Channel 7 is said to be threatening legal action against the Nine Network after it became apparent to everybody with eyeballs that A Current Affair copied their Today Tonight footage of an interview with bully Ritchard Gale.
Today Tonight aired the exclusive this week, large segments of which appeared on Channel 9 minutes later. TT’s executive producer Craig McPherson has (understandably) lost his cool, saying in a statement yesterday afternoon: “”You would have to be delusional to suggest what ACA did on Monday night is acceptable. There are times when both programs, the 6pm news even newspapers lift and use images from other outlets on certain stories. Day to day media is very robust and immediate.To actually lift, lock stock and barrel a report from your rival outlet is unprecedented. Let’s put this into context. This is not lifting images, this is journalistic theft.”
Of course, these shows pander to the lowest common denominator and steal shit from each other all the time. It’s something that they can largely get away with if they attribute footage correctly and it is necessary to their telling of a story, though this is above and beyond the usual hand-in-the-lolly-jar scenario. Channel 9 are having none of it, telling media yesterday in response to the accusations, “Today Tonight confecting outrage about non-attribution of any story is very much like Jack the Ripper complaining about an increase in knife-related crime.”
We like that simile better. Nine wins.