Why is the Australian media silent on Chk-Chk-Boom Girl?

May 26, 2009

I wrote on Sunday asking what Channel Nine’s role was in the Chk-Chk-Boom Girl scam. Chk-Chk-Boom Girl appeared on A Current Affair (ACA) last night, and you’ve probably never seen a softer interview.

Clare Werbeloff claimed on camera that she saw a camera, and ran up to it, and magically came up with a story about coming out of a tattoo parlor, and seeing a range of “wogs” shooting each other.

The premise was so thin as to be throw up worthy. Seriously: people just run up to cameras and make up an eyewitness statement for a shooting? I respect and understand that our fame obsessed society has changed norms, but there’s putting yourself in front of a camera, and then there’s giving a false account.

Now lets remember: 2 days before the mainstream media exposed the fraud on Sunday, a story surfaced on Mumbrella that pointed to other sites that said that Claire was working for a PR agency. That same PR agency worked at the same address as the PR agent she supposedly took on days after her video went viral. The original post included a photo that might have included Claire in a group PR agency photo. A later post clearly showed a photo of Claire, seemingly in the same location, waving money.

The reason I’m posting this today, and not after ACA yesterday is I’d wished that the ABC’s Media Watch might have picked it up. I’ve only just watched Media Watch now (Tuesday) and they didn’t. Indeed no one has outside of the original it’s a scam, she ran up to the camera spin.

But it’s bollocks.

The next question comes to News Ltd, who took two days to report the scam. Originally I questioned Nine’s role, but after watching the ACA report interview a News Ltd writer, more questions come up. Did News Ltd know about the scam days before? What was the deal with a News Ltd “blogger” being used in the ACA piece?

I have learned, maybe the hard way that the team at News.com.au is mostly smart, reasonable, and dare I say it: people just like us, so I make the suggestion with no prejudice. But the why still remains: they would have known Friday, it’s one thing I can credit the team at News Digital for: they’re very good at picking stuff up. So why Sunday, and more importantly why not the deeper questions.

And that applies to all Australian MSM outlets: why aren’t you asking the deep questions. Why aren’t you digging into her relationships with PR, and that goes for the ABC, and Media Watch as well.

One things for sure: the real story is getting a more “journalistic” treatment in the new media. What say you MSM to that.

8 responses to Why is the Australian media silent on Chk-Chk-Boom Girl?

  1. Peoapl do everything to get their 5 minutes of fame. These days even more than before. It doesn't surprise me any more but it's weird that nobody has picked up on it.

  2. I think Media Watch typically take 1-2 weeks lead time as unlike our friends above they research their stories because you can imagine the scrutiny they are under.

    Here's some relationship digging:
    2 Reasons with the PR bogan may appear in Zoo Weekly:

  3. What this story needs is less coverage, not more. It has appeared multiple times in all the major papers in Australia (and at least once in the majority of local papers – yes I have actually seen a large chunk of these references because I work as a media monitor), with cross-referincing in a variety of other articles and what it ultimately amounts to is the media's complete idiocy.
    They keep quoting it because they think it's relevant (due to the massive amount of hits on youtube) without thinking about the fact that there are bigger issues than some silly bint on camera.
    It needs to just die so that a) people can get on with reading about the things that actually matter and b) stunts like this don't get pulled again.

  4. The trouble is that because of all the media hype this lame story has received we can be assured that a lot more of this crap will show up. I am really disappointed with ACA, and as far as I am concerned their media coverage lately can be likened to the shit the tabloids come up with.

  5. Good questions Duncan.

    I like this story in the West Australian (by Paul Murray) – it lets us glimpse the mix of emotions being experienced by the old guard as the old media crumbles faster than seemed possible:

    A few fragments that suggest there is a bit of anger involved here:
    “?¢‚ǨÀúChk Chk?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ the facts before you trust in Generation YouTube”
    “the way young people use and regard the media”

    “irresistible to so many in the Facebook generation”

    As traditional media audiences crumble and more and more old school journalists wind up in the 'new' media, we are going to see a lot more wistful nostalgia for the good old days when fearlessly independendt journalists always checked facts from totally traceable sources, never ran shallow stories about celebrities or glamorised violence, and provided daily moral signposts (in broadsheet format) we could all trust. Ah, those were the days.

  6. Thanks for the link love, even if you thought it was bollocks.

  7. Thanks for the link love, even if you thought it was bollocks.

  8. Thanks for the link love, even if you thought it was bollocks.