Seasoned news boss Peter Meakin, has slammed the recent revelation by former Nine News boss Garry Linnell that it was he who made the call to alert Indonesian authorities a Today Tonight crew was filming without proper permits in 2006.
Linnell, was the director of News and Current Affairs at Nine when Naomi Robson & crew were hoping to rescue six year old Wawa from a fate involving cannibalism.
Writing in the New Daily and oddly inspired by Tom Gleeson’s Logie speech about the industry taking itself too seriously, he said, “I wrestled with the dilemma. There were ethical issues to ponder. Moral implications to be considered. Several long and excruciating seconds later, I came to a decision.
“In war, you can just about excuse anything. I picked up the phone and began dialling.”
Robson and her crew were detained and deported by Indonesian authorities, while Linnell then vehemently denied any fingerprints on the ordeal in an interview to The Australian.
His revelation last week shed new light on just that.
Peter Meakin, who was Seven’s head of news and current affairs at the time, has told Media Watch, “It’s a nasty thing to do. It’s all very well to have cut throat competition but you shouldn’t be endangering the lives of your competitors. That’s beyond the pale.”
As to contradictory statements, Linnell has told the Australian Financial Review, “What I said to The Australian was accurate … and what I said today was accurate.”