Today’s Karl Stefanovic has lashed out at online news site the Daily Mail following an article with paparazzi photos of him in Ballina in April, in which he was carrying beers and was accompanied by a female producer.
It was headlined, ‘Karl Stefanovic checks into humble caravan park with a colleague and 12 cans of pre-mixed rum, but girlfriend is nowhere to be seen’.
This morning Stefanovic went into bat citing producer Lauren Tomasi was in tears, and let rip at the site’s trail of tabloid articles.
“The Inference: I’m a drunk. The real hurt here though is for my colleague, a young female colleague,” he said.
“The sleazy suggestion we are checking in somewhere and that I’m ‘settling in for a long night.’ Fact: this was work. We were filming a story about our struggling prawn farmers; they deserve a rum or two. The producer pictured on the website is a committed, talented, hardworking and totally professional young woman and not deserving of this cheap, lazy, sexist online slur.”
“The idea that colleagues of the opposite sex cannot work together without something going on surely belongs to the 1950s. The Daily Mail has a long, despicable track record of denigrating women, of ridiculing women and objectifying women,” he said.
“This is the same site that ridiculed Lisa for wearing the same blouse four months apart, the same site that tried to suggest that Lisa and Sylvia couldn’t work together, presumably because they are both women. The same site that tried to shame Sunrise host Samantha Armytage for wearing so-called ‘granny pants’.”
While Today oddly-pixellated the word “girlfriend” in its vision, Stefanovic has in recent months been the target of tabloid stories surrounding his divorce.
“I am over it. I don’t know what you think, but I hope Australia is over it as well. Go hard on me, make up your stories, publish your lies and send out the paps,” he insisted.
“But if you have any care whatever for the women of Australia, do not slur the reputations of others in your eagerness to throw mud at me. If you agree with me, the best thing that you can do is never go to that website.”
It was the second time this week an editorial by Stefanovic has attracted attention, after he slammed coverage of Schapelle Corby’s return, despite its wide coverage by Today.
The Daily Mail responded describing his editorial as a “bizarre rant” without detailing his complaints against its content, adding social media posts that called him a hypocrite, along with more slurs against his personal life. But it did include part of his video tirade.
Daily Mail arrived in Australia in early 2014 thanks to a joint venture by Nine Network’s digital arm Mi9 and staff were based alongside the NineMSN unit in the company’s Sydney base, for two years producing similar content in keeping with the site’s own brand.
Nine sold its 50% stake in early 2016 to Daily Mail General Trust.