FACT CHECK: Facebook Post Falsely Claims The New York Times Called Indian Elections ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims The New York Times purportedly called India’s recent elections “the greatest show on Earth.”

Verdict: False

The claim is false. A New York Times spokesperson denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check:

The third phase of India’s seven-phase election took place on May 7, with “millions of Indians [casting] their ballots,” according to Al Jazeera. A total of 1,351 candidates are running for 93 different seats in Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of Parliament, the outlet reported.

“Here is a beautiful article from [the] New York Times. While many of our own papers and tv channels deplore India, here is a view from THE INDIAN ELECTIONS – NEW YORK TIMES,” the Facebook post’s caption reads in part.

“It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse & democratic ethos, where 700 million + of humanity vote, providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future. It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing & [sic] violent Pakistan, China, and Burma,” it continues. The post does not provide a link to the purported article but does list the name, V. Mitchell at its conclusion.

The claim is false. Check Your Fact conducted a search of The New York Times’ website, which did not generate any results for the purported headline. The purported headline also cannot be found on the outlet’s verified Facebook, X, and Instagram accounts. (RELATED: Image Does Not Show Rafah Assault)

Likewise, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports from other media outlets to support the claim. In fact, the opposite is true. Both Logically Facts and The Quint debunked the claim via respective articles published on May 7. Additionally, Logically Facts reported the text of the Facebook post is not an article, but rather a comment made by an online user named V. Mitchell. The user shared the comment on a 2009 article the outlet published about India’s elections at the time.

Furthermore, Naseem Amini, a spokesperson for The New York Times, denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.

“I can confirm The New York Times did not publish this article or text,” Amini said. Amini also directed Check Your Fact to a May 8 article from The New York Times indicating the claim is false.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter