Channel 7 ran a story that a senior Labor MP told PM Gillard to her face that she no longer had her support.
That is channel 7 news with 2 million viewers, those viewers who will now go away from that story believing that… But what if it wasn’t true. How would you know? Would you even be told they got it wrong? Or even made the whole thing up completely?
Latika Bourke, of ABC, (who gets credit for once, for going to the source, the subject of the story, and not merely parroting Tony Abbotts interpretation) asked Joel Fitzgibbon, Chief Government Whip, if the story from Sarah Wiley, channel 7 reporter, was true
Latika Bourke: Hey @fitzhunter, can you confirm the 7 report you told PM Julia Gillard personally that you no longer support her?
Joel Fitzgibbon: @latikambourke not true!
But that is not good enough for some intent on destabilising a successful government, or a bit-part reporter trying to make a name for herself.
Sarah Wiley: 7 confirmed Joel Fitzgibbon told PM face 2 face she’d ‘lost his loyalty’ and he’d no longer mobilise numbers for her ( @latikambourke )
Latika Bourke: @SarahWiley8 but Joel Fitzgibbon himself says that’s not true. Hmmm.
Sarah Wiley: @latikambourke but which part is he saying isn’t true ?
Latika Bourke: @SarahWiley8 all of it.
Sarah Wiley: @latikambourke just repeating what he told us
At this point, another channel 7 reporter jumped in
Alex Hart: @latikambourke @sarahwiley8 game of semantics… 7 confirmed fitz told pm no longer has loyalty
The source is denying it, yet the channel 7 reporters keep insisting it is true. As Sarah said HE told US, not, we were told
Latika Bourke: ‘Not true’ ain’t exactly ‘semantics.’ RT @alexhart7: @latikambourke @sarahwiley8 game of semantics… 7 confirmed fitz told pm…
Both Sarah and Alex defend the story
Sarah Wiley: @latikambourke perhaps he’s back tracking ?
Alex Hart: @latikambourke I think that may relate to the use of the word “support”
CFMEWHO?: #politicalreporterdispute @latikambourke v @SarahWiley8
Sarah Wiley: @CFMEWHO @latikambourke it’s not a dispute. Just letting you know what we were told
Latika Bourke: @SarahWiley8 @CFMEWHO I’m with you on this Sar.
Because clearly, what would Joel Fitzgibbon know? Choosing sides, and Latika takes the word of the reporter over the MP, with no fear of missing out on future exclusives, because all reporters stick together.
[editted to add: Correction:
I’m with you means Ms Bourke agrees that it was not a dispute, not that she was siding with Sarah Wiley against Fitzgibbon, apologies]
But Joel Fitzgibbon, the supposed source, is having none of this ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, he denied it once, he denies it again
Joel Fitzgibbon: @SarahWiley8 @latikambourke no “back tracking”, simply and absolutely untrue!
And then suddenly the truth comes out, and it the channel 7 reporter who is doing some backtracking…
Sarah Wiley: sorry quote not from @fitzhunter but from a reliable source. ( @latikambourke )
Yet the source who turns out wasn’t the source, and the reporter admitting the source wasn’t, Latika persists with trying to wring a story out of a non-story
Latika Bourke: okay @fitzhunter, which story is right here? Can you clear this up. RT @SarahWiley8: @latikambourke just repeating what he told us.
Joel Fitzgibbon: @latikambourke @sarahwiley8 for the last time, completely untrue and it appears 7 has now conceded so!
Latika Bourke: @fitzhunter Thanks Joel.
Sarah Wiley: I stand by that original quote I tweeted
So the story that the Prime Minister had lost support, turns out, was completely made up by the channel 7 crew. First Sarah says, ‘he told us’, then later on she corrects herself, it is what a source told them, who remains unnamed
Perhaps their source is a member of the Liberal party PR team, we don’t know, but we are expected to believe the story, because THE TV SAID SO!!. Really dodgy to go to air with those kind of untruths.
If that doesn’t make you wonder how much other news, from
confirmed sources, is not exactly as true as reported to be… then it should.