused by captchas.

  • Hi,
    I want to state my agreement to everything in this blog. From the term “Fatima Bhutto-izing the story” to “Rambo Center” (John Rambo would have been so proud had be really had one Rambo center in KHI) to non professionalism (and lack of ethics) in this news story.

    Yes i think this story is fake, otherwise the “Google” nature of our nation must have popped it out in the popular scene (if we go by the claim of article author that films have been produced as old as 2002 or so). I believe if you can’t find it on Google, it either don’t exist or it ain’t famous at all 🙂

    Lastly, kudos to Tazeen for picking up such an interesting story about PK. Had i not bene following this blog i might not have seen this story at all (*chuckles*)


  • I have read “Songs of BS” and jst want to tell you Tazeen that you’re spot on!! Pure conjecture as memories… a load of pontificating, with bitter and snide comments, badly written. But then Dalrymple is right, the only reason the book sold was because of who the writer was. For someone who supposedly shuns dynastic politics, Ms. Bhutto reminds us way too many times in the course of the book that she and her brother, and Sassui, are “the only surviving Bhutto children”!!

    Anny M

  • More than half of 63 brands of mineral or bottled water available in Pakistan have been declared ‘unsafe for human consumption’ by the government.

    The results are based on quarterly sampling of bottled water during January-March this year.

    The brands with bacteriological contamination were Elan, Sprinkle, Legend, Alfa, Shahi Avisa, Miracle, Aab-e-Sehat, Keeper, Spring Fresh, DeAar, Asmo, Fresh Lay, Aqua One, Zinpa, Maza, Aspen, Piyass Plus, Pak Crystal, Classic, Aqua Save, Khyber Aqua and Aqua Water.

    The brands found chemically contaminated were Alfa, Max Fresh, Pak Crystal, Classic, Nation, Avion, Active, Clean Plus, Aqua Clean, Pacific, Cool, Bake Master, Isberg and Droplet.

    Three brands were found unsafe on both counts — Alfa, Pak Crystal and Classic.

    The samples were collected in January from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi and Hyderabad.

    The 30 brands declared safe are Gourmet, Berg, Nectar, Nestle, Aquafina, Ripple, Vey, Sparkletts, First Water, Snow Mountain, Pakola Vital, Meme, Kinley, Best Water, Buxton, Culligan, Blue Gold, Better Life, Aqua Link, Natural, Fairmount, Sufi, Unipak Healthy Life, Voila, Pak Pure, Snow Cape, Hamaliyan, Kinza, Golden and Aqua Hygenic.

  • So, um, why are people so critical of Fatima Bhutto?

    The one time I listened to her on CNN, I found her to be intuitive and articulate.

    Please explain!

  • … All this hype about a journalist’s ‘write up’ on porn?

  • @Sarem

    Cause Tazeen is not as preety and not as sucesful as Fatima Bhutto.

    In one word Jelousy!

  • Fatima Bhutto’s father was killed so she writes with that pain. Tazeen writes for amusement and fun. She ridicules people like Dr. Israr. That tells how serious we should take her.

  • For someone who admits not having read Fatima’s memoir, I think it is bit rich poking fun at her alleged “conjecture” while invoking her into a blog entry that has actually nothing to do with her. Just because Miss Bhutto is a ravishing, eloquent young lady who had the good fortune of studying at some excellent universities doesn’t mean you need to get so envious. Show some professionalism ladies.

  • Dear Fan of Fatima,

    What makes you think that I am not a ravishing eloquent woman who has the good fortune to study at one of the best universities in the world. Unlike FB, I studied on full scholarship because I do not have a feudal daddy.

  • Hi! My first time on this blog. And this made for an entertaining read…

    “I think the writer had seen too many 70s and 80s Bollywood movies where vamp was always named either Mona or Tina and was inspired by it.”

    Spot on! The inimitable Ajeet (Loin from Kalicharan) is sorely missed…

    “Fatima Bhutto-izing the story”

    You said it! The folks @ the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) should get to work… pronto!

  • I liked your reply to the comment to FanofFatima more than your blog !

  • ^^^


    I think the world, the moon and the stars of me, it was but inevitable 🙂

  • The article sounded crap when I read it, the writers costing made no sense meaning cost and profit margins, the names were ridiculous, the distribution system he described did not add up and the car think was done by a lot of kids in college. By the way Pakistani porno’s are awe full, they make you sick.

    Still have a mad crush on Fatima Bhutto, even thou she can not be trusted.

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