Larry Williams: 60 Minutes was totally reckless

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Listen to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB from 4pm to 7pm. Today he looks at aftermath of the 60 Minutes child-snatch incident.
Australian TV journalist Tara Brown (second left) and Sally Faulkner (centre) sit in a mini van between the three crew members of Channel 9. AP photo / Hussein Malla
Australian TV journalist Tara Brown (second left) and Sally Faulkner (centre) sit in a mini van between the three crew members of Channel 9. AP photo / Hussein Malla

60 Minutes are now milking their deplorable actions in the bungled kidnapping attempt in Lebanon.

Sally Faulkner on 60 Minutes said, "I had to say goodbye to my babies. Lahela, she looked at me and said, 'Mummy will you take my ring,' She gave me her little Barbie ring, she said, 'This is so you don't forget me'."

This was 60 Minutes doing the tear-jerking tabloid storyline on the back of their own terrible judgement. Having been largely responsible for Faulkner losing her kids, here was 60 Minutes playing the story up for all it was worth.

The kidnapping cock-up, the jail, the fear of spending 20 years behind bars, the crying, the tears, the subsequent million-dollar payout, 60 Minutes still had a story even though they had themselves destroyed Ms Faulkner's chance of getting her kids back.

Reporter Tara Brown rolled out the understated "we made mistakes" line, but remained steadfast in her team's right to pursue the story. According to her, they had a right to pay a large sum of money to get someone to kidnap children in a foreign country. Essentially, to go into Lebanon and snatch a couple of kids. If you listen to Ms Brown, it was her right to do this!

Ms Brown still doesn't comprehend the reprehensible stunt she was involved in. They're all in denial.

Here's the thing: 60 Minutes were warned not to take cameras to film the kidnapping, they were warned against using the agents they selected to do the job, they ignored all the advice -presumably because they had a right to pursue the story.

They did so because it wasn't a story without the video. They wanted to capture the live drama of a kidnapping in Beirut because that was the story - even if it was illegal.

60 Minutes thought they were bulletproof. They orchestrated the failed mission with only one thing in mind - ratings. And now we have to suffer this galling journalistic drivel that they had a right to pursue the story.

Sally Faulkner has been given a bad rap by 60 Minutes. She's lost everything because of its reckless actions.

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- NZME.

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