To set the scene... consider the following:
It is sad that a humanitarian project, FijiBure.com, was forced to take the action of publishing this expose to repair the damage done by a totally discredited national Australian television programme camouflaged as "current affairs" but what is, in reality, nothing more than a ratings creator for Channel 7 which is apparently above the law (we cannot afford to take on their million dollar purse in the courts). The power of their unlimited finances are recognised but the toothless tigers in the form of government bodies like the ABA that are supposed to take up the cause of those who have been wronged don't. They growl and prowl but unfortunately never quite perform - and the current affairs producers at Today Tonight know this. It should be noted that Channel 7 threatened to sue us for presenting the facts on this page after we were defamed by them, but the fact that this page is still here many years later and they have sulked away despite our prominent rating on Google speaks for itself... read on.
We are certainly not alone in our views about the lack of journalistic integrity of Naomi Robson - the face of Today Tonight in 2004 and nothing has changed since. Behind that genial television mask Robson displays lurks another side... consider this explosive expletive-laden exchange over her autocue, mistakenly recorded. How many of these fiery exchanges at Today Tonight haven't been recorded?
During the conversation Today Tonight's Naomi Robson says (May
TV Fugly Awards
Most Sensational Current Affairs Program 2005 Winner: Today Tonight
By sensational, we mean that in the bad way.
Today Tonight has taken out this award for the last three years with ACA only getting the gong in the inaugural event. We might retire this category next year as TT recently publicly dropped the masquerade that they were doing serious journalism and admitted to doing trashy stories. Which is fine, we love the trash. But that problem is that it's heap less fun taking the piss out of someone when they admit their faults.
In the links below you will see how Today Tonight in 2005 promoted conman Peter Foster's slimming product SLIMist as "good"... A Current Affair exposed the fallout of their positive coverage with several Australian paying tens of thousands of dollars to act as agents not knowing of Foster's involvement.
Overview on FijiBure.com's experience with "Today Tonight"
In this report we factually expose the high and immoral stakes that
major Australian television stations like Channel 7 will take in an effort
to improve their ratings and, as a result, the advertising
revenue they get from advertisers. In the media world trampling on innocent
people, like you, in search of higher ratings has become a favoured past-time
for the high profile reporters (in our case Michelle Tapper and Naomi Robson)
and producers from Channel 7's Today Tonight. These
"heros" of the media are anything but. In the words of other Australian
media commentators and the Australian Broadcasting Association (ABA) the
material they produce is:
Hocus pocus on Today Tonight - how often does this happen?
This is an accurate record of what happened.... enter Michelle Tapper.
It was about 4pm in the afternoon last Friday (1st October 2004) when my phone rang and an unknown female voice asked "Mr Balson I am phoning from a courier company to see if you will be able to sign for a travel document we are delivering."
"Yes," I replied.
A few minutes later I heard my partner shouting from the front door of our home. "Scott Today Tonight are here, they have cameras. Why are they here?"
Moments before my ten year old son had witnessed the Today Tonight reporter Michelle Tapper (more on Tapper at this link) sneaking around our garden beds while giving a commando style signal for her television crew to follow. As a young boy he faced road rage and the antics of the Today Tonight crew has left him traumatised.
When she got to the front door the reporter from Today Tonight knocked - and my partner was confronted with a television camera panning in on her.
The lead up to this ongoing traumatic experience for my family at our family home stemmed from a phone call that I received in early September 2004, when a single woman living in Queensland called to ask about village homestays advertised through my web site at Fijibure.com.
The caller, Robyn Knight, went into great detail about an ailment that she suffered from, fibrositis - telling me that on some days she could not even crawl from her bed to the bathroom. Despite the ailment she said she wanted to go and enjoy the village life as described on our web page for Matacawalevu. She wanted time to be alone, to escape.
At the same time as this woman was staying at Matacawalevu another family from Queensland had booked into the village of Namatakula. Before they even arrived in the village one of the middle aged women in their group, Deb Lang, had fallen ill. At this time the dreaded Fiji flu was rampant and tens of thousands of Fijians and hundreds of tourists all around Fiji were falling sick with flu like symptoms associated with stomach pains, diarrhoea and nausea. If you take this link you will see lengthy discussion on Lonely Planet which includes talk of guests getting food poisoning/Fiji Flu at the upmarket Sheraton Hotel at Denarau (Nadi)
Before the week was out the entire family at Namatakula had caught the contagious disease and they left the village a day early. On the day they left the father wrote a glowing letter to our hosts at Namatakula thanking our hosts for their hospitality and for nursing his family.
Robyn Knight - the complainant
At about this time Robyn Knight at Matacawalevu had cut short her stay after her watch was allegedly stolen. She would also later claim that there was an outbreak of scabies in the village and that conditions were unhygienic - as was seen on Today Tonight on Monday the 4th October 2004.
Extraordinarily, Knight, the woman from Matacawalevu and Lang, with the group from Namatakula, had somehow landed up on the same flight home to Brisbane, Australia. It was here that they allege that they first discovered that they had both stayed at village homestays through FijiBure.com. It goes beyond the boundaries of coincidence when you consider that these women, Knight and Lang, live just five minutes apart from each other in the same remote rural community in southern Queensland. (Lang confirmed this to me over the phone).
Robyn Knight took over what became a campaign to, in her own words, "ruin the business".
On her return to Australia Robyn Knight immediately contacted me and made a range of outrageous claims which were witnessed by my partner on the speakerphone. These included the allegation that I had totally misrepresented what village homestays were all about on the Internet. She also claimed that there was scabies in the village and that she had some personal items - a watch and a credit card stolen. She alluded to a complaint by another group (the family from Namatakula) without providing any further information. I had already contacted Deb Lang from this family and been fully briefed after Simon and Judith told me that they had left the village a day early.
Knight's claims about items being stolen at the village were later retracted by her in a letter of apology written to the hosts at Matacawalevu. Unsurprisingly she never informed me that she had found the "stolen" items in her bag on her return to Australia.
Robyn Knight said that she would ruin the business if I did not refund her all her travel expenses including airfares and incidentals like medicine - over $2,000. She made specific reference to informing Today Tonight about her claims and saying that it was now "out of her hands". I refused to be black mailed. A detailed letter of claim (at this link) followed from her by email within 24 hours with all F$ costs marked up to a parity with the Au$ (80c in the Au$) - the claims including her medicines, travel insurance, air tickets, meals around Fiji and several miscellaneous items she had bought for the villagers at Matacawalevu. I responded by email advising that I was returning to Fiji in October and would like to first investigate her claims.
Karryn Cooper's role at Today Tonight
What I was not aware of was the fact that Robyn Knight had previously been featured in a very favourable light on Today Tonight several times in 2001 and 2002 - through face-to-face interviews with Today Tonight's reporter Karryn Cooper (Photo at this link). Cooper was promoted to Today Tonight's State Producer in Queensland before the program on FijiBure.com was aired. See Cooper's Story one and story two on Robyn Knight. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as it is the producer decides what stories to pursue and what will be aired. Karryn Cooper's personal involvement in getting this story to air is revealed at this link. (ie Knight took up her threat and Today Tonight jumped without any research on her complaint).
Robyn Knight apparently spent many happy hours in her relentless campaign contacting the Ministry of Tourism in Fiji, and Today Tonight among many others - sending letters, phoning and going out of her way to cause trouble.
Nothing had happened for a couple of weeks before Today Tonight unexpectedly arrived. Their pushy presenter Michelle Tapper from the program which "outs the conmen" was in my face as I opened the door to see why my partner was shaking with panic behind it.
"Mr Balson?" It was the woman on the phone who had claimed to be from a courier company.
Before she had even asked me the first question I was being treated like a cheap coniving conman. In her first sentence she told me that she had researched the complaint and spent about an hour on my web site the night before - the admitted depth of "investigation" into a web site which has sixty pages and covers all aspects of the village homestay experience was less than adequate. A fact which would raise its head later.
Her implication in the opening exchange was that following her investigations I had been found guilty as charged - and this was before the interview had even started. She was judge and jury.
Tapper asked me to justify why village homestay guests sleep on the floor and said that she had been told that there is only one toilet in the village shared by everybody! I responded by calling her informant a liar. Guests sleep on proper beds in their own private room with sheets, pillows and blankets and there is a flush toilet attached to every guesthouse in all our villages. In fact each village's web site carries photos of the beds offered by our hosts. You will note that this exchange is left out - surely if you are aware that the complainant's claims are in question you should think twice before proceeding with a story that is going to damage someone's reputation? In answer to several other questions I repeated that this is a "village homestay not a five star hotel". None of these comments went to air.
During the twenty minute exchange Tapper questioned my credibility suggesting that village homestays were illegal and not licensed by the Ministry of Tourism in Fiji despite the fact that I assured her that the Fijian Government were aware of and supported FijiBure.com and that I had a meeting in just a few weeks with all the provincial administrators to formalise policy for the the new evolving village homestay market. (In fact about 30 high ranking Fijians, many from government, were scheduled to attend). A letter of support written by the President of the Fiji Tourism Resource Owner's Association, Ratu Osea Gavidi is scanned at this link.
I have attached at this link a scan of an email sent by Joape Nalatu, a senior member of staff at the Fiji Visitor's Bureau in Nadi. This document was faxed to Today Tonight several hours before the programme went to air. It shows their deception and dishonesty that they simply ignored it.
You will note that he makes it clear that
Tapper suggested that preparing food in dishes on clean mats on the floor was unhygienic not being able to comprehend that this is a village homestay and this is traditionally how food is prepared. It is part of the Fiji Homestay experience. In fact about 80% of the world's human population eats food this way and don't you eat off a blanket on the ground when having a picnic? All the while the cameras and audio rolled capturing each word - ready for slicing and editing by Today Tonight - and, believe me, after seeing what went to air they did a good job. Even the lighting on my face in the footage reflected something sinister. In contrast, a few months later, high profile Australian television travel program "Getaway" featured trditional eating methods (off plates placed on cloth covers on the floor) as one of the features of a village homestay through FijiBure.com - more at this link).
Furthermore, my partner was a naturopath (over 15 years of practise) and has often helped the ladies in the kitchen at Namatakula. She notes that the food is prepared on cutting boards and dishes placed on cloths or mats on the floor in the kitchen. She says that there is absolutely no problem with hygiene. If there had been she would have told me long ago. In fact she has written a segment on the excellent food at Namatakula at this link.
During the interview Tapper produced a letter that had been received by Deb Lang. It was allegedly from the Ministry of Tourism. Ms Tapper, without showing me the letter, said that the Ministry of Tourism wrote that village homestays was not in the Fiji Travel Industry's best interests. She questioned how I could operate without their sanction, and she again implied that I was ruining the entire Fijian travel industry and that my operation was illegal. You don't have to be a genius to realise who was, in fact, attempting to ruin Fiji's tourism trade - Today Tonight! When I again referred Tapper to the upcoming meeting with Fijian Affairs and the approval I had been given to continue to help the villages she was again floundering but don't let facts get in the way of a good story, these comments were cut from what went to air.
Deb Lang's lies
Deb Lang had told Today Tonight that she had fallen sick two days after arriving at Namatakula with a range of diseases including pneumonia because of poor hygiene. This is a lie. She was sick when she arrived at the village - a fact that she confirmed to me over the phone on the night she arrived at Namatakula. I told Tapper that she was sick when she arrived but Today Tonight only presented Deb Lang's mischevious statement that she had fallen sick two days after arriving at the village. In the programme that went to air Lang suggests that she fell sick "because of unhygienic conditions at the village". In fact, her partner, Judy Lawler's, parents told our hosts that they blamed Deb Lang for causing their falling sick near the end of their homestay. Of course Today Tonight did not run my rebuttal.
Tapper said that she had some photos of people with scabies implying that they had been taken by Robyn Knight at Matacawalevu. Tapper refused to show them to me, but the dirt had been laid. I should mention that I stayed at Matacawalevu in June this year and saw no signs of scabies in the village. The images and video were not shown by Today Tonight - I question their existence, because if they had why would they not have run them? Of course Knight's claims about scabies were presented with fitting mood music in the background while my rebuttal did not run.
Within minutes of the interview Tapper had realised that there was another side to the story but she still continued with her relentless attack. Yes I was extremely stressed and wouldn't you be? She questioned the credibility of my web site - my personal integrity was under attack. The allegation was that I was misrepresenting the village homestay experience on the web site. On the other side of the curtain my partner listened, shaking like a leaf - I had to counsel her, she cried right through the night. Tapper demanded that I pay the ladies back all their money - something I am not willing to do as they knew exactly what the village life would be like before they went and one of the women in the party who went to Namatakula, Deb Lang, was sick when they arrived. She got what she wanted though, when she asked me if I would refund the women their costs I replied "No". Of course that was the only comment Ms Tapper was interested in during her interview with me. Following the publishing of the one sided diatribe and claims by the two women on Today Tonight the segment closed with my refusal to refund their expenses and, surprise, surprise the arrival of the "white knight" the paid advertorial pushing a travel insurance policy.
When Tapper demanded to be shown the photos that I had claimed to have on-line of the beds and toilets which, according to her source did not exist, I complied. We went inside and onto the computer, my partner fled - taking the kids away in the car. Quite clearly, if the interviewer (Michelle Tapper) had done her research adequately in the first place she would not be having to ask me to show her photos that had been prominently displayed on the web site.
I showed Ms Tapper the Namatakula web site, the photos of the western style beds and toilets. She stood there impassively her cameramen were not filming now. She left suddenly, no thank you, just departed. Of course none of this appeared on Today Tonight.
After Tapper had left I contacted a senior member of the Fijian Visitor's Bureau. He confirmed that his earlier investigation into the same woman's complaint had revealed that the claims were questionable. He also confirmed to me that village homestays had nothing to do with the Ministry of Tourism - the very reason why we were holding the meeting with the provincial chiefs and not officials from that department. Of course Today Tonight have not interviewed him and did not report this.
That night I worked until 12 midnight sending four separate emails to Ms Tapper addressing the key points that she had raised. These included the fact that Deb Lang at Namatakula, by her own admission to me, had arrived sick and the fact that I had spent a long time talking to the other woman about the village of Matacawalevu before she left on her holiday. These points were ignored in the program that went to air.
In the emails I extended an invitation to Channel Seven in Australia to come to Fiji while I was there later that month to witness the conference I was scheduled to have with the provincial administrators, see first hand what village homestays were all about and speak directly to our hosts. The invitation was never taken up - never let the truth get in the way of a good story, that's pocket book journalism at its best - that's classic Today Tonight reporting.... I have now rescinded that invitation but invited other Australian media to join me... see this link. (NOTE: The conference on village homestays was cancelled after I withdrew my financial support - a direct result of Today Tonight's reporting and no-one from the Australian media took up the challenge.) It took Fiji TV One, some weeks later, to expose the misleading picture presented by Today Tonight. Fiji's TV One visited Namatakula, interviewed a guest and presented the true picture of the FijiBure.com experience - something Today Tonight never bothered to do while defaming me and FijiBure.com.
I offered to supply Today Tonight with several testimonials from people who were willing to go on record and offer their positive feedback on their homestay experience. Today Tonight were not interested - never let balance get in the way of a good story, that's pocket book journalism at its best - that's classic Today Tonight reporting.... the comments at this link were received since this offer was made.
The whole weekend leading up to the segment Channel Seven ran promotional ads for the Today Tonight show featuring my face and the comment "cheating Australians out of their holidays". It is a fact that these ads first appeared within hours of Tapper appearing on my doorstep.
Before midday on the day the segment was to appear I sent Today Tonight a fax copy of the testimonial by a member of the group who stayed at Namatakula.
Update: Due to the overwhelmingly positive and supportive response that I have received from past village homestay guests I will continue to run and expand this humanitarian project.
I have had a return phone call from Channel 7 and I was given a patient hearing. That person passed on the information to a Karen who has also phoned me, and I was able to give her a good account of what was probably the best holiday of our lives. They were interested to know if there was an orchestrated attempt to get some responses from people who have been there. I told them that there was no request for me to ring them, that there is always a flow of information on what is happening with Fijibure and in the process emails are sent to all who have been on a homestay. I was asked if I was a friend of yours and I said that I had never met you in person. I was able to give her a lot of positive feedback on Namatakula and included some comments on Namuamua in the rain. I told her about the responses from around the world and took the liberty of giving her the link so that she could read them. I asked her to be careful abut the people from whom they get information and said that I was concerned for the welfare of our friends in Fiji, and asked her not to knock such a good thing which put income form tourism in the hands of the homestay hosts.
Some quick facts about Fijian Village Homestays through
Both floors of their house have flush toilets and showers. Water from the Namatakula River is purer than that you find in bottles. The electricity supply is reliable and Judith's culinary skills are legendary. She serves taro, fish, meat, rice and fruit presented on a cloth on the ground and eaten with knife and fork once grace has been said.
Difference? Getaway visited Namatakula Today Tonight jumped at a story which had no basis of truth.
Just some of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's
Media Watch and
other on-line reports investigating sloppy,
devious or unbalanced reporting by Today Tonight (this is just the
tip of the ice-berg):
Today Tonight Divorced from the Courts quote: It was a story the media couldn't resist: "Boy divorces mum". But now it's landed some big media names in a court case of their own. Next week there'll be a further mention in the Melbourne Magistrates Court of criminal charges against more than a dozen journalists, editors and publishers. They include high profile TV personalities such as Naomi Robson (Today Tonight)......
The judge ended with an appeal to the media's better nature, and backed it with a threat she knew they'd understand.
But Channel 7s Today Tonight was undeterred. Network Seven racked up the most criminal counts - 21 in all.
What do Today Tonight's peers say about this program and the court case? (Sample: Personally, there is nothing I would like to see more than Naomi Robson and her crew put behind bars with the key thrown away. Television like TT has no cred and destroys it for the rest of us.)
Seven's Cheap Idol Bash (Crikey) quote:
Without his involvement in the first series of Idol,
Dicko would not have come to the attention of Seven managers. Are they now
saying one abuser right, one abuser wrong? If so, that's a very Orwellian
way to judge TV talent.
Marginalising the Muslim population in Australia quote: Tim didnt tell the boys until filming had started that the "doco" would run on Today Tonight. Then Ahmed and his friends saw the promo. It looks cut off, and Ahmed says it was taken out of context.... The following night Today Tonight was milking it dry.
Give Today Tonight enough rope quote: Seven's Today Tonight is also behaving true to form. Anything goes... Well when Renee Geyer said "no", Today Tonight simply pinched an answer she'd already given on the ABC's "Enough Rope", and dropped it in completely out of context.
Today Tonight "helps" Rebecca quote: Neglecting the real news, as always, Today Tonight has been exploiting its own strange discovery: 21 year-old Adelaide multi-mother Rebecca Matheson.
Today Tonight's double trouble quote: Keen viewers of Today Tonight would know why money sprang first to Sharon's mind, for barely a month earlier she - or a woman looking remarkably like her - had been on the show confessing how gambling had stripped her of a fortune.
Today Tonight's "Millionaire make believe" quote: Judgment is still pending in Kaye's case but a few weeks ago shows like Today Tonight were warned by the ACCC that there's going to be a major crack down on the misleading promotion of products in the guise of current affairs reportage or lifestyle programs, in particular where the program purports to be credible investigative journalism.- ACCC Media Release, 15 March 2004 (More at this link)
Today Tonight "Sluggo in Baghdad tonight" quote: What Today Tonight had done was intercut his travelogue with footage taken by other journalists who really were in Iraq. A little bit of the gun battle at Umm Qasr. A coalition plane even further away over the Al Faw peninsula.
Today Tonight "Kiddie crimes" quote: Thats foot in the door journalism modern style. But this is the technique at its classic best once again from Today Tonight in Adelaide.
Today Tonight in the spotlight - 2000, quote: Any fair and objective judgement would surely find that [your reporter's] report was grossly unbalanced, misrepresenting the full circumstances in this matter entirely.
Today Tonight - Reporting Rubbish quote: What Today Tonight do when they run out of stories.
Today Tonight on MacDonalds and gambling quote: Today Tonight ran a poorly researched abysmal story about how Neopets has gambling games.
Gutter Journalism Hoax exposed quote: Today Tonight is also no stranger to the invented story paraded as fact the infamous 'Majorca Skase Chase' report was mocked up in the theatrical district of Barcelona. True to form while shooting the Dole Army expose, the TT crew happily colluded in setting up a fake drain dwelling in an above-ground brick factory.
The watchdog barks again - Sydney Morning Herald quote: Seven's Today Tonight did not want to comment on Media Watch's return - a pity, because Today Tonight was famously pilloried by Media Watch for showing a spurious Skase chase. The report claimed road blocks had been set up to impede journalists by Majorcan police at Skase's behest. In fact, the street scene had been filmed in Barcelona.
The watchman - The Age Newspaper quote: Channel Seven's Today Tonight reporter David Richardson and producer Chris Adams had pretended to be in pursuit of Christopher Skase in Majorca when they were in Barcelona. They reported Skase had roadblocks set up to deter reporters and cameramen. The footage used to illustrate this, shot not in Majorca but Barcelona, depicted police moving traffic barriers. Host Stuart Littlemore henceforth referred to the program as Barcelona Tonight. The Seven Network suspended the pair for a month without pay and formally warned them that a repeat of any similar action would lead to dismissal.
For more go to Media Watch
- demonising youth of Today
Extracts from an article in The Age on 13th April 2005
The result was commercial prime-time current affairs television at its worst: a potent mix of voyeurism and exploitation that was light on news value but committed to presenting the most negative stereotypes of young people possible.(snip)
Like an abusive parent, Today Tonight placed the young people in a situation where they were doomed to failure and then punished them for failing.(snip)
The hypocritical reporting style adopted by these shows often exploits young people's commercial value while almost simultaneously condemning its consequences. In early March, Today Tonight covered Nikki Webster's photo shoot for men's magazine FHM. The week before, it crusaded against the sexualisation and commercial exploitation of girls in music videos and fashion.
on Today Tonight
Extract: Yes, but then how many people are really interested in the tripe and rubbish served up at 6.30 pm on Today Tonight
Extracts: Today Tonight started and continues to be garbage.
The worst thing is the show has won several made up awards and the dirtbag presenter
Author's Den - Vena McGrath - interview
with Today Tonight
Extract: The story will be about lying ...
MIAA - Mortgage Industry Association of
Extracts: I most certainly did not say, as the reporter stated on the program, Phil Naylor from the Mortgage Industry Association admits fraud is now rampant in his industry. That totally false statement by your report should be withdrawn immediately and substituted with what I did say, which was the opposite of what was reported. I was at pains to emphasise that fraud is not widespread in the industry....
It is clear that neither the interviewer nor the producer had any idea of the issues and how the industry worked, nor it seems, wanted to know. Several times I had to query their interchangeable use of the words lenders and brokers it was quite apparent to me they did not know the difference, yet they were quite happy to be critical of brokers
Hewitts slam Today Tonight
Extract: Today Tonight did not make any attempt to contact the Hewitts and, when asked about Bec's former association with the network, Macpherson said it had "nothing to do with it''.
Nothing to do with the fact that the star tennis wife is now aligned to Channel Nine's magazine arm ACP as a weekly columnist on Woman's Day either, we're sure.
I find it astounding that they can make allegations about our organisation in a story without once getting in contact with us to check their facts.
For instance, we don't own a Laundromat as alleged in the program. They also made an assumption that the businesses are operated for profit and they did not check whether this is even allowable in our constitution as a not-for-profit organisation.
Helen Wellings exposes an "unacceptable" aid to
A few days prior to the "sting" however, the manager, Mr Peter Solanikow, received a tip-off from one of the people from the Today Tonight team, informing him about the set-up and acknowledging that the service we offer is actually beneficial and useful to many students and that the current affairs program wants to create controversy. This explanation was provided in response to the confused manager's question as to why the tip off was made. At this stage, the manager did not take the call very seriously.
But that stalling and, possibly, diverting of the legal processes pales into insignificance beside Today Tonight's performance on Monday night. A week earlier, security guard Karen Brown shot dead a young man who, moments earlier, had allegedly attacked her in a hotel car park in Sydney. The man appeared to be leaving the scene when she shot him through the window of his car. For a week, Brown had refused to be interviewed by police on the grounds that she was too distressed and injured after the incident. But on Monday night, she told her story on Today Tonight. Brown was reportedly paid $100,000 by the Seven Network for her appearance
And how about "Today Tonight" being used to promote Channel 7 advertisers?
On 29th May 2008 following the release of the BRW rich list the day before which revealed the inclusion of conman Alan Bond through his African mining interests I laid the bait.
Dishonest Today Tonight revealed at video link on right.
I had an African contact, currently in Brisbane, who had all the goss on Mr Bond's latest scams would Today Tonight be interested? Of course they were. A Ms Erina Flessas from their Brisbane office phoned back and requested an urgent meeting (well, well they even had a cameraman in my area)... I told her that we were compiling a brief on the evidence we could present on air so that we could better negotiate a "deal" (read payment for going on air) and that this would take a few hours. After all we were also talking to A Current Affair... "well we want to negotiate with you first" she said. "Of course," I replied. I smiled and waited - sure of the outcome. A few hours later I received a phone call back from Erina. She asked if I was involved with fijibure.com and I replied that it was one of my businesses. ... well then we will not deal with you she said.
I was right... The source of this can be confirmed. This is Erina's email at Today Tonight. Her direct phone number is 07 3368 7418. She freely supplied this information to me during out phone discussions.
Now how thick skinned is that? Today Tonight defame me nationally - starting this page, then cannot take the heat... OBVIOUSLY... and refuse to deal with what could be a great potential story. But there again I did chose the day when Mercedes Corby successfully won a high profile defamation case against this trashy programme. Her costs of several hundred thousand dollars are the safeguard that Today Tonight hide behind, preventing many more similar actions. (Click video link above for full story). More on new Today Tonight presenter Anna Coren's complicated love life.
I am so happy; this page is obviously a great irritation to trash yet they cannot do anything about it because of the legal ramifications on them!!!!
David has delivered a big blow against a very ugly Goliath.
Closing note, Mercedes Corby: "It is about time Today Tonight stopped defaming people in a hunt for ratings regardless of the impact on people's lives."