Is slamming PM, government ‘yellow journalism’?

The Washington Post newspaper has put in print just about everything that an ordinary Indian thinks about prime minister Manmohan Singh as he presides majestically over scam after earth (and space) shattering scam:

“An honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat (who) has slowly given way to a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government.”

The people quoted by the paper (including the historian Ramachandra Guha and the PM’s ex-media advisor Sanjaya Baru) have called him a “tragic figure”—fatally handicapped by timidity, complacency and intellectually dishonesty—who has transformed himself from an object of respect to one of ridicule, and is in danger of going down in history as a “failure”.

Not surprisingly, for a government which thought Time magazine did not have the right to call Manmohan Singh an “underachiever”, there are calls for an apology from the Washington Post. Ambika Soni, the information and broadcasting minister who was once part of Sanjay Gandhi‘s charmed circle, has called Washington Post‘s reporting “yellow journalism”.

“We have our apprehension to a foreign daily publishing something baseless on our prime minister… This is what we call as yellow journalism,” Soni said.

“How can a US daily take the matter such lightly and publish something regarding the prime minister of another country. I will speak to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and government officials and definitely do something over this issue,” she added.

Really? Is this yellow journalism or legitimate journalism?