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Monday, August 30, 2010

The king of the sting

That would be Mazher Mahmood whose latest expose has blown the lid off the so-called "spot-fixing" scandal involving Pakistan's cricketers. Who is Mazher Mahmmod? There's a bio on Wikipedia, the most interesting fact in it being the enigmatic nature of the man on account of his job profile:

Mahmood works secretively, rarely going into the News International offices. Written into Mahmood's contract is a clause stating that his photograph will never be published in the newspaper. If he features in photos that accompany his stories, his face is always concealed and a silhouette is used next to his byline.

And here's another interesting tidbit from that bio:

News Of The World claims he has brought 234 criminals to justice. He often poses as a sheikh in order to gain his target's trust, and is also known as the "Fake sheikh." In September 2008, he wrote a book titled Confessions of a Fake Sheik: The King Of The Sting Reveals All, published by Harper Collins.

Wouldn't we just love to get hold of a copy of that book? We would get to learn how an undercover reporter gets information that translates into a worldwide scoop. We would also get an insight into an aspect of journalism — sting operations — that, in the wrong hands, can have many unpleasant ramifications.

In the meantime, we can only watch this particular sting operation unfold before our eyes (check out the four-minute video) and marvel at the chutzpah of the reporter and the advances in technology that made it possible for News of the World to make headlines around the world this week.

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