I am pleased to see the Fairfax "Me Too" campaign has met the widespread derision it deserves.

Let me join the bandwagon: Fairfax, which operates the Stuff website, have launched their own "Me Too" campaign to out predators, fiends, leeches and sexual reprobates.

They've also done it to get clicks on their website - oh, they won't tell you that, because that would make it tacky, which of course is exactly what it is.

And don't for a moment think that I am saying this because Fairfax is a loose competitor to the people who produce papers for the company I work for - because I am not. I can promise you, should our lot have dreamed up anything as tasteless I would be saying so.

The fact they wouldn't, haven't and won't, tells you a bit about the different outlooks and values of the two companies. I suspect.

This is tabloid news at its worst - masquerading under the blanket of a good cause, of a worthy outing, of a courageous campaign, of a deeply serious "issue".

So you ring the hotline and dob in pervs. Their crack squad of journalists will investigate and bring to justice those who so richly deserve to be outed, shamed and presumably destroyed. Cool.

They cite the Russell McVeagh case as a reason for this venture into campaigning journalism - forgetting of course that the Russell McVeagh case was in fact dealt with the old-fashioned way: by the police.

Victoria University rang Police Commissioner Mike Bush, told him something was up - he did what police do. The point being: we don't need a newspaper company pretending to be cops as well as judges and jurors.

Because apart from anything, a lot of the "Me Too" campaign is not about illegal activity such as serious sexual assault - the things you end up in court for.


It's about hearsay, rumour, innuendo, scuttlebutt - sleaze and gossip.

It's about alleged pinched bums, wolf whistles, and tacky one-liners.
Not that any of those things is remotely acceptable - but they're not crimes and they're not front-page news.

Ryan Seacrest is this week's example: lewd conduct alleged, blanket denial issued, investigation held - nothing found.

Fairfax going to be all over that in a local version are they? And to what end?

And one of the bigger reasons to worry is these days too many journalists aren't up to much. Not only are they not cops, they're not even good at detail.

Having been on the receiving end of a bit of reporting over the years I can't tell you how sloppy most of it is - and this is just puff piece stuff.

What if they get it wrong when it counts? What if they drag a name front page in their zeal for clicks and it doesn't quite pan out to be true? What then?

A page 18 apology, while the poor sap's life is over?