The battle between Nine’s A Current Affair and Seven’s Today Tonight just got sillier. In a desperate bid to score a win over Seven, A Current Affair led last night’s edition with a very suspect story about a woman who bought a German Nazi flag and flew it on a flagpole in her backyard at Wyong on the NSW central coast, along with a skull and cross bones flag. The story even had an exclusive tag on it, which in many cases indicates that money changed hands.

Seven did not offer any money to the people involved, who chose to go with Nine. The woman said she bought it in a market and didn’t know what it was. Her husband said he never learned history and wasn’t taught anything about the Nazis in high school history lessons. The man told the Daily Telegraph he “knew bugger all about Nazi Germany,” adding that he didn’t think the Nazis had done anything wrong by Australians.

Well, it didn’t do Nine any good. Today Tonight still won, more narrowly than on previous nights this week, 1.281 million people to 1.266 million. But in Sydney, the market where the story would have resonated most, TT won by 46,000 people, 369,000 to 323,000.

But to treat that story as an exclusive devalues the word and what it means in journalism. It had been in the Sydney Daily Telegraph – and here’s a follow-up from the paper’s website today.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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