Heard about ‘honey trap’? Why? Why have you heard of it when it is something that should be unheard of? Using women to to ‘trap’ people in a news story? Does that even qualify as journalism?
Sex is trap? Since When?
‘Honey trap’ is that practice in journalism which people believe is an ‘effective’ means to trap potential scandals using sex. You heard that right. Women are sent to the targets – who are, no surprises there, men – and are made to act as if they are interested in having sex with them. Once the interest is reciprocated and they move towards the act, guns out and ‘gotcha!’ it’s time for honey trap. The woman is the trap and the honey to which the unsuspecting males swarm like bees. You must be kidding. Sadly, no.
Phones can be used to make calls too
The most recent case of this ludicrous form of ‘investigation’ if it can be called that, was used in Mallu land, otherwise known as Kerala. Kerala Transport Minister A K Saseendran had resigned after his ‘phone sex’ with a female voice was released by Mangalam channel the day it went live. Disgusting news channel launch? Check. Invasion of privacy? Check. And guess what? The channel later admitted that it had used one of its women journalists to engage in this ‘operation’. Genuine doubt, misters, is this what they taught you at your journalism schools or wherever you picked your lessons from?
Tehelka has done it and nobody has cared. Narada News, headed by Mathew Samuel, former managing editor of Tehelka has done it. [What is with Tehelka. Can’t ask Tarun Tejpal for sure because he has other questions waiting to be answered]. No casualties reported. Mangalam? The court case is on and the minister gone, but what about the journalist who was used for the purpose? Is she ever going to get any justice?
Think real traps
So what are these arrests of honey trappers that you keep hearing about? Every now and then there is a headline about how a ‘honey trap gang’ was busted. Before you talk about how women were ‘trapping’ politicians and others, shouldn’t you be talking about the media’s strategy of employing women to do the same for the sake of news? It seems so easy to arrest these women and take action against them then how come news portals and papers walk scot-free even after conducting infamous investigations using their women journalists as ‘traps’?
Ever considered using actual objects instead of using women as objects? Because even though it might not be so in your sick head, women are people. Why don’t you plant an iPhone or an expensive car or an amazing property deal in the way of ministers and others you wish to trap? Don’t say that these are easily attainable objects. Politicians love extra money. Who doesn’t like an extra residence or a scam in India! So the next time you plan to trap someone, you have two options.
One is to actually lay a trap like the ones laid for elephants and such. This requires expertise and that is clearly, something you journalists lack. So forget it.
The other is to lay traps which are actual traps. A woman, is not a trap. Sex, is not a trap. People say it is pleasure, and checking if it is true is not a crime, not even when done by criminals or politicians. So then what is a trap? Responsible journalism is. If done properly, your profession is what will give you the information. Just do it.