December 18, 2006
Wow. That David Penberthy fellow really is scum.
Much has been made of The Daily Telegraph's calculated courting -- and subsequent criticism -- of beseiged NSW Young Australian of the Year Iktimal Hage-Ali. Of course, there's nothing crass or obvious about asking a person about facts you'll be using to bury them with later while you're still making nice. Ah, good ol' tabloid journos - sleazy and stupid.
But did the paper also know about her 22 November arrest and release without charge when they dubbed her the state's most promising young Muslim leader?
Crikey now understands that The Daily Tele did know, and they used this information to enact that most tabloid of tactics: build up a public persona for the sole purpose of then eating them alive.
According to Crikey sources, Tele attack dog Luke McIlveen rang Hage-Ali to ask her about the arrest on the same day that the paper ran his article portraying her as a victim of hardline Muslim bloggers who criticised her for drinking alcohol at the NSW Young Australian of the Year award ceremony...
The Tele, unable to resist the droolworthy combination of Islam and drugs, seems to have planned a sequence of events: praise Hage Ali and talk up her role as a young Muslim role model, break the story of her arrest, then run a poll that asks "Should Iktimal Hage-Ali be excluded from future government advisory roles?"...
Here, just for fun, are a few more of the Tele's greatest hits involving present editor Penberthy and/or reporter McIlveen, courtesy of Media Watch:
The 5-Star Detention Centres 'Scoop'
Bangalore Call Centre
The Brogden Fiasco
The Corby 'Scoop'
The "Sydney is full" 'Scoop'
The Stella Hoax
Judging by the e-mails Penberthy sends to Media Watch any response he makes to Crikey! should be a joy to read.