A publicist from Maori Television tried to get a movement going yesterday on Facebook when she insulted TV3 reporter David Farrier, calling him a "douche".
Marino Harker-Smith's comment, "Like if u think David Farrier's a douche," on the 3 News Facebook page, related to a Big Day Out story. Another user outed her as a Maori Television employee and in quick succession the post was deleted, but not before a screen shot was saved, leaving her facing a disciplinary process at work.
Yesterday, Farrier said he rang the publicist, whom he had never met, to establish if she actually posted the message.
There were a lot of "umms and ahhs" and silences before he thanked her and hung up, he said.
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The technology, entertainment and pop culture journalist, who has a wry reporting style, was not upset by it and reckoned the station was "all class", the best the country had.
However, it was perplexing that a publicist had failed to recognise the consequences that could flow from the use of social media, he said.
"I'm not offended by it, people insult me all the time, I'm quite used to it. I just thought, 'It's unusual coming from a publicist.'
"It's just people still not wrapping their heads around what Facebook and Twitter is when it should be kind of obvious in 2012."
Ms Harker-Smith said she had no comment. However, station chief executive Jim Mather said the comment did not reflect the view of Maori Television and an apology would be extended to Farrier.
Mr Mather understood the post was made in Ms Harker-Smith's own time.
He added that "a disciplinary investigation is going to occur".