Last night’s Today Tonight interview with Jodi Power, a friend of Schapelle and Mercedes Corby, may go close to being the yarn of the year.

If her claims are in any way correct (and the pics of Mercedes Corby apparently smoking marijuana through a pipe and holding a “joint” were staggering) they will force a wholesale revision of the Corby saga, undermining the almost unanimous national assumption of Schapelle Corby’s innocence.

Just over two million people tuned in to Today Tonight last night to watch the heavily promoted story, giving Seven a clear win on the first full night of ratings competition between TT and Nine’s A Current Affair.

TT promoted its story over the weekend but we didn’t hear the full extent of the allegations, nor see those photographs of Mercedes Corby. Here’s a report on the program from this morning’s The Australian, which has been an occasional sceptic on the Corby story.

And we didn’t get to hear about the battle to get Jodi Power’s interview. TT mentioned several times it was a paid interview, but what we weren’t told was that the Nine’s 60 Minutes had attempted to buy off Power late last week offering around $200,000 for an exclusive interview to run on its season opener on Sunday night (see clarification below).

Sixty Minutes has form on buying facets of the Corby story, having paid the Corbys for exclusive access and an interview with Liz Hayes before her Bali trial.

So when the Nine Network now attempts to undermine Today Tonight by talking to Mercedes Corby, remember it had also been prepared to put Power’s allegations to air and was prepared to pay a very large amount of money (much more than what TT paid) to get Jodi Power on camera exclusively.

TT has promised more revelations tonight…


Nine Network news chief Gary Linnell writes: Re. Your report that Nine’s 60 Minutes had offered former Corby family familiar Jodi Power $200,000 to take her story to Nine rather than Seven — Absolutely untrue, I wish I had that sort of money.

Former 60 Minutes Managing Editor Mark Llewellyn writes: A small correction but at my insistence the first interview Liz Hayes did with Corby in her Bali jail was not paid for.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey