I just wanted to correct a major error of fact in your report on the Seven-Collingwood saga. You take as gospel Amanda Meade’s assertion in The Australian that Neil Mooney was responsible for paying $100,000 to security guard, Karen Brown. That is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Neil was not executive producer of the program at the time. The deal was done by his prececessor, Craig McPherson, with my blessing. For the record, Neil is reluctant to pay for ANY interview. He certainly would not fork out cash to a crim.

We can debate the rights and wrongs of the Karen Brown case until the cows come home, but – as I said – Neil had no part in the decision to pay her.

Regards, Peter Meakin

CRIKEY: Fair enough, point taken and apologies to the straight-talking and straight-laced Mr Mooney. There may have been conversations and tentative offers, but the only chequebook journalism actually practised by Today Tonight since Mooney took charge was a donation to a charity in return for an interview with Bec Cartwright and Lleyton Hewitt which we announced at the time on air. It will be interesting to see if Amanda Meade also does a reverse ferret in her Diary column next Thursday. The item never made it online, which is often a sign that a complaint has been made.

Peter Fray

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