The danger of a video being viral on the internet has caught out Channel Nine after it aired a story about a racist Sydney bus passenger on the Today Show on Wednesday morning, four years after other media outlets, including fellow Nine news outfit A Current Affair.
Today Show newsreader Alicia Loxley read out the story with the mobile phone footage found on YouTube together with a “First on Nine” watermark, with Mrs Loxley concluding “that video has had almost one million views”.
Fairfax Media reported the same story in 2013, which centred on a then-55-year-old woman from Balmain telling a high school student of Asian decent to “get a passport bro”. The incident was secretly filmed by another bus passenger and posted on YouTube.
“Go back on your f—ing boat and f— off,” part of her tirade continued. “There’s a lot of Aussie passengers on this bus and I’m telling ya, they’re totally not going to agree with you, I tell you right now. And I’m one of them.”
At the time, fellow Nine reporter, ACA’s now embattled Ben McCormack had an exclusive with the bus passenger ‘Susan’, who went on to explain that she was frustrated by the student and his mates blocking the bus aisle with their bags and making it difficult for other passengers getting on or off the bus, which led to her drunken tirade.
The woman had been drinking eight schooners at a pokies venue in Sydney and lost all her money earlier that day, but when asked to defend her comments or explain how they weren’t racist, she simply said “I can’t” and apologised.
Nine has been contacted for comment.
The Today Show slip-up follows a spate of television news mistakenly passing off old stories as new, with ABC’s Media Watch rapping Seven over the knuckles last week for re-hashing a “blushing bride” story taken from social media, two years on.
The bride nearly drowned after jumping off a pier and being swamped by her dress, “but instead of the bride blushing it was Channel Seven” because the ill-fated bridal photo shoot in 2015 was well documented in Cosmopolitan magazine, concluded Media Watch’s Paul Barry.
Seven issued the following apology: “The video was sourced from social media. If we knew it was old we wouldn’t have run it,” said Simon Pristel, director of Seven News Melbourne.
The week before Barry called out Nine for re-hashing a five-year-old story on a meth lab near a Sydney childcare centre, even though the story’s producer knew from police that it was old news. Nine’s only explanation was it was”trying to help the childcare centre in a battle with its insurance company”.
It has been an unfortunate week for newsreaders after freelance ABC news presenter Natasha Exelby was caught out daydreaming on the weekend, followed by Jessica Adamson on Seven News in Adelaide dropping an f-bomb after stumbling mid-bulletin.
But, if anything, it has only strengthened the readers’ profiles, with the #PutOutYourBloopers still trending on Twitter.