Nine news: always good for a laugh…

…. and an error or nine

The Media Glass House is almost obsessive in its nightly desire to take in Nine’s 6pm news out of Sydney.

One reason? It’s always good for a laugh as it gives this column so much material.

The other? The MGH is confident that one night soon, it’s going to be an all-female affair, bookended by presenter Georgie Gardner and one of the station’s lovely, high-heeled weathergirls, preferably Belinda in her nudie, rudie suit.

And when that all-female hour happens, surely it will be a world first?

It may not be tonight but at a 6pm not too far away Mike Dalton is going to be having a break from hamming up for the camera with his usual quirky look at something a little bit silly late in the hour.

Chris Uhlmann will also be missing, perhaps held back for some reason – stuck in a broken lift, maybe? – at his other early-morning job across the city as Liberal Party of Australia publicist.

But if this oestrogen-fueled 9 News hour is to eventuate, may The Bug’s Media Glass House offer some constructive criticism?

Please don’t get us wrong. Nine’s female reporters look great and always come across as competent and assured presenters.

But just like their few male workmates – an endangered species, for sure – they are guilty from time to time of an outrageous dangling participle or commentary that doesn’t come close to matching the vision on screen. We fondly remember the recent story where a runaway truck crossed a road, with the tyro reporter declaring it narrowly missed other vehicles when the vision showed not a single vehicle anywhere in quite a wide shot.

And sometimes an illogical approach to news interpretation can also raise its pretty head.

Take reporter Sophie Upcroft’s report the other weekend about a thief who stole a tinnie on a Gold coast canal (at top).

Sophie said: “Flooding the motor, he picks up a paddle, slowing the pursuit to a snail’s pace.”

Sophie, we said love, we said pet, we said dearheart, that really makes no sense at all.

His going slower doesn’t slow the pursuit, i.e. the velocity of a chaser or chasers moving towards a chasee or chasees (sorry to get technical). Basically we’re saying that the tinnie owner and her dog wouldn’t have slowed up in their swim chase just to give him a fair chance of getting away while improving their own chances of not being taken by a bull shark.

Sophie, have you ever heard of cops chasing a driver who’s evaded an RBT hitting the brakes as well if the wanted motorist way out in front of them also slows up for any reason, say, spilling his stubbie onto his lap?

We all know that the cops will continue in hot pursuit, pedal to the metal, right up to the moment they call off their chase in the interests of public safety just before the vehicle crashes into a station wagon, killing a family of four on their way home from Hillsong.

On the same program, another reporter showed a possible ignorance of the royal family.

Amelia Adams, covering Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, said this: “…now is the time to open the book on what she [Meghan] calls The Firm”.

That gives the impression that Meghan coined that phrase instead of just adopting a slogan for the Royal Family that’s been in vogue since before Prince Philip learnt how to be a racist. Sadder still, it suggests Amelia also thinks that’s the case.


ABC News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland has saved the British people a lot of money on a totally unnecessary and lengthy court process.

He spoke on Tuesday morning of the public protests in London that have followed “Sarah Everard’s murder by a police officer”.