The most charitable thing you could say about this morning’s ABC News Breakfast program was that they’ve had much better days of it.
A more accurate and telling description would be they had a fucking shocker. And it was from the get-go, when Michael Rowland reported on the overnight drink-driving arrest of “Victorian Labor MP Tim Smith”. The strap along the bottom said the same thing.
The pisspot in question was indeed Tim Smith, but he’s – or was – the Liberals’ shadow attorney-general.
For a show that broadcasts out of Melbourne, it was a pretty horrendous fuck-up.
But what came shortly afterwards was far more obtuse and confusing.
Reporting from Europe, a breathless Andrew Probyn more or less hinted all-out war between France and Australia was imminent after President Emmanuel Macron accused Scott Morrison of lying to him.
But let’s go to the footage which speaks for itself, a shocked Probyn suggested.
Well, our TV news monitors in mezzanine level 2B of The Bug‘s main HQ were soon scratching their heads over exactly when Macron accused the Liar from the Shire of lying.
Towards the end of the tape, Macron says… “you have to respect allies and partners”. It’s true that Macron hesitated over “allies” and it came out “a”…”lies” but surely all three ABC talking heads couldn’t have got that so, so wrong?
Well, when our brilliant co-hosts Rowland and Lisa Millar returned to the on-camera Probyn, they all certainly appeared to; they’d never seen a putdown of one country’s leader to another’s like it! This was big, big news, folks!
But all The Bug’s team members could do was look at one another and say things like “what the absolute fuck”.
Further MGH research got to the bottom of it all. Macron’s interview continued past the grab shown on Aunty and a bit later on he is asked: “Did he [Morrison] lie to you?”
Macron: “I don’t think. I know.”
To be fair, as the MGH always is, perhaps our ABC trio thought the whole Macron tape was going to be played and weren’t paying attention while they thought of what to say to one another next?
But what was shown made them look pretty damn foolish and The Bug research team’s head-scratching was entirely warranted, regardless of nits.
On top of the Smith blooper, it was about as shitty a start as you could possibly get to a supposedly professional news broadcast.