Media Watch host Paul Barry has delivered a 15-minute takedown of The Daily Telegraph’s journalistic practices during last night’s episode.
Barry began the segment by scrutinising an online article by The Daily Telegraph which accused the ABC of using taxpayers’ money to send journalists Jeremy Fernandez and Annabel Crabb to London to cover the Royal Wedding on Business Class.
“News that Crabb and Fernandez would be leading the coverage has incensed some politicians and ABC critics, with News Corp’s Daily Tele branding the move ‘a shocking waste of taxpayers money’,” Barry said.
According to Barry, the ABC was quick to correct the article, assuring The Daily Tele the journos had flown economy.
Though, Barry said despite the ABC asking for a retraction, “It didn’t get one, or an apology.
“Initially it just added a denial to the online story, by which in some strange logic The Tele’s error was transformed into a ‘sudden backtrack’ by the broadcaster.
“Never mind that The Tele’s editor-at-large (Matthew Benns) didn’t confirm whether the Business Class story was true, or get in touch with the ABC’s Annabel Crabb.”
@matthewbenns Mate you could have checked that yarn with me in about 2min. For the record I flew Thai Airways in seat 52G (spooned against a very large stranger) Then went straight into full day's work. Same goes for @JezNews. Both happy and honoured to be here. AC
— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) May 17, 2018
Barry added The Daily Tele chose to ignore a photo posted by Fernandez of himself and two other passengers in economy, instead “pinching the photo next door to castigate the journos for taking a selfie”.
Touchdown in London, after 23 hours in the air sitting next to these two lovely grandmothers: Hazel & Sandra. It’s their first time in Europe; Hazel’s first time overseas. I helped them operate the inflight entertainment, and they plied me with food and entertaining conversation throughout the flight! The highlight was seeing their infectious excitement spotting London from the air, for the first time. It’s never too late to start a new adventure. #travel #inflightphoto #qf1 #london_enthusiast #london #londonbound #travelgram #gransofinstagram #qantas #intrepidgrandparents @qantas
The host then went on to highlight three separate stories which had been entirely discredited by the Australian Press Council (APC).
“The Daily Tele is again being caught red-handed by the Australian Press Council for misleading its readers,” Barry said.
“Never let facts get in the way of good old-fashioned prejudice,” he added.
The first case involved a story written by an ABC journalist Stan Grant in relation to a Captain Cook statue.
The story, published in 2017, rhetorically asked readers whether Captain Cook’s statue shared the same fate as statues in the US which had been taken down due to their dark past.
“Grant said while many indigenous leaders may be in favour of it being torn down, he was not abdicating it.
“But The Tele typically took a less nuanced line,” said Barry, with Media Watch then flashing to The Daily Telegraph’s front page which read, “‘Aussie Taliban’; PC vandals bid to tear down our history”.
“According to the APC, the article was both inaccurate and lacking reasonable fairness and balance,” Barry said.
He then went on to highlight two other examples of The Daily Telegraph ignoring recommendations from the APC, finishing the segment with, “The APC has no power to punish the companies who fund it”.
“The Tele can simply laugh at its decisions,” he concluded.